Ross Keat, Rui Albuquerque, Kirsty Hill

Introduction + Aims

The Committee of Postgraduate Dental Deans and Directors (COPDEND) estimate that over 50% of dental graduates will undertake at least one year of dental core training, with a majority of these posts in OMFS units. The new COPDEND curriculum requires DCTs to ‘work within their level of competence.’ Therefore, to confirm the benefit of these posts, it is important to ascertain any perceived improvement in oral and dento-alevolar surgical competence from working as an OMFS DCT. Further benefit from such jobs can be inferred if there is an increased surgical confidence amongst dentists who have undertaken OMFS DCT, compared to those who have worked exclusively in dental practice post-graduation.


An email survey was sent out to junior dentists (Dental Foundation Trainees, OMFS DCTs Year 1&2 and GDPs) across the Midlands. The survey contained 14 questions regarding oral and dento-alveolar surgery confidence. Likert scale responses were obtained; 1 being completely unconfident to attempt, 5 being fully confident to perform unassisted.


Each respondent receives a confidence score out of 70 for 14 responses. To ascertain differences in overall surgical confidence across different grades, we can compare the mean for each group: DCT2 - 65.45 DCT1 - 62.95 DF1 - 54.95 GDP - 58.60


A statistically significant increase in surgical confidence occurs when junior dentists undertake an OMFS DCT rotation, showing these posts have clear merit. Facilitating surgical growth may be influential in attracting DCTs to an OMFS career, alongside reducing unnecessary referrals from dentists to secondary care centres.


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