Top Tips for Case Presentations

Is it coming up to case presentation time? Whether it be for a finals case at uni or during your DFT or DCT year, what things should you include?
A case I presented during my DFT year

What type of patient should I use for a case presentation?

When I was at university, it's tempting to pick your most complicated patient to use as a case presentation, but is this the best option? 

Sometimes it may be more useful to pick a patient who only has a few elements to their treatment plan but this elements could be particularly interesting e.g. a class V composite where you've used a wax-up then mock up in the mouth and how you built it up. 

At university, we had to prepare a portfolio of cases, so using less complicated cases for each in this case is definitely more beneficial. ALSO bare in mind that there are other factors that can make a case interesting e.g. a patient who doesn't have capacity, a patient with a complicated medical history. 

What information should I include in my presentation?

Whether you are presenting your case via a power point, a written article or with the patient in the chair, make sure you include all the following information:
  • Introduction i.e.. age, F/M, history 
  • Presenting complaint and history of complaint
  • Medical, dental and social history
  • Examination: extra and intra oral, occlusion, BPE, chart, TSL
  • Investigations e.g. radiographs, sensibility testing, biopsies, study models
  • Photographs (these can be of study models, lab work or peri-operatively as well as just pre and post-op)
  • Prognoses and Diagnoses
  • Risk assessment i.e.. traffic lighting of 4 domains of oral health (oral cancer, perio, caries, TSL)
  • Treatment options and objectives of treatment
  • Patient attitude and mutually agreed treatment plan (can include copy of FP17 form if this is an NHS patient)
  • Stages of treatment: acute, prevention, stabilisation, definitive
  • Reflection and feedback
  • Guidelines and evidence used

Top presentation tips 

Presenting a patient in front of a couple of examiners to a whole room full of colleagues can be intimidating! It's really important to keep your cool and be prepared. Here are some of my top tips!

1. Practise the day before and time yourself

This will help you assess whether your presentation may be too long or short so you can adjust. If you can get someone to listen to you too this is a bonus! Be aware of speaking too quickly and rushing through slides

2. Keep information on slides to a minimum

Use them as prompts, not as an overload of information. People will be caught up trying to read everything and not listening to you, or they just won't bother. The more pictures, diagrams and tables you use the better! Tables can also be a handy way of including information if you have a word limit. 

3. Think of questions they may ask and prepare accordingly

This could be why you provided one treatment over another or how you prepared a tooth for a crown or restoration. Showing someone else your presentation beforehand is a good way of predicting what may be asked. Also be aware of any evidence to help back up any of the treatment you've provided

4. Be logical

Structure your presentation logically e.g. introduce patient, C/O, HPC, MH/DH/SH, EO etc etc. Address the patient's issues and concerns and present them as you prioritise any patient care you provide i.e. pain relief, disease stabilisation, rehabilitation, review. Present clearly and logically!

5. Know your guidelines!

Know all of the common ones you use in all your patients e.g. NICE recall, FGDP radiographs, Delivering better Oral Health (DoH). Also use society guidelines to assess complexity of treatment if there is some element of possible referral e.g. American Association of Endodontics guidelines for case difficulty (see here). 

If you need some more guidances, take a look at my presentation of the above case for DFT year (note that I presented the case before I had completed the entire treatment plan), click here

Please leave any comments or questions in the comments section below!

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