Closeup of woman's mouth during dental checkup with dental tools

Neringa Jankauskaite

My PG Diploma in Oral Surgery

Having graduated in dentistry from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in 2011, I completed my vocational training in Benbecula, an island of the Outer Hebrides on the West Coast of Scotland. I then moved to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and Dental Centre to complete my dental foundation training, working within the community dental service in oral and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontics. I moved to Cornwall in 2013, joining what is now Smile Together Dental CIC as a dental officer working in the West Country Dental Care team in St Austell, providing primarily access dentistry to patients who aren’t registered with a dentist but who require urgent or emergency treatment.

I have completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Minor Oral Surgery with Plymouth University, an intensive two year course during which I received invaluable mentoring one day a week from another of our dentists who also practices in this field with The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in Truro. This has not only enhanced my skills but, as a dentist with a special interest in oral surgery working in an access environment, I am able to support my colleagues with more difficult extractions including for patients with complex medical requirements.

We are commissioned to deliver oral surgery in Cornwall by NHS England and therefore Smile Together have been generous in funding the whole of this professional development, which has represented a very significant investment. In return Smile Together has been able to retain my skills within the business, whilst I continue develop my expertise and provide a consistent patient experience in the field of oral surgery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this course, particularly the hands on practical skill development sessions supervised by specialist clinicians in Plymouth and Exeter dental centres, thus widening my professional network. Having passed the course I can now run my own oral surgery clinics where West Country Dental Care colleagues and indeed general dentists across the county can confidently refer their patients to me. Not only does this mean patients come off the hospital waiting list, thus saving the NHS time and money, but they receive their appointment and subsequent treatment much more quickly.

As salaried dentists with Smile Together, we are able to make time for our patients, make sure they understand their treatment options and bring them back for further consultation or treatment if needed – this flexible, patient-centric approach is critical in an oral surgery role such as mine where often my patients are anxious and in pain. It makes our mission to provide dentistry with social impact very real indeed.

I am now electing to progress onto a third year of study to gain an MSc in Oral Surgery.