Dr Laura Gartshore‌

I am a Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry. I am the Director of the Undergraduate BDS Programme. Additionally, I have responsibilities in examining and the supervision of postgraduate research.

Where did you study your undergraduate degree?
I undertook my undergraduate BDS degree, and my postgraduate PhD, at the University of Liverpool.

What was your first job after graduating?
I worked as a dentist in a primary care practice for one year, prior to returning to Liverpool University Dental Hospital to work within the NHS and to commence my specialist training. I have worked for the University since 2012.

Briefly describe your career progression from that first job to your current role.
I completed specialist training in Paediatric Dentistry in 2012. Following qualification as a Specialist, I continued my training in order that I could become a Consultant. I completed this final stage of my training at the same time as working as a Clinical Lecturer, and whilst gaining a PhD and Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. This period included a sixth month secondment as a Clinical Fellow in Sydney, Australia. I achieved promotion to Senior Lecturer in 2017 and was awarded a Leadership Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in 2018. I became Director of the Undergraduate BDS Programme in 2019. I have a number of external roles within the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of England, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

What do you find most rewarding about working in dentistry?
I am very lucky - I love my work. I am in a position to enable children to experience optimal oral health and dental care, whilst supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students to learn to do the same for their future young patients. As Director of the BDS Programme I am able to support the development of students throughout their 5 years of study and into their careers. Many keep in touch for years afterwards and it is extremely rewarding to be training my future colleagues.

What aspects of dentistry do you find most interesting?
Education and training of the future dental workforce, and working with children who have experienced dental injuries to support them back to a position of dental health.

What are the three most important qualities to have in dentistry?
Self-awareness, empathy, patience.

Where do you think dentistry will be in 10 years?
Children expect to retain their teeth for life - and dentistry is changing to enable them to do so. Those who organise the provision of dentistry at a national level are focused on improving children's oral health and reducing inequalities in their experiences of dental disease. In 10 years, I hope that we will have witnessed the positive results that we might expect of these changes.

What advice would you give to students applying for dentistry?
The secret to getting ahead is getting started. Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods. Speak with as many different dentists as you can to source relevant information to inform your application and the interview process. Dentistry is a career that offers many, diverse opportunities. It is a rewarding career that presents challenges, and those who can adapt to those challenges, whilst resolutely being a team player, will thrive.

Back to: School of Dentistry