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  • All members of the clinical dental team face a daily risk of a personal sharp injury. A wide range of sharp instruments are used, some of which are specifically designed to easily pierce the skin and mucosa. The instruments are placed, moved, passed between colleagues, used for treatment, replaced and cleaned, all in relatively confined areas. The clinical dental workplace and the decontamination unit are both therefore sharp-risk environments. There is a clear risk of a sharp injury and the potential consequences of occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens are at least inconvenient and at worst, career and even life threatening. However, good sharp safety is not universally understood and practised throughout the dental profession. This paper considers the risk of sharp injury in dentistry and discusses some of the methods used to improve sharp safety.

    • A. Imran
    • H. Imran
    • M.P. Ashley
  • Introduction Dental nurses traditionally train in either hospitals or practices. A London pilot scheme provided exposure to both settings to explore the potential for dual training. This evaluation examined the motivation, experiences, career expectations and initial careers of trainees. Methods A questionnaire-based survey at two time points during the training. Descriptive and inferential analysis conducted using SPSS version 22. Results Overall training was rated highly (7–9) by 100% of trainees with positive views of the concept of dual training. There was also a preference for full-time work in primary care with career decisions strongly influenced by personal factors – financial stability, work-life balance and professional development. Rotating between settings proved challenging so did perceived low wages; lowest job satisfaction scores were for physical working conditions and remuneration. However, advantages included high levels of preparedness for team-working with most recognising the dental team has shared responsibilities. A high proportion of trainees were employed in primary care (57.8%) post-qualification. Strong interests in gaining further qualifications were reported (92.3%). Conclusion The outcome was generally positive with evidence of academic success, employability, commitment to a career in dental nursing and sufficient support for training in multiple settings to be introduced into future dental nurse training.

    • O. Awojobi
    • S. Movahedi
    • J. E. Gallagher
  • Introduction The prevalence of oral piercings in the UK is increasing. Consequently, the dental profession is encountering an increasing number of complications associated with piercings. Providing patient preventative advice regarding piercing complications is important, however the level of advice offered by UK dentists is currently unknown. Aims The aim of this survey was to establish the current knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of dentists regarding advice provided to patients with oral piercings. Methods A questionnaire was sent to 200 dentists across Wales with questions regarding perceived confidence in providing advice, type of advice provided, the sources dentists use to acquire knowledge and the perceived need for further professional information. Results Fifty-three dentists responded. Only 24.5% were very confident discussing piercing complications. The advice provided varied markedly, with the majority (73.6%) reporting they had acquired knowledge through experience alone. Only one dentist reported providing written information and 83% responded that they would like to have access to printed information directed at patients. Conclusions The results of this survey suggest that dental professionals are not fully confident discussing risks and preventative advice with patients. To address this, patient information leaflets have been developed to encourage dentists to discuss complications associated with oral piercings with patients.

    • E. M. King
    • E. Brewer
    • P. Brown
  • L. Ramirez and C. Dickinson provide guidance to facilitate the treatment of some groups of wheelchair users in general dental practice.

    • L. Ramirez
    • C. Dickinson
  • Objectives/aims The aims of this article are to assess entry requirements for dental nurses applying to dentistry and determine whether dentistry is a viable career option for dental nurses. Materials and methods A survey of all 11 UK dental schools’ dentistry entry requirements was carried out to determine whether General Dental Council (GDC) approved dental nursing qualifications are accepted as part of a dentistry application. Each school was also contacted via email to confirm their entry requirements. Results One UK dental school recognises a dental nursing certificate alongside other qualifications. Most dental schools require dental nurses to complete 3 A levels (at minimum AAA in scientific subjects) or encourage application to access courses and completely disregard any dental nursing qualifications. Discussion It could be suggested that UK dental schools overlook the experience and knowledge of dental nurses by not supporting their existing credentials. The University of Sheffield accepts dentistry applicants with an approved dental nursing certificate alongside six A grades at GCSE and two A levels at minimum grade BB (chemistry and biology). Conclusion Should UK dental schools reevaluate their entry requirements for our well respected dental nurses? Our opinion stands that dental schools should be taking advantage of the experience, knowledge and skills of dental nurses by offering improved access to dentistry.

    • S. Nandra
    • O. Aiyegbusi
  • This article aims to highlight the types of sedation which can be carried out in a dental context in both primary and secondary care, the scope of practice of various team members and how team work can result in good quality sedation and patient experience.

    • L. Richardson
    • J. Cullen
  • S. R. Porter,1 V. Mercadente2 and S. Fedele3 provide a succinct review of oral mucosal and salivary gland disorders that may arise as a consequence of systemic disease.

    • S. R. Porter
    • V. Mercadente
    • S. Fedele