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Guide to Studying Dentistry

From KC - Approved 2

What is Dentistry?

  • It isn't just ripping out people's teeth you know. Dentistry is the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease and disfigurement in the mouth and oral area. You do look after people's teeth, but much more besides.
  • Serious dentistry requires numerous performers on stage at once. The dentist themselves, but also a number or reinforcements: dental assistants, nurses, hygienists, technicians and therapists.

Why study Dentistry?

  • Dentistry, like any other medical degree or profession, has the feelgood factor. You are changing people's lives for the better, learning how to keep people in good health. You have the right to be smug.
  • It requires you to solve a lot of problems - is there something wrong with a patient? If so, what? What is the solution? If you're the type who likes a puzzle, dentistry is one of the most complex puzzles of all.
  • Employers looking at CVs always like to keep an eye out for buzzwords such as "capable of working alone or as a team". As mentioned above, dentists will have to do both.
  • Dentistry has a graduate prospect rating of approximately 98% within six months, and the pay is extremely strong, even at graduate level. Become a dentists and be financially set up for life.
  • Being in medicine carries kudos - people will be impressed if you are successful at a long and challenging degree. To put it simply, dentistry makes you popular.

Coursework, Assessment and Exams

  • If you do dentistry, be prepared for a lot of exams. You will need to know complex medical techniques and terminology on the hoof and off by heart, and universities will make you suffer to know them all.
  • In support of this, there are practice exams, some written coursework essays, plus what practical community work you do will also be carefully monitored for your progress.

What degree Can I Get? 

  • BDS Dentistry, which usually takes five years
  • BSc Dental Hygiene and Therapy
  • BSc Veterinary Studies (Dentistry)
  • BDS Dentistry with foundation year (Six years)

What qualifications do I need?

  • Entry requirements vary at each institution. Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you are interested in.

Use our Course Chooser to search through Dentistry courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include postgraduate Diplomas, Masters and Doctorates in the subject, a three year MSc Clinical Studies, Endodontics, Primary Dental Care, and Aesthetic Dentistry.

Graduate job prospects

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*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • As mentioned above, Dentistry has a huge Graduate Prospects rating - if you want a job as a dentist, then a couple of months after graduating you will get one. There are other options though.
  • Particular job areas include, as well as being a dentist, you can begin in private practice speciality, or choose dental nursing instead. Areas such as research and charity healthcare are also options.
  • Several professional organisations offer specialised positions for Dentistry graduates, such as BUPA and the NHS.