Crowning glory – Dental Clinical Skills competition winner announced

L-R Olivier Collet, VP and general manager Dentsply UK, James McParlane, Dental Skills competition winner, Professor William Saunders. dean of the Dental Faculty, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

James McParlane wins the title of UK’s Best Undergraduate Dentist in Dental Clinical Skills competition.

The competition was run by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) – Britain’s oldest surgical Royal College – and Dentspy.

The 25-year-old undertook a gruelling series of tests designed to push the finalist’s skills to the maximum.

Strive for perfection

‘The importance of winning this amazing competition hasn’t really sunk in yet,’ said James.

‘I would definitely recommend any of my colleagues to join the competition next year as it really challenges you to strive for perfection.’

James continued, ‘Arguably one of the most important aspects of dental care is to be able to demonstrate technical and communication skills – this competition focuses on those skills and the delivery of excellent dental treatment.’

Each of the finalists from the first round of the UK’s 16 dental schools undertook a series of challenges devised to test a wide range of clinical skills in dentistry.

The tests

The tests ranged from suturing (stitching) and fracture restoration, to communicating with patients and tooth shade matching.

‘The clinical skills competition really captures the students’ enthusiasm and drive, challenging a range of key clinical dental skills – it’s the dental schools’ equivalent of the British bake- off!’ said Mr Brian Nattress a member of Dental Council at the College and a consultant restorative dentist in Leeds.

‘There was a real sense of excitement in the final and a great atmosphere watching the students compete against each other.

‘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.’

The prize

James earns an expenses paid trip to one of Dentsply’s Endodontic Academy ‘A-Z of Endo’ events in Ballaigues, Switzerland.

‘It has been our absolute pleasure and honour to co-host the Dental Skills competition with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

‘Through delivering clinical education as well as quality and innovative solutions for better healthcare, Dentsply recognises the importance of supporting and encouraging some of the very best students in our industry who will go on to be the very best in their profession.

‘The standard of clinical skills we have witnessed over the course of this exciting competition reinforces Dentsply’s commitment to delivering happiness, health and well-being.’ Oliver Collet, vice president and general manager Dentsply UK.

The competition, which is now in its second year, is designed to both showcase the great dental talent of the UK’s undergraduate dentists and also to help to develop the very best skills and support for our future dental surgeons.

Over 300 students competed for this title from approximately 2,000 final year undergraduates.

High standards

‘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 William Saunders, dean of the Dental Faculty at the RCSEd.

‘This competition is a shining example of ensuring that those standards are constantly being challenged and updated, with students benefiting from the networking opportunities it brings.

‘RCSEd is very keen to interact with the undergraduate dental schools in the UK and this competition provides an excellent way for dental students to become engaged with us.

We are most grateful to Dentsply for their collaboration to make this competition possible.’

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