What will life after COVID -19/ Coronavirus look like for dental students and young dentists?
The current pandemic has brought the whole world to its knees.
No – one could have expected that dental schools and dental practices across the country would be shut until further notice.
But in effort for us all to do our part in protecting each other and our patients - drills are currently down.
It is an unsettling time for our profession - but it won't be like this forever.
There are lots of questions and uncertainty too but in reality what will practicing dentistry as a dental student and young dentist look like?
I’m a dental student - how will COVID- 19/ Coronavirus affect my education?
A lot of end of year exams and assessments have been postponed or moved to an online format.
It might be an unusual method of having lectures and learning - especially if you're used to tutorial groups or lectures in big lecture theatres.
But the best advice at this current time is this it is time to adapt to new methods of learning.
Start forming study groups on platforms like ZOOM, Skype, Microsoft teams etc. Not only does it mean you can learn from the comfort of your own room, you can still find ways in which to learn with your classmates and colleagues so that everyone benefits.
Although we may be in quarantine - you don't have to walk this journey alone.
Use technology to your advance. There are many established dentists who are offering free online seminars on a range of dental topics in this season.
And the beauty is you can do this all from the comfort of your own bed.
It is possible that once we have bounced back from the effects of COVID – 19 online sessions and teaching may become even more of the norm - which is not necessarily be a bad thing.
However it will require dedication and motivation from you as the student to make sure that you log on and are present online, especially if you’re prone to not attending lectures or seminars in person. ( You know who you are!)
I'm in final year and I'm not going to get a graduation ceremony due to coronavirus outbreak. I'm heartbroken about this.
Like many students across the country, graduation and proms have been cancelled due to the risk of spreading Coronavirus. It's upsetting that 5 years of sweat and tears are about to pass and there may be no monumental moment mark the occasion.
It is more than likely that graduation dates will most probably be re- scheduled for sometime in 2021.
You most likely would have started work as an FD ( Foundational dentist) by then but everyone deserves the right to walk across the stage to collect their certificate and celebrate their achievements.
Trust us when we say this,
🎉🎉🎉 You will get your moment! 🎉🎉🎉
For now - being safe if of the utmost importance.
I’m a young dentist - what does this mean for my income and career progression?
This sudden halt in clinical practice has meant that for a lot of dentists who are self employed their primary source of income has temporarily dried up.
The government is providing help and support for the self employed to those who fall into the self employed catergory. Click here to find out more.
However this grant is only available for those who have 3 years worth of accounts submitted to HMRC and earning within a certain wage bracket.
But I only graduated less than 2 years ago so - does this mean I wouldn't be legible?
Unfortunately this will not include you. Which is incredibly unfair being as dentists are on the frontline of the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.
The government hasn't been incredibly fair to freelancers or those who have only just started on their self employed journeys in the last 1-2 years when it comes to seeking financial relief from the effects of Coronavirus and the economy.
However, do not loose hope. There are a few ways in which you may be able to seek help.
Hopefully you may have been able to have saved some money from your income over the last 1-2 years of work that you can use in the case of an emergency or a rainy day.
If however you are struggling and don't think that your savings will be enough to cover you in this time then please refer to the government help with Universal credit- click here to find out more.
2: Paid work opportunities:
This may be the time that you start to consider putting your skills to good use websites like
care.com are great for this.
As dentists require to have up to date immunisations and be DBS checked there are many care jobs that you could do as an interim option that could help bring in some income during this time.
This crisis has hit a lot of organisations hard and the need for volunteers has increased more than ever. There has never been a better time than to volunteer.
If you would like to volunteer your time instead during this season see some of the links below to register your interests;
Good Sam are currently recruiting those who are both medically qualified as well as those who are not.
There is no doubt that COVID – 19 may change the way we practice as dentists but hopefully the changes that will be made will only help enhance our profession and protect our patients even more so and not detract from the work that we do.