Peter Fine explains UCL Eastman’s course in sports dentistry.

As recreational sport becomes ever more popular and the demands placed on professional athletes increases, the importance of good oral health and informed trauma management is becoming more important and relevant.

Recent research, much of it undertaken at the UCL Eastman Centre for Oral Health and Performance, has revealed that many elite athletes often have high levels of acid erosion, tooth decay and gum inflammation. Many have reported negative impacts on their performance as a direct result of poor oral health as well as on their ability to eat, relax, sleep and smile.

Competitors in many sports particularly contact sports are also exposed to an increased risk of orofacial trauma during the course of training and match play. This increased risk is supported by an increased desire to have damaged teeth repaired in a professional, predictable and timely fashion.

Sports dentistry

For over 10 years, our sports dentistry CPD course has been equipping dentists to treat athletes from a variety of sports, advising sporting bodies on dental issues, teaching dentists to be available at sporting events and support medical colleagues either as ‘field of play’ operators or in an advisory capacity in the surgery.

This short course has now evolved into a new comprehensive masters degree. Delivered mainly online*, it will develop the expertise and confidence to provide superior management for a majority of athletes. First year topics include:

  • How to recognise, diagnose and treat orofacial trauma including pitch-side
  • Prevention of sporting injuries to the orofacial area
  • Radiography and in-surgery definitive treatment
  • Addressing the trend of oral disease amongst sportsmen and women.

The programme consists of year one, the certificate; year two, the diploma and year three, a research project, leading to a full masters in sports dentistry. The three years online learning, are supported by four days each year spent at the institute in the skills laboratory and discussing cases.


For more information or to register your interest for a free taster day in March visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/eastman/study/sports-dentistry.

* Distance-learning periodontology MSc – we are also accepting applications for this other new course, which is also run mostly online. Find out more www.ucl.ac.uk/eastman/study/periodontology.