The Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) is to offer the UK’s first accredited training programme in aesthetic dentistry.
The news marks a significant step towards the delivery of a higher quality of care for patients seeking aesthetic treatments.
Entry onto the programme, which leads to an Advanced Certificate in Aesthetic Dentistry, will be restricted to dentists who are able to demonstrate existing advanced skills via prior qualification in a related dental discipline. This requirement ensures that participants have the requisite foundation knowledge essential for appropriate assessment of patients.
The programme will be led by Professor Mike Mulcahy, past dean of the FGDP (UK) and course director for the FGDP (UK)’s London-based Diploma in Restorative Dentistry, and Dr Linda Greenwall, an examiner for the Fellowship of the FGDP (UK) and an authority on restorative and aesthetic procedures.
Teaching will be London-based and offered on a part-time basis, with six units of study over 18 months.
Professor Mulcahy said: ‘There exists a strong commercial imperative for accreditation in the area of aesthetic dentistry, with patient demand having fuelled a proliferation of dentists, and also non-dental professionals, offering cosmetic procedures without the appropriate training and accreditation.
‘This programme aims to improve the level of aesthetic care delivered to patients, and will set the standards that all dentists should aspire to in the field. The qualification also provides the public with a means of identifying dentists who have undertaken independent, acknowledged training in the field, enabling the patient to be reassured of the standard of treatment offered.’
The programme syllabus includes a compulsory module in which participants will examine the issues surrounding the provision of cosmetic versus aesthetic treatments, including discussions on the concept of ‘smile design’, ethical considerations, and medico-legal issues. Other mandatory units are tooth whitening and direct anterior aesthetic restorations.
The optional modules, from which a further three units should be selected, include porcelain veneers, facial aesthetics, posterior aesthetic restorations, implants and soft tissue management in the aesthetic zone, complete denture aesthetics, crowns and bridge aesthetic considerations and orthodontics in aesthetic practice.