NHS Education for Scotland Logo

Scotland Deanery

Home of Medical and Dental Excellence


Dental Specialty Training

We pride ourselves on our specialty training. In Scotland our trainers are ready to support you through your career as you progress through training.

The training period depends on the specialty and varies from three to five years. Most training takes place within one of Scotland's main dental teaching hospitals, subject to the region of your training programme. The dental hospitals in Scotland are:

  • Aberdeen Dental School and Hospital
  • Dundee Dental Hospital and School
  • Edinburgh Dental Institute
  • Glasgow Dental Hospital and School


In addition to high quality clinical facilities and training, trainees in Scotland have opportunities to:

  • access leadership and management training (link)
  • apply for Scottish Clinical Leadership Fellowships (link)
  • access Quality Improvement training (link)
  • be involved in guidance development (Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme link)
  • carry out research and undertake further degrees from the universities linked with the dental hospitals and institutes.


You will find our contact details on this page.


General information about our specialty training programmes can be found below.


Please note that recruitment information and adverts for available posts are posted to the NES corporate website at this link


For further enquiries please contact: dentalspecialtytraining@nes.scot.nhs.uk.

    Training is offered in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.


    Length of training to CCST Post CCST training Exit Qualification Associated Royal College Programme Description
    Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology 4 years  No  DDMFR Royal College of Radiologists (RCR)   

    Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology is a specialty within dentistry although it is overseen by the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and the General Dental Council.

    Training is a minimum of four years and takes place within specialist units in dental hospitals and institutes as well as general radiology departments.

    There are three examinations held by the RCR that must be passed as part of successful training.

    The training programme will give the trainee the opportunity to acquire and develop all the skills required for appointment as a consultant in the specialty within the NHS. The trainee will be able to monitor their development against the curriculum, ensuring that they have experience in all essential domains.


    Training is offered across Scotland.

     Specialty Length of training to CCST Post CCST training Exit Qualification Associated Royal College Programme Description
    Dental Public Health  4 years (or 3 years with MPH/MDPH)   No  FDS(DPH) Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow   

    Dental Public Health is a non-clinical specialty focusing on populations rather than individuals. It has been defined as "the science and the art of preventing and controlling disease and promoting dental health through organised community efforts."

    Building on a broad clinical dental background a career in dental public health expands horizons to encompass a population-wide focus on oral health. It considers the broader environmental, social and behavioural influences on oral health together with key dental health needs assessments to develop effective solutions to improve the dental health of populations and reduce inequalities by reducing demand on health care systems by redirection of resources to priority areas. Dental public health specialists also provide leadership and expertise in oral health surveillance, policy development, community-based disease prevention and health promotion.

    To enter this dental specialty candidates will usually embark on a four year training programme, during which they will complete a masters degree in dental public health (MPH) at a recognised institution. MPH is currently offered at the universities of Dundee and Glasgow.


    Specialty Length of training to CCST   Post CCST training  Exit Qualification Associated Royal College  Programme Description 


    3 years  No MEndo/MRD   Under development


    Specialty Length of training to CCST  Post CCST training  Exit Qualification  Associated Royal College  Programme Description 
    Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology   5 years No FRCPath Royal College of Pathologists Under development


    Training is offered in Dundee and Glasgow.

    Specialty Length of training to CCST   Post CCST training Exit Qualification Associated Royal College   Programme Description 
    Oral Medicine 5 years (or 3 years with medical degree) No FDS(OM) Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

    Oral Medicine is involved with the medical management of conditions which affect the oral and peri-oral region as a result of the manifestations of systemic diseases or as disease processes occurring locally in the orofacial region. These include chronic pain syndromes, dermatological conditions, infections, autoimmune disorders and salivary gland diseases – as well as the orofacial manifestations of diseases affecting many systems, such as oral Crohn’s disease.

    Oral medicine training in Scotland is available for individuals with qualifications in dentistry and medicine as well as for individuals with dentistry alone. It is focused on the main dental teaching hospitals and extends to other medical teaching sites for training in the medical disciplines including gastroenterology, dermatology, psychiatry, HIV and sexual health, chronic pain and rheumatology.

    The programme is for a minimum of three years and normally a maximum of five years. Training may cater for those looking to work in academia as well as those looking to engage exclusively in NHS activity.


    Training is offered in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

     Specialty Length of training to CCST Post CCST training Exit Qualification Associated Royal College Programme Description
    Oral Surgery 3 years No MOralSurg/FDS(OS) Royal College of Surgeons of England  

    Oral surgery is involved with the diagnosis and surgical treatment of conditions affecting the hard and soft tissues in and around the oral cavity. Specialists in oral surgery will spend much of their time dealing with the surgical aspects of patient care that are beyond the remit of general dental practice and, depending upon where a particular specialist works, may involve:
    - complex dental extractions
    - apical surgery
    - implant placement
    - dealing with minor trauma, carried out under local anaesthetic with or without sedation in a primary care setting.

    It is a surgical specialty that works closely with general dental practitioners and other specialists in both medicine and dentistry. It has close ties with oral and maxillofacial surgery, but does not require a medical degree.

    Oral surgery is a rewarding career choice with every day providing variety and challenge, both intellectually and emotionally. It is a technically demanding dental specialty with new advances being developed constantly. We maintain a close working relationship with the other dental specialties for example, oral medicine, paediatric dentistry, orthodontics and restorative dentistry. Trainees would be expected to be involved in multi-disciplinary clinics throughout their training.


    Training is offered in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

     Specialty Length of training to CCST Post CCST training Exit Qualification Associated Royal College Programme Description
    Orthodontics  3 years 2 years MOrth/FDS(Orth)

    Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

    Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

    Royal College of Surgeons of England


    Orthodontics involves the diagnosis of growth and development disorders affecting the face, jaws and teeth, and treatment to improve the function and appearance of the mouth and face. Relatively simple orthodontic treatment is undertaken by primary care dentists whilst the majority of treatment is undertaken by specialist orthodontists. Treatment involves the wearing of braces (removable, functional, fixed, headgear and/or other anchorage devices) to produce optimal function, aesthetics and stability of the teeth. A number of patients require orthodontic treatment to be coordinated with oral surgery for impacted teeth, restorative dentistry for hypodontia and other dental anomalies, oral and maxillofacial surgery for dentofacial deformity and collaboration with the cleft lip and palate team for patients with congenital facial and oral clefts.

    Specialty training in orthodontics will provide trainees with the experience and qualifications to be an independent practitioner in the practice of orthodontics. At the end of a three year programme the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes will be tested with a membership examination (MOrth) by one of the royal colleges.

    The three year programme will equip the trainee with the level of competence expected to provide treatment for the majority of routine orthodontics in the primary care setting. An additional two years of training is required to achieve competence in the management of patients requiring complex and multidisciplinary care. This further training leads to fulfilment of the intercollegiate specialty exam which marks the completion in training to be eligible for a consultant post.

    Teaching is organised locally and regionally through the Scottish wide orthodontic seminar programme (SWOP) which shares and utilises the full range teaching expertise and resources available throughout the three major teaching centres Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

    During the programme trainees are also encouraged to attend journal clubs, locally organised continuing professional development events to use the British Orthodontic Society Virtual Learning Environment and attend nationally organised courses.


    Training is offered in Edinburgh and Glasgow.


    Specialty Length of training to CCST Post CCST training Exit Qualification Associated Royal College Programme Description
    Paediatric Dentistry 3 years 2 years MPaedDent/FDS(PaedDent)

    Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

    Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh


    Paediatric Dentistry is a dental discipline dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through to adolescence.

    Specialisation in this area will provide trainees with the experience and qualifications to provide comprehensive care for the oral health of children from the provision of anxiety management, prevention of disease and restoration of damaged dentitions to minor oral surgical procedures. The specialty cares for medically compromised patients ranging from congenital cardiac conditions and cancer to learning difficulties as well as managing complex dental conditions such as trauma, enamel defects or clefts.

    South East Programme
    The pre- and post-CCST programmes offer clinical- , teaching-, audit/research-, and management training in preparation for the Diploma of Membership in Paediatric Dentistry and the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship Examination in Paediatric Dentistry, respectively.

    The posts are based at the Edinburgh Dental Institute which is the focus for specialist paediatric dentistry in an environment of postgraduate education and research in the South-East of Scotland. Current clinics include a multi-disciplinary hypdodontia, cleft- and joint paediatric/orthodontic clinics. Additionally, bi-weekly trauma clinics run within the department.

    West Programme
    Specialist training in the West of Scotland is based in Glasgow with sessions at Glasgow Dental Hospital and School and the Royal Hospital for Children


    Training posts are offered in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    Specialty  Length of training to CCST Post CCST training Exit Qualification Associated Royal College Programme Description
    Restorative Dentistry 5 years No FDS(RestDent) Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow  

    Restorative Dentistry is the study, diagnosis and integrated management of diseases of the oral cavity, the teeth and supporting structures. It includes the rehabilitation of the teeth and the oral cavity to functional, psychological and aesthetic requirements of the individual patient, including the co-ordination of multi-professional working to achieve these objectives.

    Restorative dentistry encompasses the dental specialties of endodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics (fixed and removable) and its foundation is based upon the interaction of these specialties in cases requiring complex, multi-faceted care.

    Restorative dentistry is often aptly called ‘oral rehabilitation’ due to the increasing need for multidisciplinary and integrated care within and out with the specialty including orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, paediatric dentistry and dental and maxillofacial radiology, due to the increasing complexity of oral health problems as people live longer.

    The focus of the restorative dentistry specialty is to work with other dental, medical and surgical specialists and other clinical colleagues, to provide and support the integrated management and oral rehabilitation of patients with complex treatment needs, such as:
    -Patients affected by developmental disorders such as hypodontia, cleft lip and palate, aggressive periodontitis and amelogenesis imperfecta, who require multidisciplinary care as recommended by national service frameworks and peer assessment groups
    -Patients who have undergone radiotherapy and ablative surgery for the management of oral cancer
    -Patients who have had traumatic injuries to the face, mouth and teeth
    -Patients who have sustained damage caused by periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth attrition and acid erosion
    -Patients with severe medical and surgical problems to ensure the best treatment outcome.


    Current trainees are in posts in Dundee and Glasgow.

    Specialty  Length of training to CCST Post CCST training Exit Qualification Associated Royal College Programme Description
    Special Care Dentistry  3 years No MSCD Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow  

    Special Care Dentistry provides preventive and treatment oral care services for people who are unable to accept routine dental care because of some physical, intellectual, medical, emotional, sensory, mental or social impairment, or a combination of these factors. Special Care Dentistry is concerned with the improvement of oral health of individuals and groups in society who fall within these categories. It requires a holistic approach that is specialist led to meet the complex requirements of people with impairments. It pertains to adolescents and adults, as the care of children with disabilities and additional needs sits within the domain of the specialty of paediatric dentistry.

    The diversity of special care dentistry makes it unique. The breadth and range of skills and attributes developed by the specialist enables them to communicate with a high level of skill to manage, facilitate and deliver oral health in a variety of settings. The dynamic characteristics of the discipline require its oral healthcare professionals to be flexible and obtain excellence in their ability to provide care utilising various adjuvant modalities and techniques.

    Interfacing with rapidly advancing disciplines in medicine and dentistry presents the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of modern health and social care. The special care dentist is a key member of various multidisciplinary teams often working in partnership with colleagues to facilitate the achievement of health in a holistic manner.

    The Special Care Dentistry training programme facilitates and develops in the trainee a broad range of highly refined and desirable skills which will enable them to organise and provide holistically driven oral healthcare for people with impairment or disability.

    Clinical training experience will be conducted in multiple settings and provide exposure to different modalities in which to deliver oral healthcare. Close association with medical specialities is actively promoted within the training programme to promote inter-professional learning and working.

    Academic trainees are afforded the opportunity to be involved in learning and teaching in higher education and will undertake research in a relevant area.