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Career planning

Congratulations! You have chosen a versatile field offering many options from general dental practice to working within a hospital.

Are you thinking of specialising?

There are 13 dental specialties recognised by the GDC and only a dentist who is currently included on one of the GDC dental specialist lists may legally use the title ‘Specialist’ in the UK.

There are over 4,000 registered specialists, approximately one in 10 of all registered dentists, and approximately 450 recognised dental specialty trainees (so those with a national training number) in the UK at any one time. Approximately a quarter of these training posts become vacant and hence available for application each year. Some specialties have very small training numbers and posts are not evenly distributed across the UK. 



Members can check out our helpful guide to dental specialty training.

Pursuing a portfolio career

Many dentists are now working as a GDP some days with more specialised care on others, and/or teaching and training alongside their clinical work. Some more recently-qualified dentists are looking beyond their clinical work, often outside of dentistry completely, for a portfolio career that combines dentistry with their other interests.


Find out how you can make a portfolio career work for you.

Volunteering abroad

Many UK dentists volunteer to participate in dental projects in developing countries organised by charitable organisations. The range of organisations and projects is wide, both in geographical distribution and in length of time spent working in another country.

Members can find out more: BDA advice: Volunteering abroad

Working abroad

Many UK dentists wish to spend time working as a dentist outside of the UK. If you are one of them, make sure you get the advice you need to make the best start abroad. 

Find out what other dentists say about their experiences working abroad

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