As a dentist, you’ll prevent and treat mouth and tooth diseases, as well as treat injuries and rectify dental problems. However, the most prevalent position in dentistry is that of a general dentist (GDP). As a GDP, you’ll operate as a self-employed contractor in high-street practises, offering dental care to the general public.
Part-time work at hospitals is also possible. You might offer services through the NHS, privately, or both. You’ll usually be in charge of a group of dental nurses, hygienists, therapists, and technicians, and you’ll see patients ranging in age from children to the elderly.
How to Become Dentist In the UK
Being a dentist demands diagnostic, clinical and social skills. It allows you the unique opportunity to pursue several careers that offer an intellectual and practical challenge and a service to society, and a respected place in the community. To be successful and enjoy this profession, you must possess good people skills and an interest in their welfare.
Some dentists will become teachers or lecturers in dental schools, others will be employed in hospitals or community clinics, but most will become general dental practitioners. Often they will be managing a team of people encompassing dental nurses, hygienists, receptionists and others. Therefore, good administrative and managerial abilities are required.
Getting a dental degree In UK
To qualify as a dentist, you need to complete a dental course, which usually lasts five years and leads to a bachelor’s degree (either BDS or BChD). There are four-year courses available at Aberdeen, Kings, Liverpool and UCLan dental schools for students with prior qualifications, for example, a degree in Biomedical Sciences.
Dentistry is one of the most popular degrees in the UK, and there is lots of competition for places. The Dental Schools Council offers some useful information about different courses and entry requirements.
General Dental Council
Upon qualification, dentists must register with the General Dental Council, the profession’s governing body. In addition, dentists must follow ethical guidelines in their dealings with patients, and failure to do so may call their continued registration into question.
Dental foundation training/vocational training
To do work in the NHS, a dentist must undertake dental foundation training (DFT) or vocational training (VT). This is supervised training, working in an approved practice for one year after graduation.
After this, there are many different career options open to dentists; for example, working in hospitals or community dentistry; however, most dentists choose to work in an established practice as an associate. As a self-employed dentist, this is responsible for the treatment they provide, but working in practice is owned by someone else.
Once qualified, dentists can continue to update and further their knowledge through a wide range of short courses and postgraduate qualifications, sometimes on a part-time basis.