A Cross-Sectional study of confidence in minor surgical skills amongst junior dentists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Dental Hospital
  • Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Dental Hospital
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Charles Clifford Dental Hospital


Introduction: To work in the National Health Service (NHS) as a dentist, the practitioner needs to be on the UK dental ‘performer’s list.’ To apply for access to this list and work as a General Dental Practitioner (GDP), dentists must be qualified from the European Economic Area (EEA) or, those trained in the United Kingdom, must undertake Dental Foundation Training (DFT). Dentists interested in further taught learning or pursuing specialist training must continue working as ‘Dental Core Trainees’ (DCTs). Most of these jobs are available in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Units (OMFS), and require dentists to undertake unsupervised surgical procedures.It is currently estimated that over 400 ‘junior dentists’ undertake DCT a year. It is the aim of this study to ascertain if confidence in simple surgical procedures improves when compared to GDPs of similar experience.
Methods: 102 junior dentists, 34 DFTs, 20 DCT1s, 21 DCT2s and 27 second & third year post DFT GDPs all working across the Midlands, UK, had Likert scale responses about confidence in 14 minor surgical skills assessed. Results were analysed to ascertain if gender, year group and number of extractions had any effect on confidence.
Conclusions: We conclude that confidence in minor surgical procedures improves significantly when undertaking DCT OMFS posts, with the most significant improvement in confidence occurring within the first 6 months. DCTs become significantly more confident in their surgical ability within the first six months when compared to GDPs with longer post-graduate experience.


Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2018


  • confidence, surgery, Junior dentist