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UCLan student James McParlane who has won the Dental Clinical Skills Competition.

Success for UCLan undergraduate dentistry student

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) dentistry student has been crowned the winner of the dental industry’s equivalent of the Great British Bake Off.

Fifth year undergraduate student 25-year-old James McParlane beat off competition in an intense final of the Dental Clinical Skills Competition in Edinburgh to be announced as the winner of the national event.

Each of the UK’s 16 Dental Schools were represented in the final with students undertaking a series of challenges devised to test a wide range of clinical skills in dentistry. The tests ranged from suturing (stitching) and fracture restoration, to communicating with patients and tooth shade matching.

James, who won the Lancashire round before going onto the final, said: “The importance of winning this amazing competition hasn’t really sunk in yet. Arguably one of the most important aspects of dental care is to be able to demonstrate technical and communication skills – this competition focuses on those skills and the delivery of excellent dental treatment.

“I would definitely recommend any of my colleagues to join the competition next year as it really challenges you to strive for perfection.”

I would definitely recommend any of my colleagues to join the competition next year as it really challenges you to strive for perfection

The Head of the UCLan School of Dentistry Angela Magee said: “We are immensely proud of James’ success in this very prestigious competition and feel it is a reflection not only of his undoubted skills but also of the environment in which he has gained his clinical experience, with strong support both from his patients and clinical teachers.”

The competition, which is now in its second year, is designed to both showcase the great dental talent of the UK's undergraduate dentists and also to help to develop the very best skills and support for future dental surgeons. Over 300 students competed for this title from approximately 2,000 final year undergraduates.

"The clinical skills competition really captures the students' enthusiasm and drive, challenging a range of key clinical dental skills - it's the dental schools' equivalent of the British Bake Off," said Mr Brian Nattress, a member of Dental Council at the College and a Consultant Restorative Dentist in Leeds.

He added: "There was a real sense of excitement in the final and a great atmosphere watching the students compete against each other. I felt honoured to see the students in action and witness again the great sense of camaraderie as they competed alongside colleagues from other dental schools in the Grand Final."

The event was run by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Britain’s oldest surgical Royal College, and dental product manufacturer DENTSPLY. James was rewarded with an expenses paid trip to one of DENTSPLY’s Endodontic Academy “A-Z of Endo” events in Ballaigues, Switzerland. 

Lyndsey Boardman | 30 March 2016