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.

Prosthodontics involves the replacement of missing teeth and the associated soft and hard tissues by prostheses (crowns, bridges, dentures) which may be fixed or removable, or may be supported and retained by implants.

In the following article, Consultant Prosthodontist Krishnakant Bhatia, discusses how you can establish a career in the field of Prosthodontics.

 

Mr Krishnakant Bhatia | BDS, MFDS, MClinDent (pros), MRD (pros), PGCAP, PGCDE, FHEA

Senior Clinical Lecturer & Honorary Specialist/Consultant in Prosthodontics
Programme Director for MClinDent Prosthodontics
Edinburgh Dental Institute
The University of Edinburgh
Contact: kbhatia@ed.ac.uk, 0131 536 4970
 

Biography

After qualifying from Glasgow Dental Hospital and School, I completed a range of hospital training posts within Scotland. In 2005 I was appointed as a specialist registrar in fixed and removable Prosthodontics at the Edinburgh Dental Institute. During this time I completed a masters degree in fixed and removable Prosthodontics and in 2008 my Membership in Restorative Dentistry (MRD) from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh specialising in Prosthodontics.

 

Completing this training pathway has provided me with experience of conventional and implant based fixed and removable Prosthodontics using restorative, surgical and multidisciplinary approaches. I have found these skills to be useful in hospital and specialist private practice. 

 

My other big area of interest is technology enhanced learning and along with face to face teaching I am involved with the training of undergraduate and postgraduate dentists and dental care professionals.

What is Prosthodontics?

Prosthodontics is a field of dentistry concerned with the replacement of tooth tissue, teeth and oral structures with the goal of providing or improving function and aesthetics. Such work involves delivering a range of simple to advanced restorative procedures and prosthetic restorations (including veneers, onlays, crowns, bridgework, all type of removable prostheses and dental implants). The prosthodontist is trained to deliver care with precision and commonly work within a dental team to achieve high quality results.

A typical day…

A typical day for a Prosthodontist will involve specialised treatment of patients involving assessment, treatment planning, stabilisation and rehabilitative care. As with other specialties, there is also a lot of administrative work and being organised is very important.

SPECIALTY PATHWAY

Entry Requirements

The General Dental Council (GDC) provides a clear document on what is required for prospective trainees in prosthodontics, information for this can be found on the GDC pages for the specialist list (link provided below). In order to be granted entry to the list an applicant must be awarded a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST), while also holding a full GDC registration. If your training does not result in a CCST then entry to the list is not permitted.

There is a lot more to specialist training than to simply gain qualifications and a candidate is strongly encouraged to develop their all-round ability in dentistry. Communication skills, working within a team, journal clubs, publications, poster and lecture presentations at scientific meetings are other useful (though not necessarily compulsory) ways to demonstrate your ability and commitment as well as completing foundation training posts (such as DF1/VT, DF2/CT1, GPT/LDFT).

Each StR post will normally have desirable/essential criteria for applicants. Make sure you research these prior to applying.

Training pathway:

A standard training pathway would involve entry to a Prosthodontics programme with a dedicated national training number (NTN). In order to be awarded a CCST in Prosthodontics by the GDC, evidence of the following will be required:

  1. Satisfactory completion of training – full-time (3 years – 4500 hours) or part-time equivalent. The programme content will be approximately split as 60% Clinical, 25% academic and 15% research.
  2. Completion of the Membership in Restorative Dentistry (MRD) examination for prosthodontics at a Royal Surgical College.

There are alternative routes to become a Prosthodontist that also include completing Restorative training via NHS or academic training pathways. The latter would normally be combined with the completion of a PhD in a focused area of Dentistry.  This allows entry onto the specialist list in restorative dentistry but to be eligible for entry onto the Prosthodontics specialist list, additional examinations need to be sat and passed.  Approval to sit these examinations is at the discretion of the deanery in which you train.

Career options after specialising…
  1. Private practice
  2. Academic career – with honorary NHS specialist or consultant
  3. NHS career – as a specialist or consultant

After completion of training, the clinician normally works in secondary or private specialist settings (sometimes both at the same time). Secondary care is normally set at specialist level and along with developing other competences and the need of the appointing institution; a consultant post is possible though in no way a guarantee. Those interested in more academic development may apply for Senior Clinical positions as a lecturer or researcher. The majority of these are combined as an honorary NHS specialist/consultant post.

As a clinician, I like the balance of working in both specialist practice and as a senior clinical lecturer. Specialist practice allows me to work with patients and maintain my skill sets. The senior clinical lecturer position, while providing clinical contact, provides a great opportunity for me to express creativity and commitment in training new postgraduate and undergraduate students.

Finally, you do not have to specialise to gain some of the skills of a Prosthodontist. There are many taught postgraduate courses available from Universities targeted at different levels (taught masters, diploma or certificate) and private courses that you may also find as interesting alternatives. Funded prosthodontic posts are rare and the majority will involve a financial investment. Make sure you are comfortable with the funding required and research the teaching institutions to make sure you understand the quality of the training you will receive.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Join the discussion...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.