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Dental and maxillofacial radiology: confidence, knowledge and skills in the newly graduated dentist

Abstract

Introduction The UK General Dental Council says that the new graduate will have the range of skills required to begin working as part of a dental team and be well-prepared for independent practice. This study examines the views of new dental graduates in the area of dental and maxillofacial radiology.

Materials and methods A questionnaire survey of newly graduated dentists in Wales and South West England asked about their experience of undergraduate education in dental and maxillofacial radiology, and their confidence in the use and interpretation of imaging techniques in early independent practice.

Results Most survey participants were confident in the teaching they had received in dental radiography and radiology, and that they could apply their knowledge and understanding to the more common investigations used in general dental practice. They were less confident in the uncommonly used techniques, such as oblique lateral and lateral cephalometric views.

Discussion This study is encouraging in that new dental graduates say that their undergraduate education has given them the knowledge to be able to take, interpret and make clinical diagnoses using the commonest radiological investigations. This tends to validate the undergraduate education received and identifies areas to improve.

Conclusion New dental graduates are confident in their knowledge and skills, and apply these to the most commonly used radiological investigations used in general dental practice.

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Correspondence to Philip A. Atkin.

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Drage, N., Atkin, P. & Farnell, D. Dental and maxillofacial radiology: confidence, knowledge and skills in the newly graduated dentist. Br Dent J 228, 546–550 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-020-1425-x

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