Civillian Dentist

I am seriously considering applying for a post as a civillian dentist at a large UK barracks in response to an advert in the BDJ.
My aim is to escape the NHS treadmill of general practice (ie 45 min RCTs, 10min c/u + dodgy dentures) and deliver good quality dentisry that we were trained to do.
What is it like for civilian contractors? Is there any targets (UDAs) to meet? Are there any time pressures? Is there good CPD/training for contractors?

Apologies for the random message - this was the only UK military dental forum that came up in google search.
Thanks and Regards,

I'm not a Dentist but a Doc. I'm sure one of the Fang Farrier types will be along to give a more detailed answer. From speaking to Service dentists they seem to think they are able to do better dentistry than within the NHS. Yes there are pressure (the main one I know of is to make sure all personnel are in date for their periodic dental inspection) Several dentists have remarked than the dental morbidity, especially upon recruitment, is quite high and so a fair bit of work needs doing to make them fit.

Good luck always had a close working friendship with the dentists and found them to be a good bunch.
Only 6 weeks ago I was talking to a RAF dentist who is leaving after 16 years to become, of all things, a commercial pilot. He basically hates the drill 'n' fill production line and thinks there must be more to life.


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Having been in RADC, then out providing independant NHS, must say being back in a salaried service, working for a health board is far preferable.
Hi Raj,

Superb question and you are right that there's little information online about this employment.

The "treadmill" of NHS practice has no bearing on military dentistry. The main effort of our dentists is to releive pain but more importantly to ensure that personnel do not become a casualty of dental pain in the following year. We call it Force Generation. The focus is therefore different. Less "high-end" dentistry, although we do offer it, but mostly restorative work. Time pressures are less, Endo is usually 60 - 90 minutes, Cons 25 - 30 mins. We do less prosthetic work than Civvy practice but you'll get clinical freedom to do what's best for the patient with no cost implications. When pressure is brought on military dental teams, it is when preparing a Unit for deployment, at that time we concentrate on the basic dentistry to get them fit to go. Nice surgeries, well trained staff, no saturday clinics, 8-5 working hours, decent materials, free clinical uniform and loupes, it's pretty good.

We don't do UDAs but you are expected to do your bit. It's measured in a "league table" arrangement but that might change in the future. On a mixed day you could expect 20-25 patients. If your clinic is based in a "Basic Training" placement, you might have inspections all day long. Clinical Audits are carried out annually. Key Skills CPD is offered of course. External CPD is more limited but available if well justified. Our civilian dentists can also become VT Trainers if the practice is suitable. As a balance, you may feel that the uniformed Dentists get a bigger slice of the fun and opportunities but they do have to go on operations etc.

If you want more info, send me a PM and I'll try and put you in touch with a civilian working for us.

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