The future of dental education
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, one of the oldest surgical corporations in the world, was founded in 1505, surgeons and barbers being formally incorporated as a Craft of the Burgh, with a Seal of Cause granted by King James IV of Scotland.
King James, the first patron of the College, practised dentistry on his subjects, inviting them to have their teeth extracted by him. Unusually, he paid them for the privilege of doing so. Our present monarch, King Charles III, became the RCSEd’s patron last year.
In 2022, the RCSEd celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS). The Faculty exists to promote excellence in patient care by providing quality-assured assessments and facilitating high standards of education for members of the dental profession at all stages of their career.
Our post-nominals are respected as a mark of excellence in the UK and throughout the world
It serves the needs of dental surgeons, the wider dental team and dental students across the world. It is the largest of the RCSEd’s faculties with more than 8,000 Affiliates, Associates, Members and Fellows worldwide. It has its own governance structure and Council, led by the Dean of the Dental Faculty.
The Faculty has the following strategic objectives, to
- Grow our family of dental surgeons throughout the world by supporting them with quality-assured assessments, high standards of education, and resources and benefits to support their career.
- Uphold the highest of standards of patient safety and care through high quality assessment and education and to ensure that these are recognised and respected throughout the world. To assess and acknowledge the appropriate standard of other education providers through our accreditation process.
- Connect with key stakeholders and partners across the world to support our Affiliates, Associates, Members and Fellows in their professional career.
- Advocate on behalf of the dental team, ensuring that oral health is recognised as a key component of total body health and well-being and to lobby for developments that will further support standards and quality of practice in the UK and throughout the world.
The Dental Faculty provides a wide range of dental examinations to support career development for dentists and DCPs. In the early years post- graduation, The Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS) examination is an internationally ecognized dental qualification which demonstrates completion of foundation/basic postgraduate dental training. Examination diets are available in various UK and international locations.
The Faculty is about to introduce a new suite of open access Dental Diploma examination qualifications, set at level two of the published speciality guidelines (which translates to Tier 2 in England and Wales). The new Diplomas will be accessible to all registered dentists, with no restrictive eligibility requirements – the expectation being that prospective candidates ensure that they have a satisfactory knowledge base aligned to the examination syllabus for which they wish to enter.
The following sub-specialist Diplomas will be introduced:
- Paediatric Dentistry
- Oral Medicine
- Oral Surgery
- Dental Sedation
These exams are intended for general practitioners at subspecialty level to demonstrate a high standard of patient care in practice. The qualification will show practitioners’ patients that they are skilled in a specific speciality, with the option to study more than one subject at a time.
Other dental exams
The RCSEd offers a further range of examinations in all the clinical dental specialties. In the UK, these are permissive examinations for those who have undertaken and completed appropriate specialist training. In combination with success in the relevant examination a certificate of completion of specialist training by their training institution or Deanery allows them to be entered on to the GDC specialist list.
The examinations are also relevant to international colleagues who have undertaken an accredited course of training which can provide confirmation of this being at an appropriate specialty level and colleagues can then confirm their knowledge by sitting and being successful in these examinations.
Achieving success in our examinations is a sign of your competence at that level the world over.
After graduation, the RCSEd seeks to support you at every step of your career, whether as a dental care professional, a General Dental Practitioner, a salaried service practitioner, a specialist or a consultant in the NHS or university, with resources for training, continuing professional development, membership or fellowship examinations and development opportunities.
- Other new projects in the pipeline to support this include:
- Lightning Learning Series
- Critical Appraisal Webinar
- Cadaver courses (Implants and advanced dental surgery)
- Webinars with the Faculty of Rural, Remote and Humanitarian Healthcare on dental trauma, sustainability and volunteering opportunities.
The College and Faculty are here to support the dental team throughout their careers and the above are important initiatives to do so.
Lochana Nanayakkara is a Consultant in Restorative Dentistry, Barts Health NHS Trust, Director of Dental Education, Barts Health NHS Trust, and Dental Education Convenor, FDS RCSEd.