Christopher Stokes

Christopher Stokes

Professor of Digital Learning and Dental Education in the School of Clinical Dentistry and Cross-Cutting Director of Digital Learning at the University of Sheffield

Location School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield, UK


  • @RezwanaKhan Hi Rezwana - Yes, check out Prof Boissonade's video in Week 6 for some of the work being done in Sheffield (which will give you some pointers for researching dental neuroscience).

  • @PaigeRaymond Hi Paige - Welcome to the course. Ues, I believe this will be a good overview of the profession and will give you an idea if you would like to join it. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Hi - welcome to the course. We've designed this to be a really good basis for anyone wanting to enter the dental professions, and it should help you in preparing for admissions to dental education programmes. I hope you enjoy the course.

  • I'm very pleased to be able to welcome you to Discover Dentistry. I'll be visiting this course regularly to read the discussions and to help where I can, and if you have specific questions please reply to this post and @ me and I'll do my best to help.

  • At the moment, do anything (ideally evidencable) that shows that you are exploring the profession, and others that are related so you can answer the question "Yes, but why dentistry specifically? Why not [other health profession]?" Reading journals and books, engage online with dental professionals if you can (Youtube, Twitter etc), and as you mention courses...

  • FROM JILL: There are a few apps to help that link to some electric toothbrushes (or add-ons for brushes) for this, so it may get more popular.

  • FROM JILL: Soft to medium is recommended, but people still insist in having a harder brush as it feels like it is working better. As explained in the video it is not really getting into the gaps. While people buy them, the toothbrush manufacturers will sell them...

  • FROM JILL: Evidence says electric overall (and there is a paper linked on the toothbrushing step if you want to read more).

  • FROM JILL: I'd use a TEPE brush (you may need to tray different sizes, perhaps a yellow to start) - find something that fits in the spaces, but that is not too small to be effective.

  • FROM JILL: An electric toothbrush with a soft head and on reduced power (if possible) and TEPE brushes.

  • @RebeccaAkinrinade Definitely yes. Things like this course, reading up on the subject (e.g. blogs, dental journals, trade news) and looking at stuff on Youtube will all show engagement with the subject. Dental Schools will be very aware how difficult getting work experience will be in this admissions cycles, so will look for how you have shown initiative and...

  • @Hannah. If there is any specific I can help with Hannah, please let me know and I'll do my best to help

  • Thanks for your kind words Olga. Very glad to hear you enjoyed it.

  • You are not alone! Imagining you are sat on the patient's lap can help.

  • Hi John - the main regulator of the quality of care is the CQC who regularly visit dental practices:

  • It is indeed a tricky debate in dentistry (or public health), and one we'll come back to in Week 5.

  • We'll come back to this later in the course, but (spoiler alert!) 3D printing is being very disruptive to dental prosthesis manufacture in particular. The Dental School at Sheffield now has many 3D printers (all printing face visors for local hospitals at the moment) and also 3D simulators for training. We print many of the models for teaching students,...

  • I have to agree - the digital revolution is massive at the moment. I admit when I talk to our junior students I now have to say 'but when you graduate this will probably all be digital' more and more (especially with impressions, models, production of crowns etc)

  • Hi Anna - yes, well worth reading up on her career. An amazing woman with so many 'firsts' to her name in dentistry.

  • Hello! - I'll be following along with this run of the course over the next weeks, and will try and help out where I can. I see lots of dental professionals have joined, and I really hope that you can help others with their questions as we work through this together.

  • Hi - It's definitely a reason that people go into the job. You need to be able to visualise and then form complex three-dimensional shapes, and then sometimes also being able to factor in possible shrinkage on firing etc, so the job does attract a person that enjoys the blend of both the artistic and scientific/healthcare.

  • Hi Noor - He is charting from the upper left using Palmer notation so "Eight, absent. Seven, six, sound." (from the transcript) means:
    Upper left 8 (third molar) is missing, the upper left 7 (second molar) and 6 (first molar) are present and 'sound' means 'in good condition'.

  • Hi Manahil - Brilliant to hear you are taking this course as you are interested in a dental career. Not knowing much about your situation, I think the best advice is to spend some time observing dental care professionals to ensure you have a good understanding of the profession. Of course this should include dental hygienists, but any of the roles (including...

  • Welcome to the course. I'll be dipping in to the comments throughout this run if there are any specific questions - on the content of the course, about applying to study dentistry or anything else. Happy New Year!

  • Brilliant! Many thanks for taking part.

  • Thanks Imaan. I'll pass it on to the team.

  • Thanks Shyamal! I'll pass it on.

  • Thanks Samuel - best of luck with pursuing a dental career.

  • Great to hear Libby. Best of luck with the EPQ!

  • This process is now becoming mainstream with SLA printing (have a look into FormLabs printers for an example of the type). The dentures and teeth are 3D printed from liquid resin, then joined together and polished ready for the mouth by a dental technician. Have a look at:

  • Hi Frances - you can turn the captions off by pressing the button bottom left next to '1x'. Hope this helps.

  • Indeed it is. Dental technology is moving to the point where digital design (and manufacturing) skills are now becoming a core skill set for dental technicians. It is still important for someone to design, monitor the process, and finish the restorations, but a lot of the work can now be done digitally. We are transitioning from a point where CADCAM...

  • Thanks Ethel - it is nice you hear when people have enjoyed it!

  • Many thanks Jean!

  • Thanks Ananya. It is indeed a foundation - this is an adaptation from some first year teaching!

  • Christopher Stokes replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Many thanks for this Mary. I'll pass on your thanks to the team!

  • Welcome to the course everyone! I'll be dipping into the comments throughout this run in case there is anything else I can help with - and popping in with Jill (the hygienist) on 22nd October to answer specific questions around tooth brushing.

  • Hi Moneebah - We have some Public Health content a little later in the course, so through any specific questions my way.

  • Hi everyone - Sorry I'm a bit late, but I hope to be able to dip into the comments though out this run and help out.

  • Welcome to the course everyone - I'll be here following along and answering any questions that arise. I look forward to learning with you all!

  • Thanks Carol!

  • Thank you Yahyaa - best of luck for the future

  • Thanks for this!