How To Become A Dentist

dentist wearing mask and blue rubber gloves holding dental instruments







Becoming a dentist usually requires five years of study at dental school. After this, you will need to complete one or two years of practising dentistry whilst supervised.

Becoming a dentist is an exceptionally good career choice. Just as people will always need doctors, nurses and medical assistants to take care of their physical and mental health, so too will people always need dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants to take care of their oral health.

That being said, becoming a dentist is an extremely sought after career and thus you should aim to achieve three A grades in relevant A levels to get on a course at university.

Once you meet the academic requirements to get on the course, you’ll learn about human anatomy and oral diseases as well as getting lots of hands-on experience.

Every member of a dental team is expected to do this. But, a dentist will have a much deeper knowledge and more practical skills.

You will need to learn the current science and methods during your course and then keep up to date with advancements in dentistry throughout the remainder of your career. This is because theories and methods are always evolving and advancing in medical professions. 

As well as being very knowledgeable about dentistry, you’ll need great people skills.

You’ll need to be able to make patients feel comfortable and put their worries at ease. Your patients will range from young children to elderly people. So you’ll need to learn how to deal with different age groups too. As well as this, you’ll be leading teams of people, so good managerial and administrative skills will come in useful.


Dental training stages

To train as a dentist, you will go through 3 core stages

  1. Undergraduate degree
  2. Postgraduate dental training
  3. Continuing professional development


Undergraduate Degree

During the undergraduate training, you must complete a 5-year long degree at university.

The course will consist of lots of learning detailed theory in academic lectures and seminars as well as hands-on practical skills.

You will usually be placed in hospitals and clinics where you will treat patients under the supervision of experienced dental practitioners. 


Postgraduate dental training. 

After you have graduated, your postgraduate training will be comprised of foundation training, dental core training and specialist training. 


CPD (Continuing Profesional Development)

When you have finished your undergraduate dental education, you have to register with the GDC (General Dental Council) in order to practise as a qualified dentist. 

When you have registered and throughout your career, you will be required to undertake continuing professional development so you can continue to practice dentistry.


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