The syllabus below has been devised with reference to the Curriculum and lists the main subjects that may be assessed in the MFDS examination.
The list is intended not to be prescriptive but to give candidates a guide to the topics that may be included. Furthermore, because the MFDS examination is an external assessment of the knowledge and understanding that underpins direct patient care, there are certain competencies in the Curriculum which are not covered by the syllabus (please see the note at the end of the Syllabus). Some competencies (e.g. removal of carious tooth structure) relate to a manual skill and their acquisition can be demonstrated only in the workplace. Other competencies (e.g. practice management) are not clinically related. Legislation that impacts on dentistry is also excluded from the syllabus on the grounds that it varies across different jurisdictions within the UK. In particular, candidates should note that the Management and Leadership domain of the Curriculum includes many competencies that will not be assessed in the MFDS examination. Because there are many of them, they are listed as a footnote to the Management and Leadership section of the syllabus.
It is important, furthermore, to remember that the MFDS is not a specialist examination and that the level of knowledge expected in any area of the syllabus will not exceed that which would be expected of a dentist who has two years? experience of clinical dental practice.
Successful candidates will be able to recognise and deal safely with the non-specialist problems that may be met in the routine practice of any branch of dentistry, treat dental trauma and acute dental pain and accurately diagnose and plan treatment of a wide variety of routine dental conditions with reference to new and emerging technologies in dentistry.
Candidates will be expected to have a sound basic knowledge and understanding of applied anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry sufficient to interpret the effects of common dental diseases and injuries on the systems of the body especially, but not exclusively, in the head and neck. They are expected to have an understanding of cell biology and applied histology which enables them to understand the normal and disordered function of dentally important tissues and organs. A detailed knowledge of embryology is not required but the pathogenesis of common developmental abnormalities important in dentistry may be examined. A working knowledge of the therapeutic actions and toxic effects of drugs commonly used, in particular in the treatment of dental conditions, will also be required. Candidates must have an understanding of those aspects of pathology, immunology and microbiology that are relevant to dental practice.