The first part of the MFDS exam is, to a degree, an extension of dental school finals. The knowledge base needed is similar to this. This post summarises the exam and gives you a few hints of the content to cover. There previously was also the MJDF, however this exam has been discontinued.

What does the MFDS involve?

Most dentists will complete the MFDS exam and this is seen to be important to pursue further training. There is a syllabus set out for the MFDS and can be accessed here. This post will provide a summary of the topics, primarily clinical, that you should look at covering.

The exam consists 150 or 180 single best answer questions over 3 hours (depending on the college you are sitting it through). There is no negative marking but the pass mark is variable every year depending on the cohort’s performance.

Topics to Cover

Ensure you read the syllabus linked above.

I would highly recommend using ExamineDental to help prepare for this exam, with hundreds of suitable questions. 

I would also recommend using Single Best Answer Questions for Dentistry book and the PasTest books in order to prepare. However, these are some areas to look at.

Medical Emergencies

  • CPR
  • Signs and symptoms of emergencies
  • Response to emergencies – MI, angina, asthma, epilepsy, anaphylaxis
  • Drugs and dosages involved

Restorative Dentistry

  • Delivering Better Oral Health Toolkit
  • Dental trauma and guidelines (Dental Trauma Guide)
  • Use of fluoride and formulations
  • Pulpitis and periapical periodontitis – signs, symptoms and management
  • Materials, composition and use
  • Tooth surface loss and management
  • Indirect restorations – crowns, bridges, posts etc.

Paediatric Dentistry

  • Eruption dates and sequences
  • Prevention
  • Hall crown technique
  • Restorative management


  • Types of denture and design
  • Impression materials and techniques
  • Denture problems, causes and management
  • Basic implant knowledge


  • Disease classification, presentation and management
  • BPE – grading and management
  • Full periodontal assessment features – PPD, BOP, PI, mobility, recession
  • Periodontal probes and markings
  • Antibiotic prescribing
  • Radiograph selection


  • IOTN Scores – particularly 5i
  • Angles classification – more information here
  • Parallax and locating ectopic canines
  • Lateral ceph values and definitions
  • Basic removable appliances

Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine

  • Histology and management of cysts
  • Dry socket – signs, symptoms and management
  • Pericoronitis – signs, symptoms and management
  • Oral cancer – pre-malignant lesions and further presentation
  • Salivary gland pathology
  • Candidal infection and management
  • Herpes virus infections
  • Types of facial pain and management – particularly trigeminal neuralgia
  • Lichen planus – symptoms, cause and management
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Facial fractures and trauma


  • Antibiotic prescribing – drugs and dosages
  • Antivirals – drugs and dosages
  • Antifungals
  • Drug interactions – warfarin, antifungals etc
  • Drugs impacting treatment – anticoagulants (particularly new anticoagulants), steroids etc
  • LA – types, techniques and duration
  • Sedation – IV and IHS



  • Law and ethics – principles etc
  • Management of sharps injuries
  • Consent process – children, mental capacity act
  • Medically compromised patient management
  • Cross-infection and sterilisation protocol
  • GDC Standards
  • Clinical governance and audit

Recommended Reading

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BDS (Hons.) MFDS RCPS (Glasg.) Cert Med Ed FHEA - Currently working as a Speciality Doctor in OMFS and as an Associate Dentist


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