A Week in the Life of a DCT: Community/OMFS at Birmingham with Navpreet Kaur

 So here is another entry for this year's DCT competition by Navpreet Kaur..

Navpreet, DCT1 in CDS/OMFS at Birmingham

Hi, I’m Navpreet, a DCT1 in the West Midlands undertaking 6 month post in Community Dental Services (current post) followed by 6 months in OMFS at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham (upcoming post). 

For many new dentists such as myself, Community Dentistry is a new terrain. In practice, we would have referred patients to Community Dental Services but have you ever wondered what happens after this? Well I did, which is why I decided to apply for this post. My role in the community is incredibly varied which has helped me decide on a career path and added to this, an OMFS role is very desirable to employers and excellent for personal development. A perfect post, you say? I think so! 

I would encourage you, my fellow dentist to spend time in the Community Dental Services and you’ll soon see why it’s one of the most rewarding posts out there. 


My Mondays are spent caring for paediatric patients (0 – 16 year olds) in a high needs community clinic. Patients are usually referred by their GDPs. Here I:
  • Assess and diagnose dental disease including caries, periodontal disease and soft and hard tissue lesions 
  • Plan treatments holistically
  • Consider how best to deliver treatment, including inhalation sedation and general anaesthetic
  • Provide a whole range of dental treatments under local anaesthetic and inhalation sedation 
  • Attend to children on a general anaesthetic list, who are unable to cooperate with treatment whilst awake. Here, I extract unrestorable teeth, provide conservative dentistry including root canal treatment. 


On Tuesdays, I am based in the oral surgery department of Birmingham Dental Hospital where I: 

  • Provide simple and surgical extractions for patients who have been referred by their GDP or by our in-house dental A&E department. Treatment is sometimes provided under conscious sedation.
  • Assist senior colleagues in complex surgical procedures such as biopsies, enucleation of cysts, buccal advancement flaps and surgical exposure and bonding of impacted maxillary canines 


Wednesday is my favourite day and I make no apologies for it as it’s my special care day! Here I spend my day caring for the most vulnerable in our society. My patients come to see me from various settings, including:
  • Secure mental health units 
  • Residential care homes
  • Supported living accommodation 

Patients can’t always come to me and sometimes I have to go to them and provide domiciliary care. 

The dentistry on Wednesday is very similar to Monday but my patients are very different. They are adults with additional physical and mental needs and I gain additional skills such as hoisting wheelchair bound patients and clinical holding. Dental treatment under intravenous midazolam sedation is common. 


Thursdays are spent at Birmingham Dental hospital where I: 
  • Provide telephone consultations for patients who have been referred by their GDP or NHS 111 
  • Spend time in the oral surgery department as on Tuesday
  • Provide one-to-one clinical teaching of undergraduate colleagues 


Friday is spent in the specialist paediatric department of the dental hospital, where I: 

  • Assess and treatment plan children who have come via the NHS 111 referral pathway
  • Contribute as part of a multidisciplinary team alongside orthodontics and oral surgery in the management of complex cases including hypodontia
  • Attend the trauma clinic for children who have sustained injuries to their oral and peri-oral tissues
  • Manage medically complex children such as those with ectodermal dysplasia 

My Saturdays, Sundays and evenings remain restful, until I start my OMFS rotation! 

Oh and if it isn’t yet obvious, my heart lies in Special Care Dentistry. 

*Small disclaimer: due to the on-going effects of the pandemic, my post has been slightly altered i.e instead of weekly GA lists, I attend monthly ones. If you are applying for this role post-pandemic, please check the job description. 

To ENTER YOUR SUBMISSION: email your submission via the contact page on the blog - DEADLINE February 28th 2021

Do you have any questions about DCT or the competition ? Let me know in the comments below. 

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