The Apprentice Dentist

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21 Jul 2016

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Dentsply Sirona today launch the annual dental skills competition.  Run by the College’s Faculty of Dental Surgery it is now in its third year and aims to discover the most talented and skilled undergraduate dentist in the UK.

The ground-breaking competition sees final year dental students from across the UK demonstrate their talents and skills in a series of challenges. The competition begins with 16 rounds, one at each UK dental school, during which the students are asked to undertake a complex dental task, with the winner of each heat announced on the night.

"The dental skills competition really captures the students' enthusiasm and drive and challenges them on a range of key clinical skills; competing against the best students in the country is a significant challenge" said Mr Brian Nattress a member of Dental Council at the College and a Consultant Restorative Dentist in Leeds.

The competition will culminate in the Grand Final in Edinburgh on 30th March 2017 at which the top 16 finalists from across the UK will undertake a broad range of clinical procedures before determining who will be crowned the overall winner at the competition’s Grand Final Awards Dinner with prizes from RCSEd and Dentsply Sirona.

"Following last year’s successful Dental Skills Competition, we are honoured and delighted to continue our partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to celebrate the talented dental clinicians of tomorrow," said Gerry Campbell, VP & General Manager UK, Dentsply Sirona, "Through our continued commitment to providing innovative solutions for better, faster, safer dentistry and our expansive education programme, it is our desire and privilege to support dental professionals throughout their career. This competition promises to bring the very best out of senior students and we are very excited to be a part of such a prestigious event.

Hannah Crane, now a 26-your-old qualified dentist working as a Dental Core Trainee at the Dental Hospital in Manchester and the winner of the first ever competition said: 

"The whole competition was a fantastic experience which I would recommend to all of my colleagues.  It was a great opportunity to develop my skills, for networking, to experience the facilities and services that the Royal College offers and to be able to attend an excellent dental conference in Chicago.  The impact on my career has been extremely positive."

As well as prizes being awarded to the winner and runner-up, all participants of the competition will receive a certificate of participation, as well as two  year’s affiliation to the RCSEd’s Pre-Membership Dental Affiliate Network.

"One of the major aims of the Dental Faculty of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is to set and quality assure the highest standards for the dental profession, and recognise that with the award of Membership and Fellowship," said Professor William Saunders, Dean of the Dental Faculty at the RCSEd. "This competition is a shining example of ensuring that those standards are constantly being challenged and updated, with students benefitting from the networking opportunities it brings. RCSEd is very keen to interact with the undergraduate dental schools in the UK and this competition provides an excellent way for dental students to become engaged with us. We are most grateful to Denstsply Sirona for their collaboration to make this competition possible."


About The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

RCSEd was first incorporated as the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1505, and is the oldest surgical corporation in the world with memberships approaching 25,000 professionals in over 100 countries worldwide. The College promotes the highest standards of surgical and dental practice through its interest in education, training and examinations, its liaison with external medical bodies and representation of the modern surgical and dental workforce. It is also home to the UK’s only Faculty of Surgical Trainers, open to all those with an interest in surgical training regardless of College affiliation. Find RCSEd on Twitter and on Facebook

The College is based at Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW and can be reached on (0)131 527 1600 or In March 2014, a new base opened in Birmingham, catering to the 80% of the College’s UK membership who are based in England and Wales.

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