Project overview

At the beginning of my fellowship...

As a Digital Fellow I intended to scope the use of technology in Dental Care. This was to look at the workforce requirements, from university undergraduate level to experienced practitioner. This also included exploring the possibilities of the introduction of the technologies mentioned in the Topol Review into clinical dental workflows.

My project was based around the use of Artificial Intelligence in dental radiography. This required adoption of a new skillset and developing further clinical insight into potential use cases

During my fellowship...

There is a substantial amount of work happening within digital dentistry. However, the time to scope, network and collate the different work happening across the country was the biggest use of my time.

I have understood the use of haptic and simulation training in surgical dental training and how this may be more important for dentists to regain their confidence and practise new skills following the pandemic.

I have moved from a University role, primarily educating undergraduate dental students, back into a formal training role. This training role of a Dental Core Trainee is funded via NIHR through an academic clinical fellowship. This is a major boost to my work, as I can continue my digital health work in my protected research time for many years to come.

Lessons learned:

My major lesson is to be able to relate your digital work and terminology to the audience. The conversations I have had with digitally native individuals compared to those who are more resistant to technology adoption are very different.

The lesson learned from my project was the the importance of understanding early on the various governance steps that need to be taken prior to access to systems.

I have reflected and realised that my protected time can very quickly be taken over and it is important to ensure that the time is ‘protected’.