Working in the new dental hospital at The Royal London, providing dental care for the community or in an acute setting is a team responsibility. Each member of Barts Health dental team has an important role to play in promoting and maintaining dental health.
If you like the idea of working with people, doing a job that's respected and offers flexibility and security, a career with our dental team could be right for you.
There’s a range of different employment options for members of the dental team. People working in general practice will be employed by, or be partners in, a dental practice; some may be self-employed, dividing their time between different practices and other settings for providing care.
Whatever your role, you’ll be making a big contribution to improving the health of the nation’s teeth and gums. In recent years, the number of fillings needed has reduced and more of us are looking after our teeth. What’s more, the skills of the dental team, coupled with advances in dentistry, mean that a visit to the dentist is no longer the intimidating event that it once seemed.
Dentists lead the dental team. You’ll need the skills and confidence to diagnose and treat problems and provide good advice to patients. Holding a position of trust, you’ll need to behave with integrity, tact and understanding.
As you’ll know, an increasing amount of a dentist’s work is preventive, protecting teeth and gums from decay and disease. However, when your patients do have problems, you’ll need to put them at ease, gain their confidence and deal sympathetically with their fears.
You’ll have excellent knowledge of human anatomy, and oral diseases, as well as first-class clinical skills. You will need to be able to communicate well with everyone from toddlers to the elderly. It’s also important for you to be able to lead your team effectively, so you’ll need good managerial and administrative skills.
On a typical day, you’ll be helping our dental professionals treat more than 30 patients of all ages. Some will just be there for a check-up while others will have more complicated treatment. You’ll need to reassure people and put them at ease, while supporting the dentist in all aspects of patient care. It is a responsible and rewarding job. No two days, or patients, will be the same.
You will be the sort of person who enjoys variety and wants to understand everything that goes on in the surgery. In a dental practice you will help with the treatment itself and look after patient records – including taking notes when the dentist is examining a patient. You will work closely with the dentist, responding quickly to requests and generally keeping the surgery ready for use.
As a dental hygienist, your main role is to help stop problems arising in the first place. You will show children and adults how to look after their teeth and gums. You will also work inside patients’ mouths, scaling and polishing teeth and applying sealants (coatings that protect teeth).
Your work will save teeth by preventing and treating gum disease, helping people get rid of associated problems like bad breath. The dentist will advise you and help direct your work. In the dental school you will help patients who may have had major surgery or complicated orthodontic treatment to correct irregularities of the teeth.
Good people skills are very important for all dental hygienists but especially in a hospital, where patients may be very ill, apprehensive or unsure after life-changing surgery.