Dental core trainee:to be or not to be?

In this article, Rachael Otukoya talks about her experience in dental core training, and why it is invaluable in gaining further experience post-qualification.

Finishing my dental foundation training gave me more confidence in seeing and treating a range of patients post qualification. Dentistry can sometimes be a minefield of different opportunities. I thought that it would be a good idea to see and treat people in different environments, under different circumstances. I was always intrigued about doing a year of training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. From what I had seen from my undergraduate training, dental core trainees in the speciality appeared confident in doing jobs that I would not even think possible at this stage in my career. So, I eagerly applied for the job, and got it.

Seeing patients in accident and emergency

First and foremost, it opened my eyes to the world of surgery. That it is not just restricted to dentistry alone, but so much more in a patient’s journey. Seeing patients in theatre having procedures in orthognathic surgery, head and neck oncology surgery. Skin cancers and dento-alveolar surgery on adults and children alike, to name but a few. It also made me realise that there is so much more than the surgery itself. Including managing medications, taking bloods for patients, cannulation, and preparing patients for theatre. But this is not to say the role was without its challenges.

Seeing patients in Accident and Emergency, with facial fractures, lacerations and other maxillofacial injuries gave me an insight into suturing, gathering medical histories. Managing a patient when you are first on call to a scene as well as prioritisation of jobs. When to call for senior review, liaising with other specialties and urgent care delivery. Within a training environment, the 12 months spent in the role has…

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