MFDS syllabus


Full colour examination

History taking incorporating appropriate dental, medical, social, demographical, cultural, nutritional, psychological and genetic factors.

Comprehensive oral health assessment of the patient, identifying symptoms, principal complaint and relevant history.

Skeletal, dental and occlusal relationships in the primary, mixed and permanent dentition

Hard and soft tissue developmental abnormalities and diagnosis of conditions which may require investigation, treatment or onward referral.

Oral hygiene and use of relevant information such as dental attendance pattern, ability, motivation and commitment to promote its improvement.

Mucosal, gingival and periodontal health and disease, and conditions which may require investigation, treatment or onward referral.

Location, extent and activity of tooth surface loss and caries, and appropriate management planning at all levels of complexity appropriate to their own competence and resources available.

Pulpal health and disease, and conditions which may require treatment or onward referral.

Appropriate and risk assessed radiographic imaging examination that meets the diagnostic needs of the patient in line with current national guidance.

Accurate radiographic examination and expose, process, assess, report and store the radiograph correctly in line with current national guidance.

Differential diagnosis and management plan based on evidence from an oral health assessment / urgent care assessment and risk screening, through the correct interpretation of clinical findings.

Influence of systemic diseases and other disabilities (and associated treatment) on oral health and the delivery of dental treatment.

Evaluation and management of patients’ treatment expectations, identification of the degree to which they can be met and discussion of the different options.

Clinical record keeping in line with current national guidance

Assessment of the patient enabling the early diagnosis of potentially malignant oral diseases and / or orofacial neoplastic change, and be knowledgeable about referral protocols (including local arrangements) taking into account the degree of urgency.

Signs of abuse or neglect in vulnerable groups and the local procedures that should be followed when reporting such circumstances.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal diseases, and identify conditions which may require treatment or onward referral.

Clinical features associated with oral mucosal diseases, and identify conditions which may require treatment or onward referral (including urgent referrals for suspected head and neck cancer).

Spectrum of patient behaviour which may contribute to orofacial problems, or ability to cooperate with care or treatment plans, and conditions which require prevention or management

Risk assessment prior to referral for sedation or general anaesthesia.

Principles of a basic clinical examination, including blood pressure, pulse, respiration and temperature.

Diagnostic procedures, including biopsy.

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Clear presentation of the findings resulting from a history and examination, including clinical and radiographic results, differential diagnoses, treatment options, prognoses, and sequenced treatment plan.

Clear discussion with the patient (or carer) of written care or treatment plan with options based on individual needs, with encouragement of questions as appropriate.

Individualised written care or treatment plan formulation for the patient according to individual circumstances.

Clear discussion with the patient (or carer) of responsibilities associated with the treatment plan including preventive education and time requirements for treatment.

Valid informed consent from the patient/parent/guardian for all stages of treatment, with explanation of all relevant options.

Management of situations where patient’s wishes and the recommendations of the dentist differ, and properly document the conversation and outcome.

Liaison with other professionals to obtain additional information and/or treatment as required.

Appropriate management following patient’s discharge from specialised care.

Thin Dental Health

Health promotion advice within the contexts of diverse social and educational norms.

Evidence-based preventive education and instruction in individualised self-care methods for patients/parents/carers.

Detrimental oral health habits and effective strategies for their control.

Relationships between socioeconomic factors and inequalities in populations, risk factors for dental disease and general and oral health.

Prevention of dental disease in practice populations and the wider community, including preventive programmes and water fluoridation.

Clear preventive education for patients and carers, which encourages self-care and motivation.

Health risks of substances detrimental to oral and general health, and advice to the patient regarding a healthy lifestyle, recorded in the clinical notes.

Safe, effective and legal prescribing and monitoring, including appropriate use of the British National Formulary and other national guidance, and antimicrobial stewardship.

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Basic and immediate life support for medical emergencies, in line with guidelines from the UK Resuscitation Council.

Common dental emergencies (and pain), including those resulting from treatment complications or failures, infection, allergic response or trauma (including avulsed teeth).

Pharmacological agents for the management of medical emergencies.

Potential drug interactions and side effects (including prevention thereof), and situation management.

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Medication for the relief of pain and anxiety in a safe and effective manner with appropriate risk assessment.

The limitations, risks and benefits of using general anaesthesia and sedation, and options/choices for patients including appropriate referral where necessary.

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Periodontal tissues and differential diagnosis of a patient’s periodontal condition.

Periodontal findings and status integrated into a patient’s comprehensive treatment plan.

Behavioural change in patients required to achieve effective self-management of the periodontal condition.

Prognosis for periodontally involved teeth and inform the patient of this.

Use of local and systemic antimicrobial agents to aid the treatment of periodontal diseases.

Oral hygiene advice, scaling and mechanical root debridement.

Periodontal treatment evaluation and recall maintenance programme for patients.

Specialised advice requirements and referral.

Aetiology of periodontal disease, and communication of this to patients.

Role of dental care professionals (DCP) in periodontal therapy and ability to work collaboratively with DCPs in the management of the patient’s condition.

Conservative management of gingival recession.

full colour Extraction

Effective management, including extraction where appropriate, of buried roots (whether fractured during extraction or retained root fragments), unerupted, impacted, ectopic and supernumary teeth.

Effective management of patients with relevant medical conditions including bleeding disorders.

Pre- and post-operative assessment of the patient and appropriate advice on self-management.

Referral of patients requiring complex treatment, sedation or general anaesthesia, or surgical treatment of hard and soft tissue lesions.

Preventive and supportive care for patients with implants, and the basic principles and techniques involved in the surgical placement of dental implants.

Full colour oral cancer

Diagnosis and treatment of localised odontogenic infections; diagnose, treatment and referral of post-operative surgical complications; diagnosis and referral of major odontogenic infections.

Investigation, diagnosis and effective management of oral mucosal diseases, including the early referral of patients with possible pre-malignant or malignant lesions.

Pathology and clinical significance of neoplastic and non-neoplastic disease of the head and neck.

Disorders in patients with craniofacial pain including the initial management of temporomandibular disorders, and referral of more complex cases that require specialised management.

Prescription and administration of pharmacotherapeutic agents in the safe treatment of all dental patients.

Prescription of antimicrobials through up-to-date knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance and guidance of antibiotic usage.

Pharmaco-vigilence during the care of patients and reporting of adverse drug interactions, effects and errors appropriately.

full colour early dentition

Diagnosis, assessment and treatment of malocclusions and refer those that require specialised advice and/or management.

Assessment of occlusion and diagnosis of malocclusion or disturbances of the developing dentition for the purpose of carrying out interceptive treatment or onward referral.

Detrimental oral habits and occlusal trauma and associated management or referral.

Problems related to orthodontic treatment, relief of trauma and discomfort related to orthodontic appliances and arrangement of emergency repairs.

Orthodontic indices.

Treatment planning and implementation for provision of space maintenance.

Facial growth and dental development, recognition of abnormalities and appropriate referral.

full colour crown

Non-surgical root canal treatment and re-treatment on single and multirooted teeth with mild curvature of the canal, and appropriate referral.

Evaluation of patient risk factors for caries, and formulation/implementation of a suitable preventive strategy.

Evaluation of the restorative prognosis for individual teeth in the context of the overall treatment plan and patient’s aims and expectations.

Carious tooth structure removal in preparation for restoration, and techniques which minimise unnecessary tooth damage and pulpal injury.

Use of chemotherapeutic agents in order to assist in the prevention and management of dental caries.

Restoration of carious teeth to form, function and appearance using a wide range of restorative materials.

Dental trauma in the emergency situation, including the re-implantation of avulsed teeth, and subsequent management.

Teeth restoration to maintain predictability of the existing occlusion to form, function and appearance using indirect restorations, and refer as appropriate.

Materials and techniques in the application of appropriate indirect restorations, with appropriate consideration of occlusal articulators.

Primary teeth restoration including any necessary pulpal therapy, using appropriate restorative materials and full coverage techniques relevant to the deciduous dentition.

Modern restorative concepts around minimally invasive techniques.

Full colour dentures

Diagnostic casts, radiographs and other relevant data to formulate a diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan for patients requiring prosthodontic treatment.

Preparation and evaluation of teeth and residual ridges to support and retain fixed and biomechanically sound fixed or removable prostheses.

Removable partial and complete dentures.

Liaison with the dental laboratory, to ensure the completed work is fit-for-purpose.

Current national guidelines relating to the provision of dental implants and local arrangements for NHS provision.


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Effective communication to ensure patients’ awareness and understanding of treatment options.

Effective communication and interpersonal skills to inspire confidence in patients (from all age groups and situations).

Presentation of clear, concise and understandable questions and information to the patient (or carer)

Referral of patients from different age groups or situations for care or treatment, with clear information about choices, in a sensitive manner that causes the least anxiety possible.

Effective communication with patients, relatives and carers in a manner, which respects the patient’s privacy, dignity, confidentiality and self-image.

Selection and composition of suitable written communications for the patient (and/or carer) in different clinical scenarios.

Challenging communication situations including anxiety, anger, confusion or misunderstanding of patients, and offer support to patients where they may need help in making decisions.

Effective management of all patients through the use of suitable interpersonal and behavioural skills, including those with anxiety or other special needs.

Provision of preventive education to individual patients in a motivating manner.

Effective listening and responsiveness to non-verbal cues.

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Effective team working with colleagues, in accordance with current GDC standards.

Interact effectively with members of the clinical team and peers, understanding the scope of practice of DCPs and the value they bring to patient care.

Prescription to the dental healthcare team, and deal with problems arising in connection with work delegated/prescribed to and performed by other professionals.

Provision of treatment for patients from all age groups and situations in an organised and efficient manner through interaction with other members of the clinical team.

Effective communication with all members of the clinical team and peers, which inspires confidence, motivation and teamwork.

Effective interaction with all members of the clinical team and peers with due regard to practice policies, rules and regulations, health and safety procedures and appropriate clinical techniques.

Full colour written communication

Effective communication with other professionals (individually and in groups) both verbally and in writing.

Effective presentation of professional knowledge to a wide range of lay and professional individuals.

Effective communication with referral bodies, and seek advice when necessary.

Discuss professional matters in an appropriate manner.


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Principles of ethical behaviour relevant to dentistry, including honesty, confidentiality, personal and professional integrity and appropriate moral values.

Respect and valuing of equality and diversity and interaction without discrimination.

Actions to be taken (including raising concerns and whistleblowing), with regard to colleagues who may be underperforming, behaving unethically, or posing a risk to patient safety, and/or incidents of patient harm.

Interpersonal skills in dealing with patients or colleagues exhibiting challenging or inappropriate behaviour.

Guidelines and relevant standards and recommendations.

Thin confidentiality

Honesty and confidentiality with all patients.

Interaction with patients and carers without discrimination.

Confidentiality and security of patient information, with respect to contemporary legislation and current GDC standards.

Review and reflection on treatment outcomes to the highest standards of patient care, and clinical audit and its regular implementation.

Relevant and clearly formulated preventive education for each patient or carer.

Provision of comprehensive information about options and choices.

Patients’ interests before any other interest.

No expression of personal, political, religious or moral beliefs when working in relation to patient care.

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Critical evaluation of new techniques and technologies.

Critical evaluation of published research and integration of this information to improve the quality of care for the patient.

Requirements to have appropriate support from a trained member of the dental team when treating patients.

Principles involved in clinical audit and peer review.

Importance of not practising whilst impaired by alcohol, other drugs, medication, legal or illegal substances, illness or injury and risks of dangers associated with these situations, and how to seek help for self and others.

Risks posed by suboptimal health, conduct or performance.

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Actions available to take with regard to perceived incompetence, impairment or unethical behaviour from colleagues.

Interaction with patients, colleagues, team members and peers without discrimination.

Is respectful and co-operative with colleagues, staff and peers, and can demonstrate a commitment to the maintenance of high levels of professionalism, training and safety for staff.

Dynamics of multi-professional working and contribution of these to the delivery of quality patient care.

Management & Leadership

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Considerations to be made during the selection, care and maintenance of equipment for dental practice, including procedures to be implemented with regard to the safety of reusable devices.

Reporting and analysis of incidents and near misses, and the development of strategies (e.g. significant event analysis) to reduce or eliminate the risk of reoccurrence.

Use of research data and evidence-based knowledge in approach to clinical practice.

Procedures for local and national, serious and critical incident reporting systems.

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Responsibility for health and safety issues, including those relating to patients, oneself and practice staff and Infection control procedures and implementation of these.

Safety issues in relation to dental radiography with regard to current guidelines and regulations.

Principles of obtaining valid consent for patients of all ages and capacities.

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Effective leadership within the healthcare team, including the support of all team members.

Interests of patients who have been subjected to clinical harm or errors and provision of advice and support.

Provision of effective feedback in a manner that motivates and encourages learning.

MFDS syllabus




Management & Leadership