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Bristol Dentistry Interview Questions & Tips

Past Interview Questions & Tips

Bristol Dentistry Interview Format

All applications are scored based on their GCSEs, A Levels, Personal Statement and UCAT, in the following percentage ratios: 15:15:35:35. There is no UCAT cutoff score, and the SJT is not used in decision making.

Bristol uses a structured interview format. Beforehand, you should be aware of the pre-interview tasks, which differentiate Bristol’s interviews from elsewhere.

Interviews at Bristol run from late December until the middle of March.

​Pre-Interview Preparation Tasks

These can vary from year to year; previous pre-interview preparation tasks include the following:
 
Matchbox task: In advance of your interview, we would like you to prepare a matchbox of maximum dimensions 12 cm x 6.5 cm x 2.5 cm. Please demonstrate your manual dexterity by personalising your matchbox and place five things inside that you would bring with you to the University if you were to join us in the autumn. Be prepared to discuss the relevance of these items and your personalisation choices with your assessors at the interview.
 
‘Tell me How’ task: One of your interview questions will ask you to give instructions on how to do a task of your choice. You can prepare this answer in advance. The task needs to be something simple that you can explain verbally within five minutes, without any props. When giving your instructions, please assume that the assessors have little or no knowledge of how to do your chosen task (for example, how to do the laundry, how to make a sandwich or other simple food dish, etc). As the task is your own choice, you should not discuss this with other interview candidates (to avoid overlap of answers). You may practice with family members if you wish.

Bristol Dentistry Key Application & Interview Statistics

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Learn the best interview strategies and practice with past interview questions & model answers.

Bristol Dentistry Past MMI Stations & Interview Questions

Bristol provides a detailed overview of the character breakdown that they seek in their Dentistry students. We can use it to group previous questions and likely questions.
 
You are expected to show that you have made a significant effort to find out what it would be like to work as a general dental practitioner.

  • What experience have you obtained that has given you an insight into Dentistry?
  • What skills did you note as being particularly important whilst doing work experience?
  • What characteristics did you note in the dentists that you shadowed?
  • What surprised you about Dentistry while you were undertaking work experience?

 
Good communication skills are essential.

  • Please tell us about a time that your ability to communicate helped in a difficult situation.
  • Do you find it easy to communicate with all kinds of people?
  • Why is communication so important to a dentist?
  • Can you reassure people and put them at their ease?
  • Can you explain complex information simply and coherently?

 
Dentists work closely with patients and must develop a high standard of professional responsibility. You should show that you are a reliable and conscientious person.

  • Are you aware of the role of the General Dental Council?
  • Tell us about a time that you had to make a difficult ethical decision.

 
You will need to be interested in people and their welfare.

  • Have you undertaken any charity or volunteering work?
  • Are you concerned that so many dentists choose to work in private practice rather than in the NHS?
  • What are the core differences between the NHS and private healthcare?
  • How do you contribute to your school or community?
  • Have you made an effort to mentor younger pupils or assist them in any way?
  • What can you bring to Bristol Medical & Dentistry’s student community?


Being able to work with your hands is very important.

  • Do you play a musical instrument, do any art or crafts, or make models?
  • Why is working with your hands so important to dentists?
  • Does the hands-on nature of dentistry appeal to you?
  • How do you plan on adding to your manual dexterity before starting University?

 
You will need to have a logical mind, so that you will be able to formulate questions and solve problems.

  • How have you proven your academic excellence outside of the core curriculum at school?


You will need to be self-motivated. Can you set your own goals and show independence of thought?

  • Are you a good self directed learner?
  • Are you a strong group learner?
  • How have you shown your leadership skills?
  • Would you feel confident being responsible for your own learning?
  • How do you manage your goal-setting and time to study?

 
You will also need to be able to work well in a team. Professional dentists work with a group of other people, for example, other dentists and dental specialists, dental nurses, dental hygienists/therapist, dental technicians, and reception and administration staff.

  • What other roles, beyond dentists, did you interact with during your work experience?
  • What teams have you been part of, and what was your role?
  • Why would you consider yourself to be a good team player?
  • Tell us about a time that you faced a challenge as part of a team.
  • Do teams need leaders?
  • Are you stronger in a team or outside one?


We are also interested to hear about your extra-curricular activities, and general interests.

  • What do you do to relax?
  • Why do you think that interests and passions outside dentistry are so important?
  • What interests are you looking forward to pursuing alongside your studies at Bristol?

Bristol Dentistry Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to study Dentistry at the University of Bristol?

I am eager to study Dentistry at the University of Bristol because of its century-long legacy in dental education and its commitment to shaping the next generation of oral healthcare professionals. The university’s investment in a new £36m state-of-the-art dental school and clinical dental facility, equipped with cutting-edge technology, is particularly appealing. This modern environment, coupled with Bristol’s strong ranking in dentistry, provides an ideal platform for my academic and professional growth. I am confident that Bristol’s innovative approach to dental education will equip me with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in my future career.

What do you know about the Dentistry course structure at Bristol?

The Dentistry course at Bristol is structured to provide a comprehensive education that covers all aspects of the General Dental Council’s Intended Learning Outcomes. Starting in 2023, the course will be based in the new £36 million purpose-built Dental School, where students will have access to the latest technology and facilities. The curriculum emphasises technology-enhanced learning and best educational practice, allowing for a progressive understanding and application of essential dental knowledge and skills. From the second year onwards, I will have the opportunity to treat my own patients, honing my skills in both primary care and community settings. This practical approach ensures a well-rounded clinical education.

How will Bristol’s new facilities enhance your dental education?

Bristol’s investment in a new dental school and clinical dental facility will significantly enhance my dental education by providing access to some of the most advanced dental facilities in the UK. The state-of-the-art equipment and technologies available will allow me to train under realistic clinical conditions, preparing me for the realities of dental practice. Additionally, the new facilities offer an inspiring learning environment that fosters innovation and encourages a hands-on approach to learning. This will be instrumental in developing my clinical skills and ensuring I am well-prepared for a successful career in dentistry.

What aspects of Bristol’s approach to community-based teaching appeal to you?

Bristol’s approach to community-based teaching is particularly appealing to me as it offers a real-world perspective on dentistry. The opportunity to gain community-based teaching experience is crucial for understanding the diverse needs of different patient groups. This experience will not only enhance my clinical skills but also develop my ability to communicate effectively with patients from various backgrounds. Additionally, the emphasis on teamwork and training alongside hygienists and therapists will provide me with a broader understanding of collaborative dental care, which is essential in modern dental practice.

As a dental student at Bristol, you encounter a patient who is hesitant to consent to a necessary dental procedure due to anxiety and fear of dental treatments.

In this situation, my primary focus would be to build a rapport with the patient, ensuring they feel comfortable and understood. I would provide clear and compassionate explanations about the procedure, its benefits, and address any misconceptions or fears they may have. If needed, I would explore alternative treatment options or sedation methods to ease their anxiety. My goal would be to ensure that the patient feels informed and empowered to make a decision, upholding the principles of patient autonomy and informed consent, which are fundamental in ethical dental practice.

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