Clifford Ballard qualified from the Royal Dental Hospital in 1934. He went on to study medicine at Charing Cross Hospital, qualifying in 1940. In the same year he was appointed as an orthodontist to Middlesex County Council. In 1948 Ballard joined the newly formed Institute of Dental Surgery at the Eastman Dental Hospital as Head of the Orthodontic Department. His time at the Eastman saw him lead great strides in orthodontic care and teaching, with the Eastman course acting as a model for many other dental schools. In 1954 he was awarded the DDO and in 1956 he became the first Professor of Orthodontics.
Ballard’s particular interest was in respiratory function and the effects of orofacial musculature on the etiology of malocclusion. This interest was founded in his work with E. Gwynne Evans, an ENT surgeon at the Upper Respiratory Clinic being run in the St George’s Group hospitals. The new technique of cephalometry aided Ballard in his research in this area. His research demonstrated that skeletal relationships, soft tissue morphology and dental variation could all affect the developing occlusion.
In addition to his clinical work, Ballard was involved in the development of orthodontics as a profession. At the Eastman he organised an annual two-day symposium for orthodontic consultants, providing an opportunity for the discussions of clinical and professional issues. In 1961 he supported John Hovell in forming the Consultant Orthodontists Group (COG). Ballard received many honours, including a WHO Travelling Fellowship and the Colyer Gold Medal. He was President of the BSSO in 1957.