How to become a Dentist



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What do they do?

Do you like the idea of a prestigious and fulfilling career in science? Then you could make a great Dentist.

Most Dentists work on a self-employed basis, carrying out a mixture of NHS and private work for patients. The role includes preventing and treating dental and oral disease, correcting irregularities and treating injuries.

You might work in the local community or in a hospital, but your typical responsibilities will include:

  • Examining teeth and identifying problems using diagnostic techniques and technology like X-rays
  • Explaining treatment options to patients
  • Providing education about looking after the teeth and mouth
  • Carrying out procedures such as root canal surgery, fillings and polishes
  • Checking for less obvious problems such as cancers in the mouth
  • Managing records and administration for the surgery

Is it right for me?

To become a Dentist you will need a scientific mind. You will also need to be a confident and practical person, with excellent interpersonal skills.

Although it is important to provide a good level of communication, the best Dentists generally always avoid striking up a conversation in the middle of a procedure…

A good Dentist will also be:

    • Knowledgeable about all aspects of science relating to the profession
    • Confident, even when patients are nervous
    • Able to make snap decisions during treatment
    • Reassuring yet firm with reluctant patients
    • Happy working in a team
    • Good at communicating with all kinds of people

What's it really like?

I know some people can't stand the thought of going to the Dentist and would certainly never pursue dentistry as a career. But I can't think of anything else I'd rather do. I love the scientific element of the profession, and I've always enjoyed problem solving, so it's a perfect fit really. There's plenty of job satisfaction too - not only can I help relieve people's pain, I also get to build rapport and build a regular client base.

Get qualified

To be a Dentist, you’ll need good A-levels in chemistry, biology and physics or maths, followed by an approved degree in dentistry such as a BDS or BChD. Training typically involves at least five years in dental school, followed by a further one or two years of supervised practice. Once this is completed, you can register with the General Dental Council and start practising.

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