The GDC currently recognises 13 various fields of dentistry with regards to their specialist register. You are not required to join a specialist list to practise a specialty, however, only dentists on these specialist lists have the right to use the ‘specialist’ title. In this series of articles you can find out more about each specialty from experts in their respective fields, with advice on the career pathway as well as sharing their experiences as a specialist.
Periodontics involves the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases and disorders (infections and inflammatory) of the gums and other structures around the teeth.
In the following article, Consultant Periodontist Professor Kevin Seymour, discusses how you can establish a career in this field.
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Currently Professor of Periodontology at The University of Manchester, programme director for the MSc in periodontology and director of undergraduate education. Qualified from Kings in 1981, 5 years as a GDP in the RAF following which I worked as a part-time GDP in Stevenage whilst doing the MSc in periodontology at Guys. Then part-time teaching at Guys and opening a practice limited (we couldn’t specialize then!) to periodontics in North London.
Appointed as a lecturer in conservative dentistry at The London (now QMUL) in 1991, then senior lecturer in cons followed by a return to perio as senior lecturer/honorary consultant, when I ran the MClinDent programme for a number of years. Have spent time at The London as head of the centre for DCPs, senior clinical tutor (responsible for student support and welfare etc.) amongst many other academic jobs! I moved to the capital city of football back in 2012 as MSc programme director and lead for postgraduate taught programmes before the senior appointment as UG director in early 2014.
What is Periodontics?
Periodontics strictly refers to the treatment of diseases of the supporting structures of the teeth, whereas periodontology is the study of these tissues in their broadest sense and nowadays includes implantology and such diverse areas as immunology, microbiology, tissue engineering and pharmacology to name but a few!
A typical week…
As in all areas of dentistry – great variety in what you can do on a daily basis and many colleagues combine clinical work in specialist practice and teaching. As for myself, my days are never the same, I spend time teaching postgraduates or undergraduates either on the clinic or in seminars and running and developing the various programmes for which I am responsible. In addition, I also treat patients both within the NHS Trust where we are based and in private practice.
You are not required to join a specialist list to practise periodontics, however, only dentists registered on the GDC held specialist list have the right to use the ‘specialist’ title in the UK.
To be granted entry to the list an applicant must have been awarded a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST) as a result of completing a GDC approved training programme, with a dedicated national training number (NTN).
Career options after specialising…
- Specialist/Consultant in NHS/private/mixed practice
- Specialist/Consultant in Public Dental Service
- Specialist/Consultant in NHS hospital post
- Academic post (with honorary NHS specialist or consultant title)
- Research post (with honorary NHS specialist or consultant title)
Your teachers and specialists within the dental school are the best resources.
- Look at the British Society of Periodontology’s website and conference details: www.bsperio.org.uk
- For more information on applying for specialty training programmes in your area, contact your regional postgraduate dental dean: www.copdend.org.uk
- GDC: Curriculum for Specialist Training in Periodontics
- Exemplar StR post person specification: https://www.pathway.oriel.nhs.uk/Web/Sys_Documents/b23794f3-c00e-4589-9821-7771ef8d3dab_Periodontics%20Person%20Specification.pdf
- The Royal College of Surgeons of England: Specialist Training Programmes in Periodontics
- The Gold Guide – A reference guide to postgraduate specialty training in the UK
- Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection website: http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk
- Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook
- General Dental Council specialist page: www.gdc-uk.org/Dentalprofessionals/Specialistlist/Pages/default.aspx
- The Association of Consultants and Specialists in Restorative Dentistry: www.restdent.org.uk
- British Academy of Restorative Dentistry: www.bard.uk.com