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

Neringa Jankauskaite

While working as a West Country Dental Care dentist, Neringa completed a PG Diploma in Oral Surgery funded by Smile Together

Having graduated in dentistry from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in 2011, Neringa completed her vocational training in Benbecula, an island of the Outer Hebrides on the West Coast of Scotland. She then moved to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and Dental Centre to complete her dental foundation training, working within the community dental service in oral and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontics. She 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.

She completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Minor Oral Surgery with Plymouth University, an intensive two-year course during which she received invaluable mentoring one day a week from another West Country Dental Care dentist who also practises in this field with The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in Truro. This not only enhanced her skills but, as a dentist with a special interest in oral surgery working in an access environment, she was able to support her colleagues with more difficult extractions including for patients with complex medical requirements.

Smile Together are commissioned to deliver oral surgery in Cornwall by NHS England and therefore funding the whole of this professional development represented a very significant investment. In return Smile Together was able to retain Neringa’s skills within the business, while she continued to develop her expertise and provide a consistent patient experience in the field of oral surgery.

Neringa thoroughly enjoyed this course, particularly the hands-on practical skill development sessions supervised by specialist clinicians in Plymouth and Exeter dental centres, thus widening her professional network. Passing the course enabled her to run her own oral surgery clinics where West Country Dental Care colleagues and indeed general dentists across the county could confidently refer their patients to her. Not only did this mean that patients came off the hospital waiting list, thus saving the NHS time and money, but they received their appointment and subsequent treatment much more quickly.

Salaried dentists with Smile Together are able to make time for their patients, ensuring that they understand their treatment options and bringing them back for further consultation or treatment if needed – this flexible, patient-centric approach is critical in an oral surgery role where patients are often anxious and in pain. It makes Smile Together’s mission to provide dentistry with social impact very real indeed.