We speak to Paul Stone, Chairman of the College’s Advisory Board in Implant Dentistry about the recently launched Diploma in Implant Dentistry
SN: Who is the diploma exam intended for?
PS: This new examination was created with the intention of assessing core knowledge and competence at a level expected of a general practitioner with a particular interest in implant dentistry. It is not intended to test competency or detailed knowledge of the more advanced procedures.
SN: Why was the diploma exam developed?
PS: The College recognised the need to assess knowledge and competence with an examination that required ‘self-directed’ learning as opposed to an examination at the end of a course. Many dentists obtain their training and education in implant dentistry from a wide range of sources, often tailored to fit in with their professional and personal commitments. This can be in the form of commercial or private courses and represents the majority of postgraduate dental implant education in the UK.
SN: What are the entry requirements?
PS: The possession of a primary dental qualification acceptable to the College Council, to have been working as a qualified dentist for at least three years and the submission of a log book record of implant-related activity for 12 consecutive months.
SN: What is the format of the exam?
PS: The exam is in three parts. Part 1 is the written examination and consists of two papers, each of 90 minutes’ duration. Part 2 is the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and consists of 12 five-minute and two 15-minute stations. Part 3 is the Case Presentations and Structured Oral Examination. Four cases will be submitted for assessment – at least one with multiple implants and at least one other with more than 12 months’ documented follow-up. There will be a 30-minute structured oral examination which will examine the candidate on selected cases.
SN: Is there a syllabus for the diploma examination?
PS: The Edinburgh College diploma has a list of over 80 Intended Learning Outcomes divided into Clinical Assessment Skills, Practical Procedures, The Scientific Basis of Implant Dentistry and Appropriate Attitudes to Professional and Clinical Practice. Prospective candidates should use this list to determine areas where further study is required.
SN: The Learning Outcomes include many aspects of conventional dentistry. Can you comment on this?
PS: The Advisory Board felt very strongly that implant dentistry should not be seen simply as a technical discipline, but as an integrated part of the provision of dental treatment. As such, a good knowledge of all aspects of dentistry and where this interfaces with the provision of dental implants is essential.
SN: How was the first diet of the diploma received?
PS: This was held in October 2009 with over 20 candidates, some of whom demonstrated a high level of knowledge and competence, with good preparation and an impressive performance. Unfortunately, some were less well prepared and did not appear to have fully consulted the documentation for the examination. Some were not prepared for the standard that had been set by the Faculty of Examiners. Consequently, only a small number passed.
SN: How about the second diet?
PS: This was held in May 2010, with all candidates demonstrating a good level of preparation and the majority passing the examination. The overall standard was generally high and hopefully this will be continued in future sittings.
The next diet begins on 2 May 2011, with the closing date for applications on 4 February 2011.
Further information can be obtained from the College’s Examinations Section:
Tel: +44 0131 527 1600
Based on an article previously published in ‘Dentistry’