How to Become a Dentist
If you’re thinking about a career in dentistry, learning about this role is your first step to success. Becoming a dentist could lead to solid job security and a high salary. But before you get started, here’s everything you need to know first.
What Do Dentists Do?
You’ll likely already have a rough understanding of what a dentist does. Chances are, you’ve visited a dentist in your lifetime, so you already have an idea of what this role entails.
The day-to-day tasks of a dentist include general checkups, advising on oral hygiene, treating diseases and injuries, and correcting any problems with the teeth. Dentists work in both local practices and hospitals.
While the tasks that dentists perform will differ daily, it’s worth understanding them ahead of time.
What Qualifications Will I Need to Become a Dentist?
Think that a career in dentistry is right for you? So that you can practice as a dentist in the UK, you will need certain qualifications.
If you have an undergraduate degree, then this will be the best route for you.
You’ll need to apply via UCAS for a one year postgraduate initial teacher training course. Available across England, every training provider will provide you with:
However, when you have completed the above qualifications, there’s still more you’ll have to do to train to be a dentist. To become a fully qualified dentist, you will need to attend at least five years of dentistry school and then undertake one or two years of supervised practice.
Finally, when you have completed all of the above, you can register with the General Dental Council (GDC) and officially practice as a qualified dentist.
Continuing Your Professional Education
When you have registered with the General Dental Council (GDC), you will be required to enhance your professional development continually. Keeping abreast of the latest practices and any changes in the industry will be central to your role.
Skill Set Required For A Dentist
Becoming a dentist requires an interest and aptitude for science to become successful in this role. Aside from that, there are other most important characteristics and skills you will need for this job.
Talking to patients and keeping them calm during procedures is important
Good knowledge within science, in particular, biology
Being able to break down what treatments will entail in a simple way is a key trait of any good dentist
An analytical mind and great record-keeping is vital
The best dentists tend to have a combination of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are fact-based traits, such as their understanding of procedures. On the other hand, soft skills have more to do with how they handle themselves personally and professionally. Getting the balance right is all a part of this job role.
Average Salary for a Dentist
Ahead of training to become a dentist, you’re going to want to know what salary to expect. The average dentist wage in the UK is £63,539 per year.
Popular Career Pathways for Dentists
Most UK dentists are self-employed and offer both NHS and private work for patients. When you’ve completed your qualifications and registered with the General Dental Council (GDC), you can determine what the right career path is for you. It may help to gain some advice from your peers or learn more about the options.