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Helping you find a career as a Dentist

A dentist is a form of doctor who deals with problems affecting the mouth, teeth, and gums. Their patients will visit them for regular check-ups and to deal with injuries or correct major dental problems.


What does a Dentist do?
In an average day, a dentist will:

  • Examine and clean patient’s teeth

  • Advise patients about good dental health

  • Assess treatment options and coordinate plans with patients

  • Maintain dental records

  • Recruit, train and manage staff

  • Oversee budgets and maintain stocks of equipment
What skills and interests should an Dentist have?
It might sound obvious, but dentists will need to be comfortable working in close proximity with people’s mouths on a day-to-day basis. They also can’t be squeamish as they will be required to perform procedures on patients, likely on a daily basis. Additionally, a dentist will need a variety of technical and interpersonal skills, including:

  • Manual dexterity and an ability to maintain concentration for long periods

  • Ability to cooperate well with patients and colleagues

  • Concern for the welfare of patients, including their own concerns

  • Good administrative abilities
What hours does a Dentist typically do?
As a general dental practitioner, you will be self-employed and can arrange your own working hours, which may include weekends or evening sessions in order to suit patients. Hospital-based dentists may tend to be on short-term contracts and may work more irregular and unsociable hours, being on call for emergency situations.
What environment is a Dentist based in?
A dentist will be based in a medical practice or a hospital.
How much does a Dentist travel?
Dentists will typically be based in one location although may travel to attend conferences or educational courses around the country.
How much does a Dentist get paid?
A newly-qualified dentist working with the NHS will earn around £31,355. Self-employed dentists can earn between £50,000 to £140,000, while consultant dentists on the NHS can earn up to £103,000 depending on the number of years positioned at this level.
Perks & benefits
Jobs are available throughout the country, in both urban and rural areas. Self-employed dentists have the freedom to base themselves anywhere in the country, and travel around if it is necessary to meet their needs. Some dentists based in the armed forces may have opportunities to travel around the country on a regular basis, or travel abroad.
What qualifications does a Dentist need?
To begin your training as a dentist you’ll need high grades in science subjects such as chemistry and biology. To qualify you will need to complete an approved degree course in dentistry, which will typically take five years.
Useful subjects to study at school & university
Following a dental degree, you may be able to move to four-year dental courses, all of which are regulated by the General Dental Council. Competition for dental schools is great and many will be required to sit UK Clinical Aptitude Tests (UKCAT) or BioMedical Admissions Tests (BMAT).
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