Dr Tom Willan, General Dental Practitioner in Yorkshire, describes the career journey that led him to specialise in restorative dentistry.
I qualified from Leeds university in 2011 and began working in general practice in West Yorkshire. The variety and flexibility of life as a GDP appealed to me and after my Longitudinal Dental Foundation Training years; where I had posts in orthodontic practice, community Dental Care and general practice I began working life as an associate.
After working in a busy NHS practice in Leeds I moved to my current practice, Horbury Dental Care, in a small town outside of Wakefield. Horbury Dental Care is a large practice with 10 surgeries and a referral centre for implant dentistry, restorative dentistry, treatment under sedation and periodontics. Shortly after working here I felt it was the right stage in my career to consider undertaking further postgraduate to improve my skills and further my career.
I am glad that I was patient; waiting 5 years before undertaking further postgraduate training; as I felt that gave me real life experience as core foundation for me to build my knowledge from. I researched the numerous post graduate courses on offer and chose the FGDP Diploma in Restorative Dentistry. The course had been thoroughly recommended by colleagues and I felt offered a fantastic blend of academic, clinical and hands on experience.
The course consisted of 14 modules where small group teaching, lectures, hands on teaching and assignments developed my knowledge in all aspects of day to day restorative dentistry. Periodontics, Endodontics, Composite Bonding, Crown and Bridgework, the restorative aspects of implant dentist and prosthodontics were all covered.
I found the course thoroughly enjoyable and I feel I have gained confidence and developed as a practitioner as a direct result. I found the course days enjoyable and developed a strong bond with my cohort. I surprised even myself with how I enjoyed the written assignments as they were all on relevant topics and helped contribute to my clinical work.
The course was assessed by the assignments and also clinical casework. I submitted 8 case reports and 20 mini case reports on clinical cases from my practice over the 2 years. These were challenging but again developed my confidence as they were constructively analysed by my course tutor, who was approachable and very generous with his time to support my learning when needed.
I was pleased to find out in December 2018 that the hard work had paid off and I had passed my final case assessments and I have now been awarded the FGDP(UK) Diploma in Restorative Dentistry. I would whole heartedly recommend the restorative diploma to any GDP looking to improve their clinical skills, knowledge and confidence.
I qualified from Leeds university in 2011 and have worked in general practice in Yorkshire since then. I currently work at Horbury Dental Care, a large practice near Wakefield which is a referral centre for implant dentistry, restorative dentistry, treatment under sedation and periodontics. I recently decided to specialise in restorative dentistry and after two years of study have now been awarded the FGDP(UK) Postgraduate Diploma in Restorative Dentistry.
Dr Tom Willan
This student advice blog was originally published by FGDP(UK) in June 2019 and has been republished by the College of General Dentistry with the author’s permission.