Are you a reflective practitioner? – The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2020

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  Posted by: Dental Design      14th November 2019

There are many ways to better yourself as a dental practitioner. The obvious route is to seek further training and education, enhancing and expanding clinical skills in order to continue delivering the highest quality, evidence-based dentistry. To get the very most from your learning, it’s important to review your progress and tailor future education accordingly.

You will no doubt have seen the joint statement released by the GDC and eight other healthcare regulators about the benefits of being a ‘reflective practitioner’.[i] Among the key advantages stated are improved multi-disciplinary teamwork, enhanced practices and services, and assurance for patients that their healthcare professionals are continuously learning.

Becoming a reflective practitioner

So, what does it take to be a ‘reflective practitioner’?

The idea of reflection is simply the review and analysis of one’s actions, processes and outcomes. The aim is to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness with which a task is completed. In dentistry, this could involve reflecting upon the clinical treatment provided and the products and technologies used, as well as the method and quality of patient communication, among other factors. Where successes were enjoyed, this should be noted in order to replicate similar results in the future. Where potential areas of improvement are identified, changes should be implemented for the next patient or treatment.

The concept of reflection was also introduced into the Enhanced CPD scheme.[ii] This focuses on a ‘plan, do, reflect, record’ concept, whereby professionals evaluate the impact of their CPD activity and adjust their Personal Development Plan (PDP) as needed. While there are no strict guidelines on how reflection should be recorded, it is important to state that it took place in the CPD activity log. It is then necessary to make changes to your plan for future CPD training to incorporate any new ideas or advancement of specific skills as identified.

Implementing in practice

The key is to proactively engage in reflection on a regular basis. A structured approach should be taken each time so that outcomes can be compared and progress monitored. It might be a solo reflection or performed as a whole team, once a week, once a month or on a yearly basis. Regardless of how you proceed, it’s about learning from experience and enriching your learning for the future.

Perhaps you realise that a few endodontic cases have caused concern in the past couple of months because you weren’t confident in the best treatment options and chose to refer. You could add endodontic training courses or seminars to your PDP over the next year to improve your knowledge and gain further experience. Alternatively, you may have started to offer dental implants after undergoing initial training. In order to capitalise on the opportunities presented by increasing patient demand, you might choose to focus your training over the next couple of years in this field so that you can take on more complex cases. Transferring the findings of your reflections into your PDP is not just a tick box exercise – it can have significant benefits for both your professional development and your business success.

Get the right training

No matter which discipline you’re most interested in, finding high quality, CPD certified training is crucial. That’s where the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show can help.

Offering two days of enhanced CPD across a dynamic range of topics, the event provides the ideal platform from which to learn from some of the best speakers in the business. With key features such as the BDA Theatre Lecture, you’ll be able to learn about some of the very latest techniques, materials and technologies in your chosen field, with practical advice offered from those at the cutting-edge of dentistry. You can also gain insight into the various postgraduate training courses available and discover which training providers might cater best to your needs.

Further still, with plenty of opportunities to catch up with friends and colleagues, you’ll be able to discuss and reflect on the subjects you’ve heard about and decide which areas to pursue. The extensive trade floor will host more than 450 training providers, manufacturers and suppliers, so you can source new products, equipment and courses at the same as boosting your CPD.

The best that you can be

Anyone who is passionate about what they do will constantly strive to improve. In dentistry, continuous learning is part of the job description, but it is also a way to excel in your career and really enjoy what you do. Reflecting on your work and your CPD activity is a great way of refining your learning pathway for more targeted development.


The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2020 – 15th and 16th May –Birmingham NEC, co-located with DTS.


For all the latest information, visit, call 020 7348 5270 or email




[i] GDC. Professionals, trainees and students. Continuing professional development. Reflective practice. June 2019. [Accessed July 2019

[ii] General Dental Council. Enhanced CPD guidance.[Accessed July 2019]


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