Dental career options
Dentists can pursue careers in many different areas:
a dentist demands diagnostic, clinical and social skills and allows you
the unique opportunity to pursue several careers which offer an
intellectual and practical challenge as well as a service to society and
a respected place in the community. In order to be successful and enjoy
this profession, it is essential that you possess good people skills
and an interest in their welfare.
Some dentists will become
teachers or lecturers in dental schools, others will be employed in
hospitals or community clinics, but most will become general dental
practitioners. Often they will be managing a team of people
encompassing dental nurses, hygienists, receptionists and others. Good
administrative and managerial abilities are required.
qualify as a dentist you need to complete a dental course, which
usually lasts five years and leads to a bachelor's degree (either BDS or BChD).
There are four year courses available at Aberdeen, Kings, Liverpool and UCLan dental schools for students with prior qualifications, for example a degree in Biomedical Sciences.
Dentistry is one of the most popular degrees in the UK and there is lots of competition for places. The Dental Schools Council offers some useful information about different courses and entry requirements.
General Dental Council
Upon qualification dentists
must register with the General Dental Council, the profession's
governing body. Dentists must follow ethical guidelines in their
dealings with patients and failure to do so may call their continued
registration into question.
Dental Foundation Training / Vocational Training
In order to do work in the NHS a dentist must undertake Dental Foundation Training
(DFT) or Vocational Training (VT). This is supervised training, working
in an approved practice for one year after graduation.
After this, there are many different career options open to dentists; for example working in hospitals or community dentistry, however most dentists choose to work in an
established practice as an associate. This is self-employed dentist,
responsible for the treatment that they provide, but working in a
practice owned by someone else.
Once qualified, dentists can continue to update and further
their knowledge, through a wide range of short courses and postgraduate
qualifications, sometimes on a part-time basis.
If you are planning to become a dentist, you can join the BDA as soon as you have received your A' Level results and have confirmation of your place at dental school.
Find out more
To find out more about careers in dentistry download the PowerPoint presentation below. To download, right click and select 'Save target as...'
Careers in Dentistry - 2018.pptx