Dentistry Interview Questions & Answers - University Expert (2023)

If you receive an invitation from your Dental School UCAS Application for an interview, you have already done well up to this stage and if you get over this hurdle, the only thing left is to get your A- Level grades.

Your dental university interview: So can you do anything to increase your odds of acceptance? How can you prepare well in advance or is it a case of turning up on the big day and keeping your fingers crossed?

In order to answer these questions let’s review some common ideas and myths that many students engage into when it comes to getting fully prepared for dental school interviews.

Before we go into this, let’s get things into perspective because this will potentially be a “make or break situation” and if you don’t make it, you may lose that chance of becoming a dentist. In addition, you could be left with a forced “gap year” and there are also financial implications for you and your parents.

The tips we’re about to give you are based on what University Expert have learned over the years helping hundreds of students come through their interviews. Unfortunately, some students and parents do not heed our advice sometimes with poor consequences.

The reasons for not heeding our advice can be down to “saving a few pounds” thinking they can get all the information to pass their interview for “free,” This rarely works and is an extremely risky approach with unpleasant consequences further down the line. Why would you want to take the chance?

Time and time again, students and parents go about the Dentistry Application process failing to see how competitive the interview process is.

TIP #1: “Creating Knowledge”

The examiners are professionals and as such, you will want to mirror their internal language. Examiners ARE actually looking for certain and correct words/phrases when engaging with their questions. This is actually stated on the admissions website at some schools itself but sadly many students who fail did not prepare their answers with this in mind. Initially, leading up to the interview, it will sound odd to you when you are using dental terminology however fairly soon, it just becomes second nature.

Therefore, become aware of “Using the correct dental language.” Speaking clearly, using correct terminology such as restorations or composites rather than simply fillings will impress them more. Our comprehensive Dentistry Interview Training Course will go through a list of Dental Terminology which you would be expected to know and become familiar by the examiners at your interview.

It is equally as valid to say that the examiners would not want you look puzzled or to be surprised if they mention terms such as “UDAs”, composites, acid erosion and CQC, just to mention a few. They will expect you to understand these terms and be able to hold a conversation.

Finally, with the Dentistry Interview Training Course that we go through including a list of Dental Terminology which you would be expected to know, we remove all the leg work from you so you don’t have to spend hours searching and studying by yourself. Instead, you can use the time saved by working on your A-level Grades.

Getting into Dental School is all about being efficient and effective with your limited time. So now, let’s talk about some more facts and myths.

TIP #2: I’m Just Not Good At Interviews

This is an interesting scenario which we see often in our Dentistry Interview Training Courses. However, in the past, many of our best students have been who originally thought that “I am just no good at interviews!”However we rapidly remove this obstacle no matter how bad they think they will be at their Dentistry Interview. The underlying theme when a student thinks that “I am just no good at interviews!” can be several and often in combination.

(a) Most commonly it will be a lack of confidence on the part of the student because they have never actually had a “formal” conversation in front of a complete stranger. This is not too surprising for obvious reasons and is remedied by “conversational exposure” which results in an increased confidence.

This is adequately addressed at an early stage in our Dentistry Interview Trainings and is one of the easier barriers to overcome. Furthermore, students who have mostly been focusing on their studies do find this process, out of their comfort zone, and like anything new, doing more of what you find daunting will eventually result in fruition as it becomes less unfamiliar.

(b) There is also a fear of the “unknown” as students do not understand the Dentistry Interview process. The fear of the unknown is removed in our Dentistry Interview Training Course which is comprehensive. We go through all the Question Types and what the panel is looking for.

Then we repeat the process so that it becomes second nature and no longer becomes a fear of the “unknown.”Students suddenly raise their game using our proven techniques and methods.

Once you know what the university is looking for in an ideal applicant, you can then prepare yourself accordingly and be successful by impressing the examiner/panel at the interview. The approach we use is a bottom-to-top method by starting with the end in mind.

(c) The student may come from a family with no dental background and it is natural therefore to assume the other students with a dental background will be better than them.

Certainly, if you have a parent who is a dentist, you will have a head start but this gap can be reduced to nil with our Dentistry Interview Training so that you end up at an even keel by the time the interview occurs, with anyone regardless of their background advantage.

(d) “I will panic if I get stuck with an answer/question”: Because no one really knows what types of questions are going to be asked during your interview. Well if that were the case then you wouldn’t be able to prepare for any of your exams during your school years. Just like any other test there are a number of things you can and should do in order to prepare in advance.

During our dental interview 1:1 courses, we teach students how to avoid anxiety and even if things like panic does creep up at your interview, how to manage that accordingly. When you are overly anxious, this will become apparent before you even have to say a word to the panel.

For instance, your body language will change and the words will not come out properly from your mouth. It is common to see/recognise students who are anxious as their body language changes and they become tongue twisted in their answers.

TIP #3: Does Practice Make Perfect?

Certainly, practice is the key and you’ve heard of the saying “practice makes perfect” but there are caveats to add to this. Firstly, if you continue to practice the wrong way then you will permanently perform on your Dentistry Interview questions in the incorrect manner no matter how much effort you are putting in.

Get feedback on each and every aspect of your dentistry interview practice. The feedback must be relevant and must be accurate. You also need to rely on experts familiar with the interview process in order to receive feedback that is relevant and accurate. What feedback has been received, you then need a plan to improve and action on it.

The process needs to be repeated and it is a continuing repetitive process of improvement gradually. Simply reading books, forums, and attending “crash course interviews” will not provide the above meaningfully.

(Video) HARDEST Dentistry Interview Questions | Dentistry MMI + Panel Interviews

If you do not do the above, there is a real danger that bad habits will creep into your interview practice and these simply will get more reinforced at each attempt. We often see students have acquired such bad habits that they take a considerable effort to derail and renew accordingly. It is much easier to start on the right foot from day one.

The following may seem harsh to you but you definitely need interview tutors who are going to be stringent on you. One of the aspects of this is that in your actual interview, they will no doubt be rigorously testing you and therefore you need to be prepared when somebody is closely scrutinising you and will pounce upon any weakness causing criticism.

Being a successful dentist is about being able to deal with the stresses and rigors of the profession. The interview is one method in which the dental University can assess your ability to withstand pressure and tough demands.

During your interview, if it becomes apparent that you are a total bag of nerves and crumble to the first sign of being put into a difficult situation, this will not go down well and you are likely to end up with a rejection.

So although it has been reiterated before as above, it is worth repeating that receiving an interview from a dental University is extremely precious because you will already be in the minority of the total number of applicants.

However, just receiving an interview is not a guarantee of being accepted for a place because you still have to do extremely well in the process. In this regard, you must give yourself the best chance and opportunity for the universities to offer you a place.

TIP #4: Can You Have A Strategy?

You must have a strategy and a plan of action when approaching interview questions. The very first step is to identify the exact type of question the panel is asking. We are identified 18 different types of questions that come up during dentistry interviews.

Sometimes, there will be more than one type of question within each section however the root of each question will always be obvious. And that is what you should be focused on. So for example if there is a question with the subject as being one on ethics, your answer then must be based on the relevant points relating to ethics.

In addition, you should always have at the tip of your tongue an example where you have seen ethics being used in your work experience and another example of ethics within your personal life which may be during your sports or hobbies.

As already stated above, stress and anxiety is one reason why dental universities reject your interview and therefore we have devised both short-term and long-term strategies to cope with this.

This also means that some of these skills take time to develop and perfect which means students need to allow for this by starting as early as possible with their preparation. It is imperative to remember that Dental universities will frequently give just two weeks or even less to prepare for the interview.

This therefore means that a large chunk of your preparation has to be done prior to this and the 2-weeks is simply the time of trying to run and iron out those small discrepancies in your knowledge and techniques.

TIP #5: Is Manual Dexterity Assessed At a Dentistry Interview?

This varies depending on the Dental School, and you may not have thought about this until you have subsequently sent off your UCAS application. Usually, if manual dexterity is assessed at interview, there will be an indication of this in the interview invitation.

It’s a good idea to think about your personal examples of manual dexterity prior to your interview, as you might have an opportunity to speak about them, or bring them out to show your interviewers. You must be able to show examples that you have had in place over a considerable time period.

In addition, each example must have been done in a formal setting. Below are some proven ways to practice manual dexterity:

  • Origami
  • Model making including Air-Fix,
  • Carving teeth out of wax,
  • Carving teeth out of soap.

If you complete any work experience at a Dental laboratory and are given the chance to bring something relevant you can bring that along to your interview, cross stitch sewing, knitting, drawing, painting, metal work, wooden models, pottery, cake decorating, playing a musical instrument, facial aesthetics, (eyebrow threading, weddings makeup, henna design.) and robotics using electronic components.

TIP #6: Pay Attention To The Obvious

Have a moderate breakfast/lunch with adequate water on the day of your dental interview. Prepare all your paperwork the day before in a file. Know inside out, the interview information and how you will get to the university beforehand including the campus layout.

Once you are there, it is fine during waiting to use this time to have a light friendly conversation with fellow students. Be ready for the interviewer to ask about any aspect of your application, your dental knowledge and your personal statement. The panel will know that interviews are very nerve-wracking — that’s natural, but appear relaxed with eye contact, smile and pause before giving out answers.

Use the 3 second pause rule and thank the panel at the end for their time. You can be offered to go on a university tour either before or after the interview with students and it’s good to take this up. There may be something useful you pick up and can even mention during the interview. If you are struggling with a scenario, verbalize your thought process using the STAR method even if you can’t reach a definitive answer.

After the interview when you have finished, sit down on your own with a pen and paper in order to reflect on your interview. If you have any further interviews lined up then you will certainly find it useful to note what you did well, and if there’s anything you can further improve or practice on. Unless you have another interview the very next day, just take a good rest after the whole process as interviews suck a huge amount of energy both mentally and physically.

TIP #7: How To Prepare For A Dental Mmi Type Of Interview

On a MMI type of dentistry interview, there will be 7 to 10 interview stations depending on the university you are being interviewed at. Students will spend between 5 and 10 minutes per MMI station with the most common duration being just less than 10 minutes in total.

The process of scoring is that each station is scored separately and the total scores are added together to give a final indication to the university. The interview panel at each station will not know how you did in the previous station. There will be a large number of questions and scenarios that you will be expected to be proficient in.

These scenarios could be questions related to your personal statement, your communication skills, leadership skills, typical problems around strengths/weaknesses, conflict management, solving data and graphs, showing how your manual dexterity skills are suited to being a dentist and current issues within dentistry.

When you initially go into the station, you will be given information and it is important that you calm down, read the question twice and understand what the question is asking of you. Once the interview starts, it is fine within reason to ask for further clarification accordingly. It is rare that anybody does exemplary in every single station so if a station doesn’t go to plan as you expected, try to forget about that and stay calm and focused for the next station.

This is because each station is like a new mini interview and therefore it is scored independently. The usual rules of remaining calm, smiling and maintaining eye contact with the interviewer applies equally as well in these types of interviews as it does for the traditional interview type.

Before you answer a question, use the 3-second rule which gives you time to process your answer.

(Video) The MOST COMMON/DIFFICULT Dental School Interview Questions *Answers Included*

Try to use the same language as you have been provided in the question. So for instance if a question is talking about dental erosion, use the words dental erosion and be prepared to even define it as you will have information on this during your preparation if it has been done correctly. See the “chunk and check” method to deliver information.

TIP #8: Common Dentistry Interview MMI Stations

If you are invited to attend a Dentistry MMI interview, expect the whole MMI to have between five and ten different stations. Each station will normally be taking between 5 to 7 minutes with additional rest stations or stations. Although the whole process takes about an hour and 20 minutes, the time will go by extremely quickly!

The most common MMI stations are role plays, ethics, problem solving skill types, motivation to become a dentist, manual dexterity ability exercises, personal statement content, empathy based and understanding of being a professional. Let’s look at some of these in further detail.

The Dentistry MMI Interview Role Play Station – There will be at least one role play in a wide variety of settings. Common settings for these role plays include an ethical or empathy scenario and therefore you need to demonstrate that you are a caring professional who knows ethical parameters. It is normal to begin each role play with an open question, listen carefully, and reiterate the gained/given information throughout.

Ensure that you have covered everything and cooperate with them to formulate an agreed plan as needed. If you undertake lots of practice with familiar and unfamiliar people leading up to your interview, then the “role play” station won’t feel too strange on the big day itself.

TIP #9: Dentistry Panel Interview VS Dentistry MMI Interview

Most students that we speak to, say that they would prefer the traditional panel interview rather than a MMI type of dentistry interview. Certainly there are advantages and disadvantages of both, however, within the MMI type of interview, you can always regroup if the section doesn’t go according to plan.

In addition, if one section goes badly, you still have the opportunity to recoup marks in the other sections. It is quite common that when a traditional panel type of interview starts going wrong, it is difficult to turn the ship around, unless the interviewer helps you which is not always the case nor should even be assumed.

Here are some basic tips on how you can prepare and handle the MMI dentistry type of interview.

First and foremost, learn and read up on the general Dental Council Standards and guidance for dental professionals. This can be accessed by anyone on the General Dental Council website or you can even call them to request a paper copy if you find that is easier to work from.

A paper copy also allows you to make your own notes or comments directly on it. In addition, that paper copy is something that you can take with you to the interviews and refer to whilst waiting. It won’t be adequate just to know the 9 standards that dental professionals must adhere to at all times but it is the understanding and deeper knowledge within the standards.

So for example “standard number 4” requires that a dental professional must maintain and protect patients information. Therefore you need to know what this actually means, entails and use an example that you will have seen during your work experience where a patient’s information is maintained and protected.

To cite another example is the first standard which is to put patients’ interests first. In this regard you will need to demonstrate that you know what this entails and means. In addition, you should be able to use at least one example during your work experience where a patient’s interests were put first.

A common question that students ask is the one regarding manual dexterity testing for applicants. It goes without saying that dentistry is a practical profession and therefore having the correct level of manual dexterity is vital for patient well-being.

There are different approaches here depending on the actual university that you are applying to. Some universities do not put too much emphasis on this at the interview because they know that they will be able to train students with manual dexterity skills.

However there certainly are other universities where they will look and ask for evidence that you have some kind of manual dexterity skills. The evidence could be that you may have played a musical instrument at a high Grade, carried out a hobby such as origami or making Airfix models, being part of a sewing group and so on.

If you can even bring an example of your handiwork, this may impress them and it may also be in addition a talking point during the manual dexterity station.

What Is The Manual Dexterity Station At Dentistry Mmi Interviews?

This will be a separate station lasting 7 to 9 minutes where you are required to have a go at a task to assess your level of manual dexterity under timing.

They are testing your manual dexterity skills but also your ability to remain calm and focused. In the past, there are lots of exercises that have been used such as fitting different shapes into a template, threading a needle or bending wire into a given shape.

Usually, there will be a problem solving station where you are given a piece of knowledge/data such as a graph or a bar chart.

You are given a minute or two initially to analyse the data and then you are asked about your interpretation and views on the data that you are being given in a clear and logical format. In this exercise, they are more interested in how they arrived at your answer rather than just interested in having the correct answer at the end.

Next, we have the motivation or reasons why you chose the dentistry Question. Although this seems like a simple question and one that as a student you would be expected to know inside out, you would be surprised how many students fail to adequately prepare for this question. In order to answer this question, you will be expected to give a reason why you chose this profession and what insight you have gained as to what makes a successful dentist.

Coupled with this could be a question where you are asked how you came to this choice rather than other health-related professions such as pharmacy or optometry.

Within this question, it is imperative to know the role of different dental professionals. Therefore you should be always ready to answer questions on what is the role of a dental hygienist, the role of a dental therapist, what a dental technician does and what a dental practice manager entails.

Many universities will have a separate station around your personal statement. It goes without saying that you must know your personal statement intimately inside out and be able to elaborate on all aspects of it.

In addition, there may be other points that you have alluded to in your personal statement but you did not go into much depth and this is now an opportunity for you to do so. If you mention any particular books you have read or any particular courses you attended, they may just ask you about these to make sure that you have understood and absorbed the information accordingly.

Before you go into any dentistry interview, you must know the General Dental Council relevant guidance on maintaining standards and this includes being able to answer questions on what it means to be a professional including ethics. This leads onto the two important terms of empathy and sympathy.

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If this question or subject comes up at your interview, you must be able to define what empathy is and in addition you must be able to show that you understand what sympathy is. Furthermore, you should be able to demonstrate to the interviewer that you understand the difference between the two.

Needless to say, you should have an example of empathy that you saw at your work experience. A lot of students will have experience mentoring other students in their school and this is where the example of empathy can be used.

Questions around this topic can be the following. Do you consider yourself an empathetic person and can you show an example? Please could you demonstrate your understanding of the terms empathy and sympathy? Why is it more useful as a dentist to show empathy rather than sympathy?

Every year we get asked by students if they are required to know about general news current affairs and most specifically a current topic around dentistry. With this in mind, as already stated, universities are looking for well-rounded individuals rather than those who just bury their heads in the books for good grades but little else.

Therefore, it would be a good idea if you would read/research topics around current news affairs in a good publication. In addition, it is equally as important to know any recent news items around dentistry that have occurred.

It is always important to realise in your interview that a question which may seem unfamiliar will usually be dressed up on a more basic question.

Questions such as tell us why you want to become a dentist, when you qualify what area of dentistry do you think you would be most interested in, have you carried out any research into any of these specialities and what was that? You should always be prepared to answer a question on why you chose dentistry rather than medicine or pharmacy.

We have already mentioned that it is an important aspect of your dentistry interview and we give plenty of practice to our students. A typical question that we may discuss in your one-to-one tutoring session would be as follows: imagine that as a dental student, one of your seminar group friends approaches you to say that they have been having problems with the essay that is being asked for by the end of term.

They say to you that they have had a lot on their plate and as you have already done yours, would they mind paying you to write the essay for them. You also know that although you are ahead of your work, you have been struggling with your finances lately. In this scenario, how would you approach and communicate with your seminar group members?

Team working is extremely vital in dentistry and there are lots of questions that can be asked around this particular aspect.

Some of these questions could be on the following lines: Tell us about a time during your netball matches where teamwork was extremely important, tell us a time where your team was not performing well and what you did to bolster the players, can you show a time when team working was important at your work experience and what are the different roles of team members within a dental practice.

Let’s Now Look At The Professional Judgement Mmi Station

The purpose of the professional judgement station is to show your ability to make-up logical and reasoned decisions in a pressurised environment.

It will not be a surprise if this could be part of the acting or role-play MMI station. You will be given a scenario to play out with an actor. The actor could be another colleague, a patient or somebody else that you interact with on a daily basis. The following has been lifted directly from a previous MMI interview.

The question around professional judgement was as follows: You are working in a large dental practice and you notice that your colleague next door is always running late and even sometimes asks you to see her patients.

Later on, you also noticed that the treatment performed on her patient has not been ideal. At the next opportunity, you have a chance to speak to your colleague and how would you therefore approach this situation? In all these types of scenarios, there are certain basic ingredients such as not jumping to conclusions until you have heard the other side, being able to empathize and being able to come up with solutions.

For this, it is important that you build trust and have good communication skills. If this station is being played by an actor, you should be prepared for the actor to become very defensive or even aggressive. This is how the examiner will assess your ability to handle difficult and emotive situations effectively and sympathetically.

Related to this is the issue of prioritising patient safety as a dentist. The first of the General Dental Council guidance for dental professionals notes that you should always put patients’ interests first. In this regard, if either your behaviour or the behaviour of a colleague compromises patients safety then it is your duty to address this.

This may be that you seek help yourself or you help a fellow colleague with their own difficulties. Above all, it is important to ensure patient safety. With regards to this subject, you should be able to mention the duty of candour.

Another scenario where prioritisation is assessed is where you are given a particular situation and this has absolutely nothing to do with dentistry but it is designed to test your ability for Rational thinking and good decision-making.

The situation below has been lifted directly from a recent interview scenario: imagine you are due to go on a camping trip with four other people. Although each person has brought items with them, you are only allowed to take 10 items in total. Which items would you take and which ones would you leave behind and why.

There will be no wrong or right answers but the important fact is that you are able to justify your reasons. Another situation could be directly around dentistry however it is still prioritisation. The question could be as follows: the NHS has been allocated a certain number of dental implant procedures and you are given five different patients ranging from ages, professions and dental conditions.

How would you make sure that all the dental implant procedures are prioritised according to the most urgent and pressing need.

Here you may need to justify why a younger patient should take priority over an older patient. In addition you may need to justify why a parent who has lost their teeth through no fault of their own may take priority over a patient who has neglected their oral health.

In all these situations, you need to show the interviewer that you have a clear and logical thought process throughout. If you happen to perform badly in an MMI station, you may have time to rest and recuperate your thoughts at a rest station.

Common questions that you can be asked at a MMI dentistry interview include those as to why you want to study dentistry, why you chose this particular University, and what you would do if you did not receive any offers from your four applications at all.

In addition, to show that you are a well-rounded person with a sound personality, they may well ask you about your extracurricular hobbies and interests. They will want to know that you have carried out a hobby or interest for a significant length of time and are structured level such as being part of a team or competitions.

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It won’t be enough to tell them that you enjoy playing rounders in your backyard at home with your neighbours. Needless to say, in all types of questions that you are asked, you should be concise and to the point without waffling on and on.

Another scenario that you may be asked is around setbacks and being resilient. The best way to demonstrate this is true example where something didn’t go according to plan and how you got around it. This is because as a dentist, you will have setbacks and it is important to be resilient with respect to these. It is not uncommon to be asked about the negative aspects of being a dentist.

This will be an opportunity for you to talk about your observations during your work experience and general reading that you have undertaken around dentistry. Some of the demands of the dentist include treating nervous patients, financial constraints of different systems, time management skills and managing teams.

With each example of a negative aspect of dentistry, you should provide a realistic balanced viewpoint and even suggest how you would overcome these problems or challenges. Another station could be where you are presented with a patient’s photograph of her dental condition.

Most commonly this will the dental caries and you would be expected to have a understanding of dental caries. In this regard, they will expect you to understand that caries is caused by production of acid from S.Mutans bacteria which then attacks the tooth enamel causing Dental caries.

The acid is produced as a by-product of fermentation when bacteria utilise ingested sugar. You therefore must be able to demonstrate the link between streptococcus mutans bacteria, acid production, a susceptible tooth surfaces and formation of dental plaque.Likewise with periodontal disease, you must be able to show an understanding of the basic terms and mechanism of the breakdown of gums.

Your answers should also indicate how dental caries should be prevented such as good oral hygiene, dietary modification and supplementation to increase the resistance of tooth enamel by acid attack.

If you are unable to show the examiners that you don’t have the basic concepts in place, they may even think that you have not adequately researched dentistry yourself.

A previous question that has come off in a MMI interview is the one concerning new treatments such as dental implants. You could be asked if you understand how dental implants work and what could or should be within the NHS. As we have mentioned the NHS, you should be able to provide an overview of the NHS Banding system and the regulation aspects of it as well.

Examiners will also want to know if you are sensitive to the demands of dentistry and how you are able to achieve a work-life balance. This is where your awareness and your extracurricular hobbies come to the forefront.

Another station would be where you are faced with an actor and you have to deliver a piece of bad news. This could be telling a patient that their front tooth needs to be extracted. You will be required to be able to have a conversation with the patient in an empathetic manner but also appropriate language that addresses the patient’s needs.

The patient may even have communication problems so you will have to get around this problem also during your interview. At all times you must be able to engage with the patient and be able to listen to the patient. As always, if you have difficulty understanding a question, by all means ask the examiners and they may rephrase it in a different way.

Dentistry Interview Role Play Stations And How To Be Successful In Them

One of the role-play stations will be when you are faced with an actor such as a patient, someone who wants to make a complaint or a close friend or family member. You will be given a scenario and this whole interview station will last between 5 to 7 minutes. You will be assessed for your listening skills and your ability to analyse the situation.

Here Are Some Examples Of MMI Role-play Stations

a) Your elderly neighbours have asked if you could help park their car on the road and whilst doing this, you have made a scratch on it. How would you break this bad news to them?

b) You have been playing rugby in the garden and accidentally you kicked the neighbour’s plant pot, overturning it. How would you deal with this situation?

c) You are captain of the school tennis team and have to inform one of your team members that they will not be able to play in the final next week.

d) You promised that you will take a friend to the cinema as they have been having a difficult time personally however you need to tell them that this is to be cancelled due to your own circumstances. Your friend was really looking forward to having a bit of time off and therefore how would you therefore tell them about this?

Here Are Some General Tips Around MMI Dentistry Interview Stations

1. Read the scenario that you are being provided with very carefully for its complete understanding.

2. Know what your role actually is. Are you playing the role of a patient, a friend, a parent or a consumer who wants to make a complaint?

3. If conflict is involved, how are you going to resolve the conflict? Likewise, if there is bad news, how are you going to communicate the bad news?

4. Always try to identify the main salient points of the scenario and this will help you to perform much better.

5. Communicate with good eye contact and a body language conducive to understanding.

6. You may need to speak more slowly and clearly depending on the actual circumstances.

7. Let the other person finish talking before you start giving your viewpoint or input.

8. Use vocabulary and terminology as appropriate to the situation. A good example is when you have been asked to tell a patient that their tooth needs an extraction but the patient does not have a good grasp of dental awareness.

9. When giving bad news, it is always important to prepare the other person. For example, you could say that I need to share something with you which may be difficult. Then it is usually a good idea to deliver the bad news but pause immediately afterwards so that the other person has time to react or absorb.

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10. Use words and phrases which show that you understand the other person’s point of view even though you may not fully agree with it.

11. Finally, always be upfront with examiners if you get stuck with a question as being a successful dentist is to be able to recognise one’s limitations.



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