Crowning Glory

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10 Mar 2016

Today the dental clinical skills competition to discover the UK's best undergraduate dentist reached its climax at the Grand Final in Edinburgh. Run by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Britain’s oldest surgical Royal College, and DENTSPLY the competition was won by 25 year-old James McParlane who grew up in Leicester and is now studying at the Dental School of the University of Central Lancashire, after a gruelling series of tests designed to push the finalist's skills to the maximum.

"The importance of winning this amazing competition hasn’t really sunk in yet.” said James. “I would definitely recommend any of my colleagues to join the competition next year as it really challenges you to strive for perfection.”

James continued,

“Arguably one of the most important aspects of dental care is to be able to demonstrate technical and communication skills – this competition focuses on those skills and the delivery of excellent dental treatment.”

Each of the finalists from the first round of the UK's 16 dental schools undertook a series of challenges devised to test a wide range of clinical skills in dentistry. The tests ranged from suturing (stitching) and fracture restoration, to communicating with patients and tooth shade matching.

"The clinical skills competition really captures the students' enthusiasm and drive, challenging a range of key clinical dental skills - it's the dental schools' equivalent of the British bake- off!" said Mr Brian Nattress a member of Dental Council at the College and a Consultant Restorative Dentist in Leeds, "There was a real sense of excitement in the final and a great atmosphere watching the students compete against each other. I felt honoured to see the students in action and witness again the great sense of camaraderie as they competed alongside colleagues from other dental schools in the Grand Final."

James earns an expenses paid trip to one of DENTSPLY’s Endodontic Academy “A-Z of Endo” events in Ballaigues, Switzerland.

“It has been our absolute pleasure and honour to co-host the Dental Skills Competition with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Through delivering clinical education as well as quality and innovative solutions for better healthcare, DENTSPLY recognises the importance of supporting and encouraging some of the very best students in our industry who will go on to be the very best in their profession. The standard of clinical skills we have witnessed over the course of this exciting competition reinforces DENTSPLY’s commitment to delivering happiness, health and well-being.”

Olivier Collet, VP & General Manager DENTSPLY UK

The competition, which is now in its second year, is designed to both showcase the great dental talent of the UK's undergraduate dentists and also to help to develop the very best skills and support for our future dental surgeons. Over 300 students competed for this title from approximately 2,000 final year undergraduates.

"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 DENTSPLY 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.

For all media enquiries please contact the Communications Team on +447467 485145 or email 


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