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09 Dec 2021

Moving on up: advancing your skills

Moving on up: advancing your skills
Professional development is a cornerstone of the dental profession. The idea of graduating and then hiding away in your dental surgery for the rest of your career is certainly not an option for the young dentist!

But there are so many pathways providing progression into new areas, it can be difficult to know where to start or what to do next.

These days, advancing your skillset into new dental fields depends on clinical requirements as well as personal preference. Whether it be endodontics, periodontology, orthodontics or restorative dentistry, or even facial aesthetics, the possibilities to develop your skills and enhance your practice are significant.

As an example, here we look at the options and opportunities for the general dental practitioner in developing one’s skills in orthodontics.

Options for expanding your knowledge

There are various educational pathways for the ambitious clinician looking to supercharge their orthodontic skills, all requiring different financial and time commitments.

The Membership in Orthodontics (MOrth) is a membership diploma which equips general dental practitioners with expertise in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment and allows entrance onto the specialist list. This does however involve three years’ full-time training to become a specialist orthodontist and significant expense, so should not be considered lightly.

A shorter course, or series of shorter courses, can be a good option to improve competency and develop orthodontic skills alongside your daily practice. Before signing up, thorough research is essential to ensure there is a good balance between theoretical and clinical training to help you develop the level of confidence and ability needed to successfully deliver orthodontic treatments. A quality course will also have the proper support structure in place to help attendees to avoid complaints and effectively deal with any other stresses associated with providing this modality.

Joining a professional organisation can be a great way to advance one’s knowledge in your chosen field. These associations exist to support their members and provide extensive educational and advisory services such as libraries, journals and newsletters with regular updates, individual advice and support, in person and online courses, in addition to signposting other services which might prove helpful.

Finding a clinical mentor is just as integral to skill development in dentistry. Both during studying and beyond, a mentor provides much-needed support and guidance to aid safe and effective progression. The option to ask for a second opinion and discuss complicated cases gives dentists the confidence required to safely undertake orthodontic treatment in their own practices.

Opportunities from supercharging your skill set

The opportunities afforded by developing your clinical expertise are numerous – benefitting professional, patient, and practice alike.

Enhancing your skills in orthodontics will increase your abilities to meet more of your patients’ needs by providing comprehensive advice and a range of expert treatment options – the ultimate aim for the dental professional. Having a selection of treatment pathways to hand helps increase treatment acceptance, and positions you as an expert clinician. This continuity of treatment will also help to build a trusted patient-practitioner relationship for the long-term and enhance patient peace of mind.

Delivering more treatment options yourself also removes the need to refer patients elsewhere, and so retains an increased level of business in your practice. This can be hugely rewarding for the ambitious clinician looking to achieve sustainable growth from a number of revenue streams and secure the future success of their practice. While helping to retain current patients, offering a range of orthodontic treatments in your clinic will also enable you to market yourself as a practice offering comprehensive services and help to attract new patients.

Find your next phase of growth

The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show Birmingham 2022 provides attendees with a fantastic introduction to a variety of topics, helping you to decide on your next growth-generating move.

Whether you’re interested in facial aesthetics, endodontics, periodontology, orthodontics or restorative dentistry, the 2022 show promises to showcase an unparalleled range of engaging subjects. There will be over 250 seminars and workshop sessions to inspire you for your next challenge, and help you choose the right area of focus for you and your practice.

Where will you go next?

Dentistry is an ever-evolving profession with a wealth of opportunities for the ambitious clinician to extend and diversify their skills throughout their career. Why not make 2022 the year to advance your knowledge, re-energise your practice, and take it to the next level – where will you go next?

The next British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show Birmingham will be held on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th May 2022, Birmingham NEC, co-located with DTS.

For more information, visit, call 020 7348 5270 or email

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