MFDS Part 1

MFDS Part 1 – What you need to study

We spoke about what the Diploma of Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS) is in this previous post, however this post is going to look at what you need to study in order to help pass MFDS Part 1.

What is the MFDS Part 1?

MFDS Part 1 is a written exam that aims to assess your theoretical knowledge and understanding of dentistry and patient management.

The exam consists of single best answer questions. The number of questions vary depending on the College you MFDS Part 1 with:

  • Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh & RSPSG – 180 Single Best Answer (SBA) questions in three hours
  • Royal College of Surgeons of England – 150 SBAs within three hours

How is the MFDS Part 1 marked?

Each question carries a single mark and all questions are equally weighted. Additionally, there is no negative marking. The pass mark is variable and depends on the cohort’s performance in that sitting.

What do I need to study for the MFDS Part 1?

The full syllabus for the MFDS Part 1 exam (and the MFDS overall) is located here. However, the best way I like to think about this exam is that it is like resitting finals.

The key areas that you should consider when preparing for the exam include:

Medical Emergencies

  • Signs and symptoms of various medical emergencies
  • Management in medical emergencies
  • Emergency drugs and dosages
  • CPR protocol

Restorative Dentistry (inc. endodontics and prosthodontics)

  • The Delivering Better Oral Health preventative toolkit
  • Different restorative materials and their uses e.g. amalgam, composite, glass ionomer cements
  • Dental trauma management and guidelines involved (e.g. Dental Trauma Guide)
  • Tooth surface loss – the types and management methods
  • Indirect restorations and materials (e.g. crowns, bridges, posts)
  • Signs and symptoms of pulpitis and periapical periodontitis stages , including management
  • Types of dentures and how to carry out denture design
  • Impression materials and techniques
  • Denture troubleshooting and management
  • The basics of dental implants

Paediatric Dentistry

  • Eruption dates and sequences of teeth
  • Preventative dentistry in children
  • Hall crown technique
  • Behavioural management techniques
  • Restorative management and basic treatment planning


  • Periodontal disease classification, presentation and management (based on the updated guidelines)
  • The Basic Periodontal Examination (BPE) – scoring and management
  • How to carry out a full periodontal assessment and what each part means
  • Antibiotics in periodontal disease
  • Radiograph selection
  • Microbiology of periodontal disease


  • The Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) scores
  • Angles Classification
  • Ectopic canines – identification, diagnosis and management options
  • Lateral cephalograms – values and definitions
  • The basics of removable and fixed appliances

Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine

  • Cysts – histology, diagnosis and management of various types of cysts
  • Dry socket – signs, symptoms and management
  • Pericoronitis – signs, symptoms and management (including coronectomy)
  • Autoimmune conditions e.g. lichen planus
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Oral cancer, including pre-malignant lesions
  • Candidal infections and management
  • Herpes virus infections
  • Facial pain – various types and management
  • Facial trauma and basic management


  • Antibiotic prescribing in dentistry – common drugs and dosages
  • Antivirals
  • Antifungals
  • Management of patients on anti-platelets and anticoagulants
  • Management of patients on drugs involved in causing medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ)
  • Management of patients on steroids
  • Drug interactions e.g. warfarin
  • Local anaesthetics – types, techniques and duration
  • Sedation – intravenous and inhalation


  • Types of radiographs and their indications
  • IRMER and IRR legislation
  • Radiation dosages of different radiographs
  • FGDP guidelines on radiograph selection
  • Reporting on radiographs

Other topics for MFDS Part 1

  • Law and ethics – basic principles
  • Management of sharps injuries or incidents at work
  • Consent issues e.g. children, mental capacity act
  • Cross-infection and sterilisation
  • GDC standards
  • Clinical governance and audit


The MFDS Part 1 is relatively easy to prepare for as majority is theory driven and less interpretation, compared to MFDS Part 2. The above list is not exhaustive and it is important to check the syllabus to ensure you cover everything.

We are always striving to help candidates pass their MFDS exams. You can access hundreds of up-to-date, evidence-based MFDS questions and answers to help you prepare for the exam. ExamineDental is the best place to help you prepare for this exam – we want to support you all the way!

Are you sitting the MFDS Part 1 exam?

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