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Dentists perform a vital role in society by improving community health. There are around 21,000 dentists currently practising in the UK, but there is a shortage of NHS dentists, meaning they are in high demand. A dentist's office also employs people other than dentists, like administrators, dental nurses and dental hygienists.
Of course, you have a choice of whether you work in the public or private sector, providing care to the general public in a busy hospital or surgery or to fewer patients in a smaller or more specialist facility. If you work in healthcare for the Public Sector you’ll work for the National Health Service (NHS).
Within the dental field, you could choose to specialise and become an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist – or you could continue as a dental practitioner, working in community or private healthcare.
Other roles, such as dental nurse or dental hygienist, require a shorter amount of training than that of a dentist – usually one or two years.