Edge browser users:
To download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files please right-click on the file you wish to download, and select 'Save link as...'

Don't ever stop learning: developing your dental career

Blog Author Amaar Hassan

Blog Date 22/05/2018


Image: Me with a young dentist at the event, giving some advice on that all-important portfolio


Are you looking to learn and continually improve your clinical effectiveness? It’s a question to which most young dentists would say yes. That’s why the BDA recently organised an event to support younger dentists in practice today, and I took part, along with other Young Dentist Committee members. 

As part of a new style of events aimed at younger dentists, the day attracted a mixed audience of foundation dentists and those at later stages of their careers, looking to develop their skills and knowledge and just to touch base with other dentists. 

The all-star line up

Richard Gibbs started off the list of speakers with his enthusiastic ideas and approaches to aesthetic dentistry, highlighting the need for effective treatment planning for complex patients. He patiently answered questions from young dentists in the audience and advised one about how you to discuss costs to patients, giving some handy tips.

Matthew Hill discussed recent developments for the GDC. Although any kind of mention of the GDC usually fills young dentists with dread, it was encouraging to hear some of the things the GDC are now trying to do to make regulation less stressful for the younger dentist, and to see that they are willing to listen to the views of younger members of the profession. 

Nikil Sisodia gave a great presentation on implant cases from difficult patients who had been turned away from other dentists, due to complicated medical history or lack of bone support. He argued that if patients are aware of the risks and consequences of smoking with implants then they could be allowed treatment, and “George Best was not denied treatment because he continued to drink alcohol.” There were also some interesting cases on zygomatic implant placement, which is performed when there is not enough bone to support implants in the maxilla

Shannon Patel highlighted the importance of using bleach and dam for successful endodontics. The benefits to using imaging and cone beam CT, to help diagnosis and failed RCT was demonstrated using case-based discussions from his own patients. It was useful to see examples where things didn’t go according to plan, or the cause of pain was not clear, and the use of imaging helped to identify a cause. 

My highlight from the day



Image: Nicola West giving a lecture on perio at the event
Nicola West on perio. I thought Nicola gave a fantastic talk on periodontology, particularly tooth furcation plasty; a surgical procedure involving debridement of the furcation, apical repositioned flap on the buccal aspect and a gingivectomy on the lingual. It is then checked with a brush to make sure it is cleansable for the patient after. 

This procedure was relatable to practice and something that could possibly be done by a general dental practitioner. Nicola also discussed the new definitions due to be released for periodontitis.

Careers advice and support

During the breaks, members of the Young Dentist Committee (YDC) offered careers advice and support to other young dentists. 

Many raised the issue of stress and the shock of going into practice after dental school – events like these are so important for people to share their fears and concerns, and to realise they aren’t alone and there is support out there.

The day was rounded off with an interactive session, with a panel and case-based discussion. It would be great to also add a practical element in the future and I can see this event progressing next year. 

I think overall this was a very worthwhile, and hopefully, useful day. Although targeted to younger dentists, I think this type of event it is relevant for anyone who’s looking at changing careers or just wants to see some friendly faces.
Dentistry can be isolating, so it’s really important to reach out from time to time. 

Amaar Hassan, member
Young Dentist Committee

Share your experiences

The BDA's Young Dentists Committee is offering you a chance to discuss your views and share your experience. If you'd like to write an article for our next e-newsletter, please email us.

We'd also love to hear your thoughts on our blogs: please give feedback by tweeting @TheBDA, using the hashtag #youngdentists