The Dentist Magazine.

Oral health and dental career advice

Published: 25/01/2017

Dental students from Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry have worked with Year 10 students at Stoke Damerel Community College to raise their awareness of good oral health – and to encourage them to consider a career in dentistry.

The project began in November when the dental student team visited the college for an assembly. In January, this was followed by a visit to the Devonport Dental Education Facility, where dental health students treat NHS patients under the supervision of qualified dental health care professionals as part of their studies.

While there, the Stoke Damerel students saw the clinical training bays, the simulated dental learning environment, the lecture theatre and the life sciences resource centre. They were able to ‘have a go’ at dental techniques using a mobile simulated dental resource and found out more about the various careers available in dentistry.

The project is part of the Inter Professional Engagement programme which sees dental students undertake a number of projects in the community designed to raise oral health awareness and to improve access to dental care. The programme is delivered by the Community Engagement Team at the Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise.

Kamil Aziz, one of the dental students who ran this project, commented: “It has been great to work with Year 10 students at Stoke Damerel Community College. They have been really receptive to our presentations on oral health care and a number of them were interested in the range of careers available within dentistry.”

Students from Stoke Damerel Community College said: “It was nice to see the work that goes on behind the scenes at a dentist”; “Fillings were really fun”; “I learned a lot”; and “It was educational – it made me think about becoming a dentist.”

The project has been overseen by Ruth Potterton, lecturer in community based dentistry and Reena Patel, dental public health specialty registrar at Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry. Ruth said: “Our thanks go to Stoke Damerel Community College for working with us in this project. Year 10 is a key year in a student’s school life and a time when they are considering the various options ahead of them and the wide range of careers on offer. It was heartening to see so many of the students we worked with enthused by the prospect of a career in dentistry.”

The dental students will return to Stoke Damerel Community College in February to evaluate the impact of the project.