DENTISTRY TRAINING in the North East and North Cumbria

Why choose dentistry in the North East and North Cumbria?

Our programmes attract trainees from all over the country thanks to our reputation for high quality training with well-regarded trainers in a part of the country that is welcoming and vibrant.


Our dental education and training offers excellent support, opportunities and resources throughout  your career. As well as five one-year dental foundation (vocational training) schemes and our unique two-year general professional scheme, we offer speciality training in several dental specialities - alongside fantastic career development opportunities and career development (DCT-type) programmes.


Continuing education and professional development (CPD) is not neglected, as well as a regular programme in core and other CPD topics, we also have an extensive range of post-qualification programmes for dental care professionals.


Many of our programmes are based at the dedicated, state-of-the-art dental education centre at Bourne House near the beautiful city of Durham. This education and training centre gives trainees the opportunity to meet with other dentists and dental care professionals from all over the region.

Our training programmes also offer:

  • Mix of small group teaching, lectures and lots of hands on practice

  • Level of interaction with other clinicians, patients and dental care professionals

  • Structured programme of learning and support from dedicated and skilled colleagues

  • Broad and valuable foundation for your future career

  • Committed trainers teach in small groups so you’ll always feel like an important part of the team, getting the personal attention needed to hone your skills to become an excellent dentist and clinician


Why choose to train in the region?

  • High quality research environment

  • A supportive team who really care about you and your career

  • Flexibility and balance when it comes to organising your research

  • Keen and enthusiastic clinical academics who want you to come and work with them

  • Great lifestyle and wonderful opportunities in the region

“As a dentist, I love helping the community I am a part of and in my opinion money can’t buy the friendliness of the people living in the North East.”

Foundation training in dentistry

Our dental foundation training programme really does what it says on the tin and gives you a fantastic ‘foundation’ on which to build your career, offering you the tools, support and confidence you need to develop and grow as a dentist.


Training offers a mix of small group teaching, lectures and lots of hands-on practice. The training for many years now has been at the cutting edge of postgraduate dental training innovation.

General practice training in dentistry

General Professional General Dental Practice Training (GPT) is a highly successful scheme providing the perfect start to a professional dental career. Our GPT scheme provides a more in-depth approach to postgraduate training and combines primary (DF) and secondary (DCT1) training in both a training practice and at Newcastle Dental Hospital.


Rotating between one week in general dental practice and one week in a hospital environment provides a challenging and unique experience.


In addition, a full study day programme is arranged in preparation for the Membership of the Joint Dental faculties (MJDF/MFDS) examination of the Royal Colleges, the point of competitive entry into higher specialist training – this also has the added bonus of the award of a certificate in sedation.

“Both hospital and practice training are very enjoyable; they are very  sociable environments to work in and I see something new everyday.” 

Specialty training in dentistry

From the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital to management of complex cases, specialty training is an exciting careers choice where you can focus your interests and expand your horizons.


Our committed trainers teach in small groups so you’ll always feel part of the team, getting the personal attention needed to hone your skills to become an excellent dentists and clinician.


The majority of our specialty registrars are based at Newcastle Dental Hospital and Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, except orthodontics, oral surgery and dental public health where some opportunities exist at other sites, including the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and Carlisle Royal Infirmary.


Specialties include: 


  • Restorative dentistry

  • Paediatric dentistry

  • Orthodontics

  • Oral surgery

  • Oral pathology

  • Oral maxillofacial surgery

  • Oral radiology

  • Dental public health

Academic opportunities in dentistry

We are proud of our commitment to integrated academic training boasting a high proportion of academic trainees compared with most other deaneries.  A number of our specialty registrar posts are formally linked to an academic training programme at academic clinical fellowship and clinical lecturer level. These programmes combine training clinical attachments at Newcastle Dental Hospital with an academic programme based at the adjacent Newcastle University Dental School.

“This region is home to some world leading clinicians and academics which means we have the opportunity to work with some truly amazing people.”

One employer, one contract, one less thing to worry about

Regardless of which trust you work in, as a specialty trainee in our region you will be employed by a single employer known as the lead employer trust (we call it the LET!). 


What is the LET?


We are here to make sure your employment, whilst training in the North East and North Cumbria, runs as smoothly as possible. We are hosted by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Your statutory rights for continuous employment are held by one Trust holding contract of employment and remaining on one payroll system. 

What does the LET do?


We work in partnership with Health Education England North East to ensure you are supported throughout your career. We handle all human resources and payroll matters including payment of travel expenses, study leave expenses and most importantly, making sure you get paid!

We carry out all pre-employment checks and there is a dedicated helpdesk for you throughout your employment should you need to get in touch.


We manage all your statutory rights such as maternity, paternity and special leave. We work closely with all 11 NHS trusts and local general practices to ensure that your rotations go smoothly too.

Nine out of 11 NHS trusts are members of our regional collaborative bank which allows doctors to work additional shifts (at the level in the specialties they have the competence to work in). The system allows you to be paid weekly where your payslips are available on the electronic staff record (ESR) portal (where you will also see your monthly payslip).


Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more or have any questions.

Meet Mary Connolly

Mary was born and bred in Sheffield, South Yorkshire where she graduated as a dentist in 2012. She then relocated to Newcastle upon Tyne to undertake the sought-after two-year general professional training programme offered by the Northern Deanery. This included experience in a general dental practice, as well as a wide range of hospital experience.


Following this Mary undertook a year in the oral and maxillofacial surgery Department at Sunderland Royal Hospital and Paediatric DCT3 in Birmingham Children’s Hospital. She decided to return to Newcastle upon Tyne to undertake her registrar training in orthodontics.

Mary says: "Newcastle upon Tyne is my favourite city in the UK, it is very vibrant and there is something for everyone including the picturesque and rugged Northumberland, an area of outstanding natural beauty on the doorstep. When I applied for orthodontic national recruitment my first choice was Newcastle Dental Hospital. I really enjoyed my time here during my two-year GPT foundation training and I could not wait to start. The orthodontic staff are very helpful, friendly and supportive to all their trainees and our teaching alongside Newcastle University is excellent.’

For Mary she had prior knowledge of Newcastle that drew her back to the North East for StR training.

"We attend clinics with one other UK trainee and 2 international students, there is a mix of our own patient clinics and consultant-led clinics. I especially enjoy having a range of trainers to teach me different orthodontic techniques which has really enhanced my learning. We have also had a lot of support in preparation for our MOrth examinations.’

There are also lots of opportunities available in Newcastle for other aspects of career development.

"I sit on the panel as junior trainee representative of the specialist training committee and I am secretary for both the North East Odontological Society and North East Orthodontic audit circle."

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