The quality assurance of undergraduate dental education in the UK is regulated by the General Dental Council who describe the competencies expected of the newly qualified dentist or “safe beginner.” Whilst the literature has explored the level of undergraduate training in a number of dental specialties within the UK, there is a paucity of information on the UK curriculum for undergraduate paediatric dental teaching.
This study aimed to assess the undergraduate teaching of paediatric dentistry within dental schools in the UK.
An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to all 16 UK dental schools via email.
Twelve questionnaires were completed, giving a response rate of 75%. First exposure to both academic teaching and clinical teaching in paediatric dentistry ranged from years 1‐4. Whilst there were broad similarities between units with regard to core components of the curricula, there were notable differences including the teaching of regenerative endodontics (75%) and the use of the titanium trauma splint (58%). Silver diamine fluoride was only used clinically in one unit (8%), and non‐vital pulpotomy was taught by two units (16%). There was also considerable heterogeneity in assessment methods between universities.
The undergraduate paediatric dental curriculum is broadly similar between UK dental schools. However, there are discrepancies in assessment methods and the teaching of new advances.