Dental Public Health.

Dental Public Health specialists work in the community preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting dental health.

A Dental Public Health Specialists' knowledge and skills cover public health administration, research methodology, the prevention and control of oral diseases, and the delivery and financing of oral health care.

Dental Public Health offers a strategic and consultative role. Specialists work closely with members of the dental profession, the NHS, other government health agencies and relevant bodies, such as universities. They are involved in research, lobbying, education and strategic direction, as well as contributing to the debate and understanding of important topics such as fluoridation.

Specialising in Dental Public Health offers opportunities to develop one’s professional profile by working with and influencing communities, health trusts and independent bodies. 

"We are a small specialty and work very closely as a team to deliver a high quality specialty training programme in dental public health. Trainees have the opportunity to train in urban and rural locations hosted within health and social care organisations and the university.

Training Programme Directors

Dr Gail Douglas 


March 2021 - Document Lockdown 3 February 2021

Further information on recruitment, ARCP, study leave and period of grace can be found here

Curriculum and Training

Higher specialist training programmes in Dental Public Health normally require four years’ study. Trainees will be expected to complete three years of NHS training and one year of formal academic training at master’s level or equivalent.

The purpose of the training programme is to give trainees supervised experience in the theory and practice of Dental Public Health and the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and overall competence required by a consultant in the specialty.


Formal Academic Training

Trainees must undertake 12 months of academic training at master’s level or equivalent, for example: an MSc in Dental Public Health or Master of Public Health (MPH), which includes specific dental modules.  

Individuals with these academic qualifications, who enter the specialist registrar grade, will normally only be required to undertake a further three years of specialist training.

MPH courses must be approved by the Specialist Advisory Committee in Dental Public Health and the Examination Board for the Diploma in Dental Public Health (DDPH) as being adequate to enable individuals to sit the DDPH Examination (although they will not be required to do so).


Completion of Training

Trainees must pass the Intercollegiate Speciality Fellowship Examination on completion of the training programme and achievement of satisfactory structured assessments. Trainees can then be recommended for the award of a Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training in Dental Public Health (CCST).  

You may start working as a locum or acting consultant before a substantive post is available.  The person specification is available at:

There are a few academic posts in universities.  Posts funded jointly by the universities and NHS are sometimes available.

To be appointed as a Senior Lecturer, you are expected to have substantial publications and a record of obtaining research funding, as well as being a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Please click here for further details:

Consultants in Dental Public Health sometimes also hold honorary academic or research posts in universities. These posts can include: honorary teacher, lecturer, senior lecturer, senior research fellow or honorary research fellow.  

After obtaining your CCST in Dental Public Health, you can also become a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health without examination. Please click here for details

Some of you may be interested in becoming a Director/Deputy Director of Public Health.  Further information on senior public health appointments is available at

There is no formal on-call, except for those involved in Health Protection.  However, out of hours working is required occasionally, for example, evening meetings.


The Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme Website

This site houses the curriculum for the dental specialties and, in a secure area, trainees’ electronic portfolios and the learning agreements which support training.

All trainees will eventually use the e-portfolio but this will be done on a rolling programme by specialty. Consultants and other professionals who will be training, assessing and supervising training will also need to register.


Useful Links


Trainees in dental public health must undertake 12 months of academic training at master’s level or equivalent, for example: an MSc in Dental Public Health or Master of Public Health (MPH), which includes specific dental modules. This will involve training in research skills and potentially a poster or journal publication.

There are a few academic posts in universities.  Academic dental public health posts funded jointly by the universities and NHS are sometimes available.


Testimonial from former trainee:

"I have been a trainee in Dental Public Health since April 2009. I wanted to be in a training programme that would educate, engage and challenge me and that’s exactly what I got. The first two years of my training grounded me thoroughly into the fundamental principles of Dental Public health both through working in the Primary Care Trust environment and also through the Masters in Dental Public Health course that I did in Sheffield. I am now in the final year of my training and am using these principles at every opportunity I get.  My trainers have been extremely supportive and very friendly which has contributed greatly to my progress.

I have enjoyed every minute of the training programme so far and will do it all over again if I have to!"

Vidya Ventakesh
Trainee in Dental Public Health