The Dentist Magazine.

Crowning Glory for Dental King

Published: 12/03/2018

The UK & Ireland’s finest undergraduate dentist has been crowned winner in the thrilling final of the Dental Clinical Skills Competition.

The Dental Clinical Skills Competition to discover the UK's best undergraduate dentist reached its climax at the Grand Final in Edinburgh last week. Run by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh ( Britain’s oldest surgical Royal College, and Dentsply Sirona ( the competition, now in its fourth successful year, was won by 25 year-old Joe Reid, who grew up in Penrith and is now studying at the University of Newcastle, after a punishing series of tests designed to push the finalist's skills to the maximum.

He said, "I’m quite surprised to have won today, there are a lot of talented people here and it’s not something I was expecting.

“It was quite a novel experience competing in the Dental Skills Competition. You don’t really compete with each other normally at dental school and you don’t see the quality of other people’s work. There were a lot of different challenges today that we don’t normally come across too. I think the best part of the competition was spending time with people from other dental schools, as they’re people you wouldn’t normally meet.”

Each of the finalists from the first round of 18 UK and Irish dental schools, where over 400 final year students took part, were tasked to complete a series of challenges devised to test a wide range of clinical skills in dentistry.  

Brian Nattress, a member of the Dental Council at the college and a consultant restorative dentist in Leeds, said, "This year’s dental skills contest was expanded to include more dental schools from the UK and Ireland. The added competition captured every student’s enthusiasm and drive by placing them in a competitive situation against more of the best final year students.  The final was extremely exciting but also very challenging as not only did the students have to show strong skills but they had to work in a high pressure contest. I felt honoured to see the students in action and witness again the great sense of camaraderie as they competed alongside colleagues from other dental schools in the grand final."

Joe was awarded with an all expenses paid four day trip to Dentsply Sirona’s Restorative Forum in Konstanz, Germany in June 2019.

Second place was awarded to 24-year-old Rowan Glossop, who studies at University of Central Lancashire, with third place given to 28-year-old Ammar Zaki who studies at the University of Liverpool.

Gerry Campbell, vice president and general manager UK at Dentsply Sirona, said, "Following last year’s successful Dental Skills Competition, we are honoured and delighted to continue our partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to celebrate the talented dental clinicians of tomorrow. This competition continues to bring the best out of students and this year we added key elements of the latest techniques in digital dentistry to the competition. Through our continued commitment to providing innovative solutions for better, faster, safer dentistry and our expansive education programme, it is our desire and privilege to support dental professionals throughout their career.”

The competition is designed to both showcase the great dental talent of the UK and Ireland’s undergraduate dentists and also to develop the very best skills and support for our future dental surgeons.

"Hearty congratulations to our winner Joe Reid and everyone who took part in this year’s competition. One of the major aims of the Dental Faculty of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is to set and quality assure the highest standards for the dental profession and recognise that with the award of Membership and Fellowship," said Professor Fraser McDonald, dean of the Dental Faculty at the RCSEd. "The dental skills competition has proved to be both and exciting and challenging way of ensuring that those standards are challenged and updated annually, with students benefitting from competing against each other and networking between themselves. RCSEd is very keen to complement the basic dental skills delivered at the undergraduate level in the UK and Ireland, and to help develop self-improvement in post-graduation dentistry.”