An investigation of complete denture teaching in the UK: Part 1 - A survey of undergraduate teaching

M. Wieder, M. Faigenblum, A. Eder, C. Louca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: This paper is the first in a series of two that investigate the undergraduate teaching of complete dentures in the UK.

Materials and methods:  A questionnaire was sent by email to 13 UK dental schools enquiring about the number of hours spent in the lecture theatre, laboratory and clinic. The schools were also asked to give their views about the preparedness of the new graduates for dealing with complete dentures in general practice.

Results: There was great disparity between schools in the overall number of lectures delivered. Two schools claimed 28 hours and the remainder varied between 6-15 hours. Four schools devoted more time to laboratory work whereas three schools spent more time in the clinic. One school reported no dedicated clinical time for complete dentures. There appears to be a regional variation with northern UK dental schools spending more time on the teaching of complete dentures. The quota for complete dentures varied from three in most schools to eight in one school and none in another. Comments from the dental schools varied from a reported lack of suitable complete denture cases, to concerns with insufficient curricular time devoted to the subject and a subsequent lack of clinical competence on graduation. Some schools have integrated complete denture teaching into the general prosthodontic course as it is considered inappropriate to teach different aspects of prosthetics in isolation.

Conclusion: Competence in complete dentures falls short of what is expected. With a single exception all the schools seem to have low expectations for their undergraduate students to be practically trained and experienced in the production of complete dentures. Despite the advent of implants and the introduction of clinical dental technicians, there is and will continue to be a need for the competent treatment of the edentulous population by general practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


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