Professor Helen Rodd

MBE BDS(Hons) FDS RCS Eng(Paed Dent) PhD

School of Clinical Dentistry

Professor in Paediatric Dentistry

Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry

Helen Rodd
Profile picture of Helen Rodd
+44 114 271 7814

Full contact details

Professor Helen Rodd
School of Clinical Dentistry
19 Claremont Crescent
S10 2TA

I qualified with Honours from Bristol University, UK, in 1988. Moving North to Sheffield, I completed my higher training in Paediatric Dentistry and was awarded Clinical Research Fellowships from both the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Medical Research Council. I was appointed Professor/Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry at Sheffield Dental School in 2006.

As an academic paediatric dentist, I spend my time equably between NHS service delivery, educating and enthusing dental learners of all levels, and undertaking a programme of child-centred oral health research. Outside the dental school, I have an active role in the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry and the International Association of Paediatric Dentistry. I am also an Executive Board Member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of England, as well as Chair of the FDS Research Committee and Editorial Board Member of the Faculty Dental Journal. My personal interests focus around fell running, cycle touring, yoga, gardening, art and travel.

Twitter account: @profhrodd

Research interests

My earliest work was in the field of neuroscience, where I used the human tooth pulp as a model to gain greater understanding into mechanisms of inflammatory pain. More recently, I have focussed on the patient experience with particular emphasis on the impact of dental conditions, such as traumatic dental injuries or enamel defects on children's oral health-related quality of life. I am also very involved in research to reduce children's dental anxiety through a guided self-help cognitive behavioural therapy approach. I work in a fantastic multi-disciplinary research team which aims to improve the oral health and treatment experiences of children and young people through a combination of clinical and social science research strategies. Our ethos is to engage children themselves in all our research and service development activities. To date, I have supervised 10 PhDs, 2 MPhils and 11 Masters to completion which have mostly had a child-centred theme.


Journal articles

Research group

PhD students:

  • Current PhD students Fiona Noble is an NIHR-funded research fellow and her research is in the area of children's needle-fear. She will be working with children to develop an intervention to manage their fear of needles.
  • Laura Timms has also recieved funding from the NIHR to support her as a research fellow in paediatric dentistry. She is going to underake research in primary care dental settings to look at the feasiabiliy and acceptability of using silver diamine fluoride for the management of caries in young children.
  • Annie Morgan is an NHS consultant in paediatric dentistry, who previously recieved funding from the Royal College of Surgeons of England to undertake research to gain a greater insighte into the experiences and assessmet of children's dental anxiety.
  • Joana Monteiro is an NHS consultant in paediatric dentistry her PhD will explore the experiences of children with tooth hypersensitify in association with molar incisor hypomineralisation.

To date, I have been a PI/co-applicant in over 40 research grants, exceeding £5 million.

Recent awards include:


Co-applicant in an RCT ‘The CALM trial: the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a guided self-help cognitive behavioural therapy intervention to reduce dental anxiety in children’. £1,618,493 NIHR.


Supervisor of £358,228 NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship (F Noble) to develop a CBT resource for children with needle fear.

Co-investigator in an international study £1,340,000 Norwegian Research Council to engage child stakeholders to co-create oral health products, digital information and communication tools.

Supervisor of £4,461 FDS/BSPD grant (L Timms) to engage children co-designers in a film about caries management - a fantastic output.


Supervisor of £86,052 NIHR In Practice Fellowship (S Prasad) to develop a decision-aid for families choosing treatment options for their child’s dental decay.


Co-investigator in an RCT ‘The MAGIC trial: A Randomised Controlled Trial of Melatonin Versus Midazolam in the Premedication of Anxious Children Attending for Elective Dental and ENT Surgery Under GA’ £983,375 NIHR.

Supervisor of £291,915 NIHR Doctoral Fellowship (H Rogers) to develop a caries-specific measure suitable for valuation by children.


Supervisor of £84,000 Fellowship FDS RCS Eng (A Morgan) to develop an electronic patient-reported outcome measure for dental anxiety.

Teaching activities
  • Within Sheffield Dental School, I was Deputy Director of Teaching and Learning (2016-2019) with specific responsibility for curriculum review and clinical finals. Additionally, I am the lead for undergraduate teaching of paediatric dentistry and have published papers on the learning experiences of dental undergraduates with recommendations to enhance their clinical training. Recently, I have driven the necessary move of much of our paediatric dentistry learning to new interactive on-line formats due to COVID-19.As a past Training Programme Director for Paediatric Dentistry (2016-2019) I was responsible for eight trainees. I mentored four ACFs, three of whom were awarded prestigious NIHR Doctoral Fellowships and the fourth is currently under review. Further excellence is evidenced by the award of over 20 national/international clinical, governance or research prizes to trainees under my supervision.
  • I have been instrumental in the development of multi-media learning resources to support dental care professionals when managing anxious children. Our designated website ( population/child-dental-anxiety) includes five training videos (which I directed) which provide step-by-step instruction on the provision of guided self-help cognitive behavioural therapy to children with dental anxiety. 
  • As a past examiner for the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship Examination in paediatric dentistry (until 2017). I was responsible for writing and quality-assuring the critical appraisal component. I am currently an external examiner for several undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
Professional activities and memberships

The award of an MBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours for ‘Services to young people and NHS leadership’ recognised my overall contribution to improving children’s oral health in this country and my standing within the dental profession.

Other notable current or recent professional activities include:

  • I advise FDS RCS Eng on matters relating to children’s oral & wider health including preparation of position statements, national policy/guideline development, media appearances
  • As Chair of the FDS Research Committee I review grant applications, monitor & disseminate research findings • Previous Charles Tomes invited lectureship, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 2017
  • Past Scientific Chair, International Association of Paediatric Dentistry (2015)
  • Member of the Site Selection Committee of the International Association of Paediatric Dentistry (from 2017)
  • Chair of the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry Commissioning Group (2010-2015)
  • Past President, British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (2010/11)
  • Frequently invited international keynote speaker with recent engagements including: Irish Dental Association (2021); Congress of the Egyptian Society of Pediatric Dentistry and Special Care Dentistry (2019); Irish Society of Children’s Dentistry (2019); International Association of Paediatric Dentistry Congress (2015, 2017, 2019); Beirut International Dental Congress (2019); British Orthodontic Society Conference (2018); World Congress on Dental Traumatolgy (2016); Apollonia Symposium, Finnish Dental Society (2016); Congress of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Paediatric Dentistry (2015)
  • Past examiner for the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship Exit Examination for Paediatric Dentistry with a main role in the development of the critical appraisal paper
  • External examiner for undergraduate dental programmes, taught postgraduate programmes and PhD examinations: past appointments have included Leeds University, Glasgow University, Newcastle University, Kings College London, University College, London , University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, University of Singapore, University of Dublin; Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine Dubai; University of Kuwait • Reviewer for journal publications and national and international grant awarding bodies