My career path…



Many people assume I followed the typical dental speciality career path,  DCT in Paeds and Ortho, before getting my orthodontic job:


Mine did not go as initially planned!


I had some twists and turns- but the two highlights:

  1. An unplanned DCT in Dental Public Health
  2. Working part-time in practice since DCT2.

Are you currently in DCT or DFT and worried about a job next year? We have put in some serious hours building connections with practices all across the UK. I know we have already helped a few of you get an interview and hopefully the job of your dreams (or at least definitely not the job of your nightmare!)


If you still have not requested this and want some more information or help just reach out to us now at and let us know:

  • your name,
  • email
  • contact number
  • the area you wish to work
  • Ideal NHS: Private split (eg 80:20, 50:50 etc)

 So- what is my employment history?


Employment History- Summary

September 2015- August 2017

General Professional Trainee (GPT) Northern Deanery: two-year longitudinal foundation training encompassing and equivalent to Foundation Training and DCT 1 on alternating weeks.


September 2017- August 2018

Dental Core Trainee (DCT) Level 2- Northern Deanery: one-year position within the Royal Victoria Hospital working in the maxillofacial department. This involved working a rota with long day or night duty working on-call, combined with theatre and outpatient clinics.


September 2018- August 2019

Dental Core Trainee (DCT) Level 3- Dental Public Health: one-year position with Public Health England working in Public Health England, Gateshead Local Authority and Newcastle University. This involved working across 3 different locations undertaking various projects such as a community water fluoridation analysis.


September 2018- August 2019

Associate Clinical Lecturer- Newcastle University: This one-year position involved teaching and supervising the undergraduate dental students on the Dental Emergency clinic one session per week.  In this role I also gave lectures, small group tutorials and assisted with formal assessment marking. As well as assisting with teaching and marking of some dental public health assessments for the BSC dental hygiene and therapy undergraduate students.


September 2018- Current

Associate Dentist- General Dental Practice: This position involves working as a primary care dentist providing NHS and private treatment every Saturday.  Through this role I treat a range of patients for routine general dentistry.


September 2019- Current

Specialty Trainee (ST) Orthodontics- Newcastle University: this three-year training program involves completing a MSC, undertaking both clinical and research commitments in a wide range of orthodontic assessments and treatments. Upon completing this will allow me to sit the Royal College Orthodontic Membership examination which is planned for 2022.


So, what should you take from this?

Many of you have reached out wondering if you should take a part time dental associate job whilst undertaking Dental Core Training.

I have done it, so you probably can too!


Why did I do it?

  • Extra money to pay for anything you want- interview practice questions/ interview training/ CPD/ holidays!
  • Gave me a financial backup- if I was not successful in DCT or in my ST interviews, then I knew I would still be able to pay for the bills come September.
  • Extra skills- you have already worked in practice in your Dental Foundation Training (DFT), so do you learn new skills? I think I definitely did! You are working by yourself, with a new nurse, in a new practice, with a new list of patients. My clinical and communication skills have developed massively through working in practice. You will not find anywhere better to practice these skills than in a busy practice seeing 20-30 patients a day, something that you will struggle to achieve in any hospital job.

Is working as a Dental Associate whilst working in DCT for everyone?

Absolutely not! If you have won the lottery, or if you’re struggling  to cope with the stress of DCT, then working 2 jobs might not be for you right now!

I really enjoy working on Saturdays- my patients are lovely, I stay within my clinical comfort zone: mostly NHS with some simple private treatments (composites, whitening, dentures) and I’ve found a practice where I fit well into the team and have good fun when I’m working. This has given me the reassurance that when I complete my Orthodontic training I will return to primary care ideally working in a busy NHS practice.


Next steps


  1. You're applying straight to practice as an associate. Great!

 If you still have not requested this and want some more information or help just reach out to us now at and let us know:

    • your name,
    • email
    • contact number
    • the area you wish to work
    • Ideal NHS: Private split (eg 80:20, 50:50 etc)


  1. You are applying to DCT this year. Good luck!

Make sure you don't miss our next FREE ZOOM event- All about face to face interview revision!

We will be holding a Free DCT Interview Revision Zoom event on Wednesday 14th April at 7:30 pm.

The meeting will cover: 

  • Topics to revise for the DCT virtual interview
  • How to build a portfolio for dental specialty training
  • Q+A- bring along any interview questions and I will try to answer them!

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

If you have any questions you would like answered during the event, please contact us on

Write a comment