Diversifying the dental curriculum: A review of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree reading lists in a UK dental school

Sasha Scambler, Tasnim Aniqa Ahmed, Jesutomisin Aiyere, Emily Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Analysis of the diversity of reading lists on courses offered by universities is one way to assess what is being taught and how it shapes our understanding of the world. Very little work has been carried out so far within dentistry on decolonising the curriculum. Existing work looks at the representation of women or ethnic minorities but not at the dental curriculum per se. This article starts to address this. Methods: The reading lists within the 5 year Bachelor of Dental Surgery curriculum in a large UK dental school were collected and assessed. A data extraction spreadsheet was developed and journal articles on every course reading list across the 5 year curriculum were read in detail. Information on authorship and author affiliations, alongside patient and population representation within the article itself, were collected and collated. Results: We found that there are 2.5 times more male authors than female authors, and almost three times more male lead authors in the articles evaluated. The majority of journal articles included in the reading lists are written by academics and/or clinicians affiliated with institutions in the United Kingdom and most articles are from the global north. In addition, 65% of articles do not specify the focus patient or population group studied. Discussion: It is unlikely that current reading lists within dentistry fully reflect the composition of the profession itself, the variety of knowledge needed to provide evidence-based practice in a globalised oral health arena or the heterogeneous nature of the patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Dental Education
Issue number1
Early online date6 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


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