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In the UK there are thirteen dental specialties. The General Dental Council (GDC) not only maintains the register of dental practitioners but also maintains the specialist lists. The recognised specialties in the UK are:

Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology, Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral Medicine, Oral Microbiology, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentistry, Periodontology, Prosthodontics, Restorative Dentistry, Special Care Dentistry.

Please note that Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a medical specialty in the UK and requires the trainee to have a medical and dental degree before starting specialist training.

The GDC is also the sole competent authority with ultimate responsibility for specialist training and standards of practice in the UK.

Specialist training

Generally, dentists who apply for specialist training will have completed Dental Core Training. Although the possession of the MFDS or MJDF diploma is not mandatory for entry into a specialty training post, possession of one of these qualifications could enhance your application.  When applying for a training post, it is not uncommon for the person specification of your application to request details of your experience in management, teaching, leadership, research, audit, membership of a specialist society and publications. Learn more.

On completion of your training, you may be required to take an exit exam known as the Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST).

Satisfactory completion of an approved training post and the passing of the specialist examination will allow you to apply to be a specialist on the GDC's specialist list.

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