Dental Core Training in London

Dental Core Training (DCT) is designed principally for the recent dental graduate, following on from the first year of Dental Foundation Training.

Across London and KSS London, there are currently about  posts designated as being DCT year 1 and another xx designated as DCT year 2/3.

The vast majority of the posts are sited in hospital trusts, although a few are aligned to the salaried dental services or dental public health. In the hospital trusts, over half of the year 1 posts are in one of London’s three dental teaching institutions, whilst the remainder are in District General Hospitals with Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgery or Dental departments. An indicative range of the trust sites covered by DCT can cover can be found below.


Dental Core Training Year 1 (DCT1)

Undertaking a DCT 1 post, which is entirely voluntary, offers the recent graduate the opportunity to work and train for a year in a setting very different from general dental practice. The trainee learns to work in a large, often multidisciplinary team, alongside specialists and consultants, many of whom have national or international reputations in their field of work. The trainee learns to manage patients referred from the primary care setting as well as, in many of the posts, the emergency treatment of victims of trauma and serious illness. Knowledge gained in dental school is applied and new skills learnt. The posts offer an excellent opportunity to study for the Membership examinations (MJDF, MFDS) and to being to shape a “CV” for the benefit of future career progression. Many dental graduates choose to undertake a DCT1 year in order to help them decide upon a career pathway.

DCT1 continues the educational practices available in DFT. There are regular didactic study sessions and the trainee can apply for “study leave” to attend activities such as professional conferences and courses. The year can be spent on making a start with publications and with presentations to local and regional groups. Designing and undertaking audits is an essential part of the job role. In addition, many trainees begin to get experience of teaching either dental undergraduates or allied professionals.

In London and KSS, as with most of the rest of the country, the posts commence at the beginning of September, with the recruitment held in the preceding spring. Entry is competitive and London, with its wide range of job and site options, is a very popular choice.

Nearly everyone who undertakes a DCT1 post finds it a rewarding and valuable experience. For many it is career defining, setting them on a path, rarely easy, that leads to the achievement of an ambition.

Dental Core Training Year 2 (DCT2)

Following a DCT1 training year, many dentists seek Associate positions in the GDS. Some enjoy mixed, part time, work in practice and in hospitals, as Trust Dentists. A significant proportion, however, wish to realise their ambition to become a dental specialist and for most, the next step is to acquire a DCT2 post.

DCT2 posts differ from DCT1 posts by being more closely aligned to a particular dental speciality. Across London and KSS, these include OMFS, Paediatric Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Community Dentistry, Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine. There is an additional, very specialised, post in Oral Pathology. Although the job opportunities are relatively few, it does give the DCT2 trainees the opportunity to expand their knowledge, skills and experience to be serious contenders for entry into dental speciality training.

Training Programme Directors

  • Dapo Akintola - Programme Director DCT South London
  • Sonita Koshal  - Programme Director DCT KSS
  • Zoe Killick - Programme Director DCT North London

Recommend References

 For further information for current trainees and Covid-19: