Friday, 30 July 2010

New scenario - normal versus abnormal on bite wing radiographs

I have created another learning exercise, this time to help read bite wing radiographs.

It's under 'Scenario based learning' in the BDS013 Outreach section of Blackboard.

There are just two cases at the moment. As I build the number of cases I'll update the package.

Feedback, as ever, always welcome.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


What is a diagnosis? This question comes up regularly on the clinic.

I see this as the beginning of the management of a patient - an essential step in determining not only treatment but also prognosis. It is a label that categorises a patient to help us help them.

As such, I don't necessarily see a diagnosis as only something relating to what we would normally recognise as a 'disease', that is, caries, perio, apical abscess, etc. A diagnosis may relate to other problems the patient has:
  1. orthodontic problem (e.g. crowding or increased overjet) 
  2. aesthetic problem (e.g. a median diastema that causes this particular patient concern - a problem others might not see as such)  
  3. functional problem (e.g. a lack of alveolar ridge, which results in problems retaining a denture)
A diagnosis does not necessarily mean we have to - or be able to - treat. There are pros and cons to most things and we would need to explain each to the patient. But by having a diagnosis we identify the problem and can agree it with the patient. Then we can work out how to manage it with the patient.


We had a patient with Rosacea this week. She didn't know what medication she was on but had been on it for several months. Since I wasn't up to date on the presentation and management of Rosacea myself I had a look on TRIP, which led to the following clinical knowledge summaries site:

I'm certainly better informed about this condition as a result of this...

Monday, 26 July 2010


I will work on some more scenarios over the summer. If you haven't had a look at the one I've already posted on Blackboard, please do. I'd appreciate feedback on this ( tell me if you got lost, bored, challenged, frustrated...) and on other topics that you think would be useful to you.

The main aim of these is to encourage students to think things through and to develop responses as different information becomes available.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Risk management in clinical practice. Part 1. Introduction

I'd recommend students having a look at this article by Len D'Cruz from Dental Protection. It is applicable to student and qualified dentists alike.

The article reinforces the need for adequate note keeping. One common shortcoming among dentists generally, it seems, is that diagnoses are not recorded.

You can get to the paper by clicking on the title above with your Athens account or it's in the 'Outreach' section on Blackboard as a pdf.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Student Fitness to Practice - click here to see it

The GDC in April published its Student Fitness to Practice guidance.

The document covers:

(a) the types of professional behaviour and health standards expected of dental students;
(b) how fitness to practise can affect registration with us;
(c) when and how to make decisions about fitness to practise; and
(d) the key elements in student fitness to practise procedures.

Essentially students are treated very similarly to qualified dentists. I think this is sensible - and most students uphold these high standards already. Nonetheless, it's worth having a look at so you're familiar with what the GDC expects.