Paul Coulthard combines his role as Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with his position of Honorary Consultant and Clinical Lead for Oral Surgery at the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

He undertook General Clinical Training as a General Dental Practitioner in Manchester and Sheffield and was awarded the Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners. His Basic Surgical Training took place in Manchester, Carlisle and London and he completed Higher Specialist Surgical Training in Academic Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Manchester in 2000. This training included surgery of the mouth, surgery for facial injuries and fractures, surgery for facial disfigurement, and surgery of the salivary glands and jaw joint. He also undertook a resident training post in Anaesthesia. He was awarded the Fellowship in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons and subsequenlty his Specialty Fellowship in Oral Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons Intercollegiate Board.

As well as surgical training, Professor Coulthard undertook research training and was awarded an MDS in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and a PhD in Neuroscience. The MDS study deomonstrated a novel method of pain assessment in healthy human volunteers using EEG recording. The doctoral work investigated the effect of excitatory and inhibitory amino acids on gait analysis as a novel marker of pain in adjuvant induced arthritis in an animal model. The adjuvant arthritis model allows investigation of inflammatory pain and hyperalgesia.

He was promoted to the position of Senior Lecturer and Head of Department in 2000, Honorary Consultant in 2001 and Personal Chair in 2004. He is an editor with the Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Group and is an Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Surgery, International Journal of Surgery Case Reports and the Chinese Journal for Clinicians. He is Editor-in-Chief of Oral Surgery. He was awarded the Diplôme D’Honneur in 2006 by Lille University, France, and is Past President of the Dental Anesthesiology Research section of the International Association for Dental Research. Professor Coulthard is an expert advisor for the British National Formulary of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and for NHS Direct. He is Visiting Professor Faculty of Dentistry, International University of Catalonia, Barcelona and Visiting Professor School of Dental Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Dubai. He is a Member of the Licencing Board for Dubai Health Care City.

As a clinical academic Professor Coulthard believes that he has a unique opportunity to improve the quality of patient care because of his own research and ready access to the research of others that can be applied to the management of patients in a controlled and audited way. Development and implementation of the wider issues of clinical governance to ensure the provision of safe standards of patient care are part of his own mission as a clinical academic.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • British Association of Oral Surgeons (Council Member)
  • British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (Fellow)
  • Association of British Academic Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (Committee Member)
  • International Association for Dental Research (Group Past President)
  • Dental Sedation Teachers Group (Committe Member and Past Chairman)
  • Independent Expert Group on Training Standards for Sedation in Dentistry (Committee Member)


BDS (University of Manchester)
MFGDP(UK) (Royal College of Surgeons of England)
MDS (University of Manchester)
FDSRCS (Royal College of Surgeons of England)
FDSRCS(OS) (Royal College of Surgeons Intercollegiate Board)
PhD Neuroscience (University of Manchester)

Research interests

Research interests

Professor Paul Coulthards 'health services research' offers best evidence for improving surgical practice particularly in the areas of postoperative pain and oral implantology but also other areas.

Clinical pain studies developed from systematic reviews have investigated intraoperative local analgesia and postoperative systemic analgesic strategies. These studies are crucial in providing the evidence for changing clinical practice and improving the pain management for patients after surgery. He has been principal investigator for many clinical trials, several investigating the efficacy and safety of novel analgesics. He is particularly interested in how to translate best research evidence into everyday clinical practice and how to overcome the barriers that can prevent this.

He is part of a small team that has written a comprehensive series of Oral Implant Cochrane Systematic Reviews that provides a reliable summary of the global scientific evidence for best practice and the foundation for future implant research. These reviews are continually being restructured and updated.

He instigated and lead a international multi-centre clinical trial demonstrated equivalent healing with a novel octylcyanoacrylate tissue adhesive compared to traditional alternatives such as sutures for the skin closure of long surgical incisions. This has significant implications in changing the 400-year-old clinical practice of wound closure with sutures. With adhesives there is no risk of needlestick injury and there are no sutures to remove for the patient.

Recently Professor Coulthard has created a tool for assessing a patients need for conscious sedation when undergoing dental treatment and oral surgery. This novel Indicator of Sedation Need (IOSN) tool uses ranked and combined information on the patient's anxiety, general health and treatment complexity. It can be used to support clinicians in their decision making and commissioners who need to identify patient need in order to plan and deliver appropriate sedation services.

Professor Coulthard has supervised over forty MSc, Mphil and PhD students and has published over 160 scientific papers. He is Affiliated to the Institute of Population Health in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences.


Funding for my research interests totalling in excess of £2M personal share has come from the following sources:

  • NHS Manchester
  • Medical Research Council Studentship
  • Chiroscience
  • MDS Harris
  • Smithkline Beecham Consumer Healthcare
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Astrazeneca
  • Ethicon, a Johnson and Johnson Company
  • Pfizer
  • Menarini Richerche
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • Medical Research Collaboration Unit, Department of Health, Japan
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institute of Health, USA
  • The Health Foundation


Professor Paul Coulthard is Director of the MSc Programmes in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and also teaches on the MSc Programme in Dental Implantology that he introduced in 2006. He also teaches undergraduate dental students and surgical trainees. He is passionate about evidence-based practice and introducing this concept to students.

The third edition of his textbook Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Radiology, Pathology and Oral Medicine (Master Dentistry Volume 1) was published in May 2013. This has been published for distribution in China and Poland. Professor Coulthard has also co-authored chapters for six other textbooks and has many scientific publications relating to teaching and learning.

Professor Coulthard has been a member of the Higher Education Academy since 2002. He also undertook training in teaching with the Resuscitation Council (UK) and was an Advanced Life Support Instructor for many years. He undertook his teaching practice at HMS Haslar Institute of Naval Medicine. He held the post of Director of Graduate Education and Research in the School of Dentistry for four years during which he introduced seven new graduate taught courses enhancing the school portfolio and increasing flexibility. In particular he introduced three-year Clinical MSc courses that offer clinical training alongside masters study and initiated the development of a distance learning MSc in Aesthetic Dentistry in collaboration with the commercial educational company, Smile-On. He is a member of the University Faculty Fitness to Practice Committee.

Professor Coulthard has held many examinerships over the years at institutions across the UK. He is currently external examiner at Glasgow University and is the Royal College of Surgeons of England nominated member of the Intercollegiate Examination Board in Oral Surgery. He is Past Chairman of the Dental Sedation Teachers Group and was Chair of the Working Group that published 'Conscious Sedation in Dentistry Standards for Postgraduate Education'. He is frequently invited overseas to lead conscious sedation workshops or lecture about evidence-based oral and maxillofacial surgery.

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