New dental course to help fill the gaps in profession

FILLING THE GAP: Dental technology students Marc Buchan from Peterhead and Sally Trusser from Alness. Picture: Submitted.
FILLING THE GAP: Dental technology students Marc Buchan from Peterhead and Sally Trusser from Alness. Picture: Submitted.

An innovative new course launched in Aberdeen last week hopes to plug the gaps in Scotland’s dental training and provision.

The diploma in dental technology will use a range of learning methods to serve students who live in remote and rural areas and who are already in full-time employment.

Previously, people studying for a qualification in dental technology had to travel to Edinburgh on a weekly basis, meaning many potential students from remote areas were put off because of the time and costs involved.

The new higher education diploma, open to those employed as dental technician trainees, includes a mix of online, workplace and face-to-face elements.

Students will study the course on a part-time basis over three years with workplace supervision from a registered dental technician. As well as online elements, the programme also includes two days’ attendance at the University of Aberdeen Dental School and Hospital each month.

The diploma has been developed through a collaboration between the University of the Highlands and Islands, the University of Aberdeen Dental School and Hospital, NHS Grampian and NHS Education for Scotland.

It will be delivered by the University of the Highlands and Islands which already provides many of its programmes through the “blended learning” approach.

Course leader Keith Ewan said: “A qualified and registered dental technician can go on to access a degree in dental technology, open their own laboratory or dental surgery and employ other dental registrants.”

To find out more about the University of the Highlands and Islands’ diploma in dental technology, contact Claire Hay on Claire.Hay.Moray@uhi.ac.uk or 01343 576 000