The latest edition of the Primary Dental Journal, the Dental trauma issue, is now live online featuring a wide range of topics relating to aspects of general dental practice and the primary care team.

New PDJ online: Dental trauma

The newest edition of the Primary Dental Journal, the Dental trauma issue (vol.12, no.4), is now live online.

This latest issue is guest edited by an expert in the field of Dental trauma, Beth Burns. Beth is a Consultant & Clinical Lead in Restorative Dentistry at Glasgow Dental Hospital, as well as a Board Member of Dental Trauma UK (DTUK).

In this issue, Beth has selected a range of key topics for the whole team of dental professionals, including a review of the International Association for Dental Traumatology (IADT) 2020 guidelines, how to prepare for success in dealing with dental trauma, and advice on how to prevent or minimise dental trauma. A full list of papers can be found below.

While dental trauma is most common in paediatric patients, this issue also looks at the management of adult trauma patients – both of which bring their own challenges to overcome. As an unscheduled and urgent aspect of dentistry, dental trauma usually presents a level of stress to both the patient and also the dental team. This issue of the journal offers ways to alleviate these stresses in primary dental care, through knowledge and practical advice on the assessment and management of a range of traumatic dental events.

Beth Burns summarises:

“This issue aims to provide not just a review of the most up-to-date guidance, but also a demonstration of practical application, with an abundance of clinical cases discussed, and all injury diagnoses covered.

“In planning the contents of this journal, I have aimed to provide dental professionals with a comprehensive source of current information in an easily accessible format. I am immensely proud of the quality of articles all the authors have contributed to this issue, and I hope you will find them an extremely useful resource you can refer to time and time again.”

Overseeing the papers alongside Beth, Editor-in-Chief, Professor Igor Blum says this issue will serve as a guide for general dental practice:

“Beth and the contributing authors have excelled in achieving our joint vision to reduce anxiety for the general dental practice team by providing relevant and useful information alongside guidelines to assist in manging patients who have sustained traumatic dental injuries. I am certain readers will find the collection of articles in this issue of interest and will be able to glean useful tips for the next time you will be presented with a patient suffering from acute dental trauma.”

Full access to the majority of articles is reserved for College of General Dentistry members and Primary Dental Journal subscribers. For non-members / non-subscribers, individual print issues are available to purchase from £42. An annual print subscription, normally costing £125, is included with membership of the College. Membership is available from £125 for dentists, from £83 for other dental professionals, and from £42 for Dental Nurses and those eligible for a concession and also includes online access to the PDJ Archive of over 1,300 articles, and a range of other benefits.

CGDent members and PDJ subscribers should expect their printed copies to arrive in the next 2–3 weeks.

On behalf of the College, the PDJ editorial team would like to express its gratitude to all the authors and peer reviewers who have contributed to the publication of this issue.

CGDent members can view full articles by logging in via the yellow button below, then clicking ‘Access the PDJ Archive’:

At least one paper in each issue is made available online free of charge on an Open Access basis. Non-members can view all other full articles using the purchase options presented when clicking the individual article links below, or can use the links above to purchase a complete issue or an annual subscription, or become a member.

PDJ Winter 2023 Dental trauma issue contents:

The next issue of the journal will feature a wide range of General dentistry papers, and is due out in Spring 2024.

Support World AMR Awareness Week 2023

Understanding antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the drivers for its development will help healthcare professionals work together to reduce its emergence and spread. It is well documented that the more we use antimicrobial agents, the more drug resistance will develop. Fourteen national dental organisations have come together to support the World AMR Awareness Week theme, “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together”.

If no action is taken, AMR infections are predicted to lead to 10 million deaths annually by 2050; a number higher than the total caused by COVID-19 during the pandemic period. Therefore, dental professionals have worked together to update the online dental antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) toolkit with resources for dental teams, students and patients as well as wider healthcare professionals.1 The range of educational resources included a new website for students and educators providing links to various online training courses.2  

Our profession already focuses on the prevention of oral diseases to reduce the incidence of severe infections that necessitate the use of antimicrobial agents. Adhering to the best practice recommendations aimed at preventing infections, in addition to stewarding the use of antimicrobial agents, is very important. Accordingly, “Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention3” is included in the updated AMS toolkit1. It is also acknowledged that system-level changes are required to facilitate the provision of best practice. Furthermore, we need to look to the future and ensure appropriate disposal of antimicrobials to reduce environmental contamination.  Guidance on the appropriate disposal of waste in healthcare settings including dentistry is available in HTM07-01 and SHTN3.4

We encourage you to make the most out of these resources to ensure you and your team are working together to help keep your patients safe by tackling the problem of AMR:

  1. Dental Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit* is available via
  2. Keep Antimicrobial Working (KAW) education resource for students and educator are available at
  3. Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention is available via
  4. Safe and sustainable management of healthcare waste is available via and for Scotland, the Scottish Health Technical Note 3 (SHTN 3) in
  5. Dental Antimicrobial Stewardship in Scotland is available via SAPG Dental statement  recommending phenoxymethylpenicillin as first line when antibiotics are required for acute dento-alveolar infections available via

This statement is developed and supported by the Association of Clinical Oral Microbiologists, College of General Dentistry, Association of Dental Hospitals, British Association of Oral Surgeons, British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry, British Dental Association, British and Irish Society of Oral Medicine, British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Faculty of Dentistry of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group and Health Education and Improvement Wales.

*Recent updates to the Dental Antimicrobial Stewardship Toolkit are in the process of being made online. If signposted to the former FGDP, users should instead visit

10 Top tips for starting your clinical placement

Fifth year BDS student at the University of Plymouth, Sona Dave, passes on her advice for a successful clinical placement.

The transition from non-clinical to clinical in Dentistry is a huge step-up, regardless of where you attend University. I have written this brief but jam-packed guide as I wish someone had given me tips before I started clinic/placement.

Starting to treat patients is a massive step-up from practicing on phantom heads and learning theory. Getting ready to start placement may seem overwhelming initially but remember to take the days as they come and to see each clinical session as a new opportunity to learn and grow.

I hope these tips can help you dive into your clinical career at university. Good luck!

  1. Look after yourself
    This is the best tip I have for any dental student.  Clinical days are very rewarding however they are also taxing mentally. In order to look after patients, you need to look after yourself.

    So, make sure that you are eating three healthy meals a day if possible, getting regular movement through physical exercise and practicing good sleep hygiene to ensure you are able to show up to placement as your most rested self. Some people find habit trackers helpful and others don’t, find out what works best for you and keep trying your best!
  1. Get on top of your time management
    Time management within Dentistry is key to ensuring a healthy work-life balance. Focusing on your degree is important for your future but you also need to prioritize your wellbeing and hobbies to ensure you don’t get burnout. Finding a balance will undeniably be an ongoing process with ebbs and flows so try to pace yourself through it. On way you could achieve this is by having a weekly diary with your top clinical / academic prioritises listed as well as a couple of fun activities to look forward to.
  1. Learn how to treatment plan correctly
    Treatment planning lies at the heart of everything we do. Ensure you follow a clear structure to your treatment planning and consent your patients properly by explaining the risks, benefits and alternatives to procedures.

    Evidence-based national guidance should inform and support your treatment plans.
  1. Get familiar with national guidelines
    This goes hand-in-hand with the above tip. Your life on placement and in dentistry in general, centres around evidence and guidance that helps us make informed clinical decisions.

    Popular national guidance includes but is not limited to:

    – College of General Dentistry (CGDent) – standards and guidance
    – – Delivering Better Oral Health
    – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – Clinical Knowledge Summaries
    – NHS England – HTM-01-05 – Decontamination in primary care dental practices
    – Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SECEP) – Guidance

    Tip – if you become a member of CGDent, you can download their standards and guidance to your device so they’re always on hand when you need them. You can join as a Student Affiliate for free or a Student Member for £11
  1. Make a reference guide for placement
    Doing this will make your life so much easier on your clinical days. A resource could be something like a Word Document, OneNote, notebook with handwritten notes or a file with printouts. It may be worthwhile to include guides for procedures you have learnt so far at university. They will act as a useful reference if you find yourself attempting a new procedure in clinic.
  1. Make clinical templates
    Making templates that you can transfer over to your dental notes system for things such as new patient exams, recalls, extractions and fillings will save you a lot of time during your day. It increases your efficiency during appointments making sure you don’t feel rushed.
  1. Keep track of the procedures you do and reflect on them
    Despite sometimes feeling like an arduous task, reflection is perhaps one of the most useful tools we have in Dentistry. It gives us the benefit of hindsight to improve our clinical practice. I would recommend attempting to record the procedures you are able to complete on placement and give a brief description of how the procedure went and a short reflection. This could be at the end of the day where you have a spare few minutes. In the long run, it will help you become the best clinician you can be.
  1. Make good use of your free time on placement
    If you happen to have a patient cancellation, do not just leave to go home. I know it may seem tempting and very easy to do but in the long run it is better if you try to use this time wisely. You could fill this time in by practising on one of your phantom heads if possible, or alternatively you could pick the brains of your supervisors and ask them about one of your interesting cases or if they have any tips.
  1. Start learning the importance of clinical photographs
    Clinical photographs are immensely useful in our careers. Whether it’s to show patients before and after pictures, to keep a record of your own portfolio or to send off intra-oral pictures for referrals, they are paramount to our everyday practice.

    Taking good pictures is a skill that is built upon over time. However, the earlier you start the better you will be by the time you graduate. It’s always worthwhile asking your supervisors on any tips and tricks they may have to capture the best shots of your clinical work. Read the blog ‘Why taking photos is an essential skill in dentistry’ for some useful advice.
  1. Dental school is a journey
    Understand that your time at university is a journey and not a competition. Your job as a student is to do better than you did yesterday. It is easy to get swept up in the motions and start comparing yourself to others, but this is not productive nor helpful to you or others. So, remember to do your best, be kind and try to help your fellow students where you can.

Author bio

I am in Year 5 of the BDS at the University of Plymouth. My particular areas of interest in dentistry are oral surgery, dental public health and special care dentistry. When I’m not studying, I practice yoga and like reading and running.

College partnership with BDCDS24

At the 2024 edition of the British Dental Conference & Dentistry Show (BDCDS24), the College will once again be the headline education partner for the Enhanced CPD Theatre.

The annual conference, which will take place at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May, is the UK’s largest dental event, bringing together the whole dental team with 9,000 dental professionals gathering under one roof.

Free to attend for all registered dental professionals, attendees can expect over 200 lectures across 11 CPD theatres in total, as well as the opportunity to meet over 400 exhibiting suppliers. Details of the College’s lectures will be announced in due course.

The College will also be hosting a stand throughout the conference where staff and senior members will be available to answer any queries you may have about the College and membership, or just to say hello.

Further details about BDCDS24 are available on the conference website.

Use the link below to pre-register your interest and be the first to hear once delegate registration is live.

Promoting healthy oral health behaviours at every opportunity by all

Dental Therapist Sarah Murray MBE, Associate Member, Board member of the College’s Faculty of Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy, and Senior Lecturer in Dental Public Health at Queen Mary University of London, discusses the role of dental practices in delivering preventative oral care advice.

As dental professionals, we are all aware of the challenges individuals are currently experiencing in accessing dental services. We are also very aware that tooth decay has a significant impact on children, their families and the wider society, with children experiencing pain, infections and difficulty in eating, the need to take time out of school to attend dental appointments, parents taking time off work to bring their children to the dental practices, and the high costs of general anaesthetic for extractions when preventive measures have not been adopted or failed. The latest guidance from Public Health England (2017) Health Matters: Child Dental Health, identified a staggering £7.8 million was spent on tooth extractions in 2015 to 2016 amongst children under the age of five, with the majority being a result of tooth decay.

As dental professionals we need to review whether we are utilising every opportunity to promote healthy oral health behaviours from early in a child’s life and through an individual’s life course, and it is the responsibility of all members of the dental team to provide this support. Utilising extended duties dental nurses who are appropriately trained and competent in oral health education and the application of fluoride varnish, dental hygienists, dental therapists and orthodontic therapists, in addition to dentists, is fundamental to this.  

We have all experienced that getting our patients to change their unhealthy behaviours is a challenge, so we should be promoting this at every appointment and see it as a long-term commitment from the dental team. The advice we provide needs to be tailored and individualised, and to regularly reinforce key messages in line with contemporary evidence.

Foundation Dentists’ experiences

A recent article by Rutter et al (2023) made me consider whether we need to review what messages we are providing to our patients and how we are delivering these. The authors explored the challenges that newly qualified dentists experienced in delivering oral health advice to parents and caregivers of young children in the Yorkshire and Humber region; one of the five themes was around motivation for behaviour change and this linked well to another theme around parental receptivity to the messages being provided.

The study identified two aspects to motivation: the parents’ motivation to change, and the practitioners’ motivation to engage in a behaviour change conversation. As many experienced  clinicians will have found, there are no surprises to the findings: the Foundation Dentists discovered that in general, parents did not return diet diaries and, if they were returned, there were questions about whether they were accurate. The lack of embracing positive oral health behaviours by patients created despondency in the practitioners; this is a sad outcome considering how Foundation Dentists are at the start of their career journeys and experiences such as these could hinder them in promoting behaviour change through the rest of their careers.  

Supporting patients to take the next step

We remind ourselves that changing behaviour is part of a cycle; every time we promote healthy habits we are enabling patients to think about making a change (precontemplation and contemplation), and one day, they inform you that they are planning on making that change and have set a date for the change (planning for change) – how wonderful is that! We should be there to support them when they are ready to make that change (action) and guide them if, and when, they relapse.

Reviewing our practices

So, what are dental practices or clinics actively doing to encourage positive oral health behaviours particularly in children? These could include:

  • embracing Dental Check by One in our clinics, by using the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry posters as a promotion tool; this could encourage parents to book an appointment and begin considering healthy habits for their babies which may result in a change for their other children and themselves. BSPD has other useful resources on its website so is worth checking out further
  • utilising extended duty dental nurses to provide health promotion in dental practices, and in outreach, such as schools and the community
  • ensuring children have a toothbrush and are using the correct toothpaste for their needs, and reinforcing the ‘spit, don’t rinse’ message
  • considering undertaking clinical audits of patient records to establish whether the advice being provided is highlighting any gaps; look to see if the messaging is clear and consistent and explore ways this can be improved 
  • reviewing the literature to ensure our skill set is maximised and for us to be open to making change and sharing new information with the whole of the dental team

How we work with the population who are experiencing common oral diseases and difficulties with access, and how we move to a future population free from dental caries, and other preventable oral diseases, is certainly food for thought.

References used in the compilation of this blog:

British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (2017). Dental Check By One. (2017). Available at

Public Health England (2017) Health Matters: Child Dental Health. London: Department of Health Publications. Available at

Rutter L, Duara R, Vinall-Collier KA, Owen J, Haley I, Gray-Burrows KA, Hearnshaw S, Marshman Z and Day PF (2023). Experiences of newly qualified dentists in delivering oral health advice to parents/caregivers of young children —challenges and solutions. Front. Oral. Health 4. Available at

Join us for a webinar, in partnership with Haleon, to discover how we’re working together to enhance oral healthcare across the UK and to discuss the findings of our upcoming ‘Dental Health Barometer’ campaign. Join us on Thursday 30 November at 2pm (GMT) – more information and register.

Can you help us in the next phase of our research? We would like to hear from practices around the UK who are interested in hosting an evening focus group to explore preventative oral care advice given within practice – find out more.

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Recognition of non-UK postgraduate qualifications

A new process has been announced for the consideration of postgraduate qualifications awarded outside the UK in helping determine eligibility for Full Membership, Associate Fellowship and Fellowship of the College.

Map highlighting member states of the European Higher Education Area

To date, equivalence for qualifications awarded outside the UK has been determined on a case-by-case basis, with the requirements of each award submitted in support of applications examined individually. However, with an increasing number of applications from dental professionals around the world, a more straightforward and transparent process has now been developed.

In line with the principles of the Lisbon Recognition Convention and Bologna Process, relevant postgraduate awards from recognised Higher Education institutions in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) will now be accepted by default.

However, those submitting postgraduate qualifications awarded by an institution outside of the EHEA will be asked to provide a Statement of Comparability, which can be obtained from the UK National Information Centre for the recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills (UK ENIC, formerly UK NARIC) for a small fee.

The EHEA sits apart from the European Union but includes all current EU member states as well as Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Russia, Serbia, San Marino, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK, almost 50 countries in all.

College membership marks a dental professional’s commitment to professional development and career progression, and the College accepts all qualified and licensed dental professionals around the world into Associate Membership.

Postgraduate qualifications are required to enter into substantive membership grades, and the College encourages members to upgrade their membership where eligible to reflect their professional standing.

Unless they hold the MJDF, MFDS, MFGDP(UK) or DGDP, applicants for Full Membership require a relevant and accredited Level 7[1] Postgraduate Certificate providing 60 UK credits or an international equivalent[2].

Holders of the MGDS, DPDS, a Specialty Membership of a UK Faculty or one of certain CGDent/FGDP(UK)/RCS Edinburgh-issued diplomas are automatically eligible for Associate Fellowship, however applicants otherwise require a relevant and accredited Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma providing 120 UK credits, or a Master’s-level qualification providing 180 credits, or a Doctorate.

Most suitable and relevant Postgraduate Diplomas, Master’s degrees and Doctorates are also likely to satisfy one or more of the domains of the ‘by experience’ route to Fellowship, and one or two specific Postgraduate Certificates also contribute.

However, anyone holding the FFGDP(UK), FDS, FFD, FRACDS, FRCDC, FCD(SA), Board Certification from the American Board of General Dentistry, or who holds FCGDent(Hon.) or FFGDP(UK)(Hon.) and meets the standard requirements for admission, is automatically eligible for Fellowship by means of equivalence and need not apply by the ‘experience’ route.

Members who practise wholly overseas and are not registered with the UK’s General Dental Council pay a concessionary membership fee.

Full details of eligibility for each type of membership are available here. To upgrade, click the button below to select the membership you wish to apply for and to provide evidence of your relevant qualifications and experience.

[1] Level 7 as defined in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, equivalent to Level 11 in Scotland

[2] 60 UK credits is the equivalent to 30 ECTS or 15 US credits

Supporting patients with oral healthcare advice – can you help?

CGDent is working with Haleon (formerly GSK), to explore the opportunities for enhancing oral healthcare advice through dental practices, and supporting those members of the team on the front line for advising patients and your communities.

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We are inviting interest from practices and teams around the UK that might be interested in hosting a focus group for an evening, early in 2024. It’s a great chance to spotlight the valuable work of team members and for them to contribute to a national project.

We aim for our focus groups to comprise 6-9 people, drawn from the host practice and others in your local area, that you might like to invite.

Sessions are expected to run in the evening for 1.5-2 hours, facilitated by our team. We only require a comfortable space for ten people, in a relaxed setting such as a reception room. We will bring the biscuits!

If you would like to contribute, please get in touch at [email protected] by Friday 17 November 2023. We cannot promise to take up every opportunity, but look forward to joining practices up and down the UK in developing this project.

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The College and Haleon are hosting a live webinar on Tuesday 30 November at 2pm (GMT) where we will share insights from our recent study on preventative oral care and provide information about the full research programme – register your place.

Leading for change: sustainability review published

The College has published Sustainability in dentistry: Leading for change, a scoping review to inform and engage the dental profession, industry, and wider oral health and dental care infrastructure on the environmental sustainability of practicing dentistry.

With the sub-title Environmentally sustainable dentistry to address the climate crisis, the review is organised thematically to provide an in-depth exploration of a wide range of factors such as legislation, health service emissions targets, prescribing, procurement, education and regulation, and makes recommendations for change that can be undertaken by each part of the system. It also presents case studies of exemplar efforts made to address the environmental impact of dental care and oral health services, and includes suggestions for further reading.

The review was written by a team of eight Clinical Fellows working at national dental organisations as part of the Chief Dental Officer for England’s Clinical Leadership Scheme, with input from expert contributors from academia, dental practice and government organisations.

Produced with the support of the Office of the Chief Dental Officer for England and the College of General Dentistry, it aims to inspire positive change by all those involved in the provision of oral healthcare related products, services and policy.

On behalf of the authors, Amarantha Fennell-Wells, Senior Clinical Policy Manager at the Office of the Chief Dental Officer England, said:

“Dental care creates a significant carbon footprint, and we owe it to current and future generations to contribute to emissions reduction by making our dental practice as environmentally sustainable as possible. Each practice and all staff can play their part in delivering sustainability in dentistry, and our review synthesises information which we hope will be educational and inspiring of collaboration to achieve a more sustainable future for the profession and dental patients.”

The document is freely available to download via a new College webpage which signposts a selection of free e-learning resources, guidelines and other tools which dental practitioners and practices can use to understand and reduce their environmental impact.

Working with your clinical partner

Both in the fourth year of the BDS at the University of Plymouth, Dilan Patel and Alan Al-Zahawi share their advice on effective teamwork during clinics.

A guide to effective teamwork in clinics

What is the importance of working as an effective team?

The importance of effective teamwork is not limited to qualified dental practitioners. As students it is important to remember that we have a duty of care towards our patients and without an effective team, we may jeopardise the quality of treatment that we provide. Successful teamwork enhances patient care, safety, satisfaction, promotes efficiency, and allows dentists to provide comprehensive services while adhering to professional standards and regulations.

Steps to take in clinic to ensure effective teamwork

  1. Plan. At the beginning of the day, have a 5 minute brief with your partner outlining the day ahead. This will give you a good opportunity to plan for each appointment, prepare your station, and familiarise yourself with each other’s patients. This will greatly aid your time management and therefore ensure a more efficient use of the limited time you have with your patients.
  1. Mistakes get made. Your partner may be late, may forget certain instruments or be a bit slow with assisting during the appointment, but you must remember that they are not a trained nurse and are learning at the same time as you. By setting unrealistic expectations you will hinder the efficacy of your team. Both you and your partner must take ownership of your mistakes, learn from them and support each other to ensure they do not happen again.
  1. Maintain confidence. Your partner may be struggling or having difficulties with the treatment they are providing for the patient. It is imperative that you do not undermine them or say something that could affect the patient’s confidence in their abilities. If you feel like there is something important they have missed, then it would be better to have the discussion in a discrete manner or in private.
  1. Be encouraging. At dental school we are often faced with procedures that are new to us which can sometimes be nerve-wracking. Encouraging your partner and keeping their morale high can be of great help in boosting their confidence and keeping a positive mindset going in to the appointment. A confident and motivated clinical partner is more likely to provide high-quality patient care. This, in turn, leads to increased patient satisfaction and engagement.
  1. Reflect. At the end of the day it can be extremely valuable to have a debrief regarding the positives and negatives of the day. This is a good time to reflect on what went well and what can be improved upon in the future. Reflection is a powerful tool which when done regularly can help you develop your skills, improve your patient care and maintain a high standard of practice. This is achieved through identifying weaknesses and setting SMART goals.


The steps outlined above are not exclusive to dental school. They are transferrable to practice and even to every day life. Dentistry is an ever-changing field of study which inevitably comes with its many challenges. Effective teamwork guided by the principles of planning, support, confidence, encouragement and reflection, can be pivotal in ensuring the well-being of our patients and our success as current students and future dental practitioners.

Author bio

Dilan Patel

“I am currently in my fourth year at Peninsula Dental School. Since we began seeing patients in our first year I have had the opportunity to see a variety of cases and learnt a great deal throughout this time. I thoroughly enjoy seeing the patient satisfaction that can be achieved through treatment and have developed a great interest in Oral Surgery and Regenerative Dentistry which I would like to pursue in the future.

“Outside of dental school I spend my time travelling, playing golf and playing the saxophone which helps me find a balance between university and my own time.”

Alan Al-Zahawi

“I am currently in my fourth year at Peninsula Dental School based in Plymouth and the southwest region. In fourth year, we all live in Truro (the only city in Cornwall), where we see patients three times a week at a dental educational facility based at The Royal Cornwall Hospital. I have really enjoyed the increase in clinical time this year, especially the higher volume of prosthodontic work we are carrying out.

“My hobbies outside of dental school include exploring the beaches around Cornwall and playing golf if the weather permits.”

Making the move into private practice

Dr Pouya Zohrabpour, GDP and co-creator of the Two Dentists YouTube Channel, describes his journey towards becoming a fully private associate dentist, and the support he has received from the College’s Certified Membership Scheme.

Many young dentists struggle with imposter syndrome, often hesitant to engage in private dental practice or transition to a fully private setting. I graduated in 2020 and have recently embarked on the journey to become a fully private associate dentist. The experiences I’ve gathered over the past few years have been instrumental in easing this transition, helping me overcome imposter syndrome, and instilling confidence in the quality of dental care I provide.

Shortly after graduating, my colleague and friend, Dr. Ali Gowie, and I made the decision to launch a YouTube channel named “Two Dentists.” This initiative was born out of our shared frustration during the lockdown, as we grew tired of lengthy hour-long webinars. Our mission was simple: to create informative, polished, and easily digestible educational videos within the field of dentistry. We aimed to make these videos accessible to both dental newcomers and students.

Initially, our content focused on the intricacies of the new patient examination process, quickly gaining popularity on our channel. We covered a range of topics, from guiding dental students through their first patient interactions to providing insights on dental history collection, conducting comprehensive dental examinations, mastering all the essential diagnoses, utilizing radiology effectively, and excelling in treatment planning.

As time progressed, our content portfolio expanded to include diverse video series, such as our comprehensive exploration of dental photography and Loupes, which resonated strongly with our audience. Running our YouTube channel has opened doors for valuable collaborations with fellow dental professionals, nurturing our ongoing journey of learning and personal development. The channel has provided me with constant motivation to seek further knowledge, which I can then share through our videos.

During my foundation training year, I faced a pivotal decision regarding whether to pursue Dental Core Training (DCT). This choice weighed heavily on my mind as I sought advice from friends and colleagues. However, the diversity of opinions and my own uncertainty about the ideal career path left me in a state of indecision. Ultimately, I chose the associate route to focus on improving my general dentistry skills.

I’m certain that many others have found themselves in a similar situation, which is precisely where the new CGDent Certified Membership Scheme and Career Pathways can make a significant difference. As a young dentist, having a clearly defined career pathway, carefully mapped out by a professional body, offers me a sense of assurance that I’m on the right trajectory to expand my knowledge and evolve into a more proficient practitioner. Knowing that my progress will be acknowledged by the College and that I can work my way towards becoming an accomplished practitioner is incredibly motivating.

The Career Pathway provides a structured ladder to guide one’s professional growth, with clear steps leading to the achievement of the “accomplished practitioner” status. Currently classified as a “capable practitioner” “within the program, I am actively working towards the next milestone of becoming an “experienced practitioner”. One of the requirements for this advancement is completing a postgraduate diploma. To meet this requirement, I have enrolled in a PGDip program in Aesthetic & Restorative Dentistry offered by the Advanced Centre of Excellence (ACE). This further education has significantly boosted my confidence in treating a diverse range of patients, particularly in the private dental sector.

The Career Pathway is underpinned by the College’s Professional Framework, which delineates five domains encompassing 22 capabilities expected of dental professionals. My discussions with my assigned Facilitator while navigating these domains have been enlightening. They have encouraged me to pursue self-development not only in technical skills but also in the soft skills integral to dentistry. For instance, I’ve focused on honing my technical knowledge through courses in my PGDip program and ensuring I apply this knowledge in practice. Emphasizing the reflective domain, especially behaviours and well-being capabilities, has motivated me to foster a friendly, supportive, and collaborative environment among my colleagues at the dental practice. I firmly believe that without the framework and pathway in place, many of these actions may not have occurred or could have been delayed. The YouTube channel, Career Pathway, and Professional Framework have all played pivotal roles in shaping my career, enabling me to evolve and find fulfilment in dentistry.

As I near completion of my PGDip, I’m keen to identify the dental procedures that resonate with me most and potentially niche down in those treatments. To me, a successful dental career entails working in a capacity that allows you to practice the dentistry you enjoy, on a schedule that suits your preferences. This journey is neither swift nor easy; it demands patience and thoughtful planning. However, with the right guidance and strategy in place, it can become a more seamless and rewarding experience.

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