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Early career dentists: training significantly impacted by Covid-19

Post date: 29/04/2022 | Time to read article: 3 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 29/04/2022

Three in four early career dentists in the UK (75%) say the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant and negative impact on their dental training, according to a Dental Protection survey.

In the snapshot survey of dentists who qualified in the last five years, 70% went on to say the pandemic has impacted their career plans.

Nearly a third, (31%) say the reality of general practice is not in line with their expectations, and 39% feel the Covid-19 pandemic has created uncertain career options and choices for the future.

34% say they are exploring career opportunities outside of dentistry.

George Wright, Deputy Dental Director at Dental Protection said:

“A career in dentistry can be immensely rewarding. However, Covid-19 has created many challenges for established and newer entrants to the profession alike and the impact on young dentists is particularly alarming.

“The future of the profession relies on the strong foundations of early years training including an assessment of career opportunities f and development. It is concerning that many newer entrants say they have experienced a severe and negative impact on their training due to the pandemic.

“Additionally, after almost two years of restrictions impacting the delivery of routine dental care, and a growing backlog necessitating the rising need for emergency appointments, the longstanding goodwill and understanding of the public towards NHS dentistry is fraying. This means many early career dentists have experienced a challenging environment, dominated by clearing the backlog. This is of course quite different to what many will have expected.

“Dental Protection’s early career members continue to benefit from our advice and support. Whatever the question, problem or dilemma, we are only ever a phone call away. We also offer a range of resources, including access to confidential counselling via our trusted partners ICAS, as well as CPD webinars and workshops made available regularly throughout the year.”

Some early career dentists who participated in the survey commented:

“I was lucky with my training in that the university got us back to clinical practice quickly. There is a backlog of patients in practice, and I’m concerned their neglected dentition will cause them to complain in the future as some things may have been prevented.”

“Starting work in practice after leaving dental school has taught me how little dental school prepares you for the realities of work.”

“The pandemic actually helped my career as I could only find private practice associate jobs, this then opened other doors for me.”



Notes to editors

  • The snapshot survey conducted by Dental Protection ran from 18 November 2021- 4 December 2021 and achieved 121 responses from dentists in the UK up to 5 years post-qualification.

For press queries contact: E: [email protected]  T: +44 (0) 7525 680165.

Counselling service

Our counselling service is provided by our trusted partners ICAS, who offer a personalised and professional service tailored specifically to your requirements and delivered by experienced qualified counsellors.

ICAS's telephone counselling provides immediate access to support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and face-to-face counselling sessions can be arranged near to you and at your convenience, all funded by Dental Protection.

For press queries contact: E: [email protected]  T: +44 (0) 7525 680165.

About Dental Protection

Dental Protection is a registered trademark and a trading name of The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”). MPS is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of more than 300,000 members around the world. Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.

Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.

Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.

MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

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