How to Become a Dentist?

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How to Become a Dentist

As kids, most of us dreaded visiting the dentist. Many people often regard the thought of getting examined with sharp dental equipment as a horrific experience. However, as a career field, Dentistry is one of the sought-after specializations in Medical Sciences. Dentists are medical practitioners who treat ailments of teeth, gums, and mouth. The domain of dentistry offers a wide range of promising opportunities with high-salaried packages and numerous perks. If you are eager to know more about this specialty, this blog brings you the complete career map of how to become a dentist, from the top courses and universities to the process of acquiring a medical license to work in this field.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Dentist

A career in dentistry is ranked #10 among the 100 best jobs by U.S. News & World Report rankings. The roles and responsibilities of a dentist include treating and preventing problems related to teeth, gums, oral cavity, and other oral problems. The basic roles of a dentist are listed below.

  • Dentists diagnose oral diseases and give prescriptions for dental problems.
  • They create treatment plans and perform surgical procedures on the teeth and ensure the safe administration of anesthetics.
  • They also help maintain or restore the oral health of their patients and monitor the development of the teeth and jaws.
  • They interpret x-rays and diagnostic tests.
  • Dentists also promote oral health and disease prevention.

Skills Required to Become a Dentist

Students who aspire to become dentists must have a requisite set of skills that can enhance their careers. Since numerous people opt for dentistry as their career option, building on your skills can also give you an edge over others. The following are a few skills required to become a dentist.

  • Students must be quick in manual and diagnostic skills. 
  • They just also have a good visual memory and exceptional skills in judgment. 
  • To have a better hand in dental surgeries, they must be able to make quick, synchronized movements of both hands. This will help them assemble or use equipment with a scientific knack. 
  • Apart from dental-related skills, they must also have a sound understanding in business, self-discipline, and have good communication skills. These can help you start your own clinic and take you a long way.

How to Become a Dentist?

To begin a career in dentistry, you must have the basic education requirements and qualifications. Here are the 4 basic steps to become a dentist.

Fulfil Admission Requirements

Gaining the requisite educational qualification is the first step towards taking the career path of becoming a dentist. There are numerous undergraduate degree programs offered in Dentistry which you can choose from. Before exploring the array of courses available, let’s have a look at some of the common admission requisites for a bachelor’s degree in Dentistry:

  • Formal schooling of 10+2 with BiPC subjects 
  • To apply for universities in India, you will need to qualify the NEET UG exam
  • For universities abroad, you will have to provide English proficiency test scores like IELTS, TOEFL, etc as well as LORs and an SOP
  • Some universities abroad also require MCAT exam scores for admission into undergraduate courses in Dentistry.

Enrol in a Bachelor’s Degree

The UG courses in Dentistry commonly range for around 4 years and involve 1 year of internship. During the initial period of your course, you will be familiarised with the foundational subjects and disciplines such as Periodontics, Orthodontics, Oral Pathology, etc. Towards the conclusion of the course, the curriculum tends to focus more on clinical training.

Here are the top bachelor’s degree courses for those aspiring to become a dentist.

Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) Advanced Diploma in Dental Hygiene Advanced Diploma in Dentistry (Free Dental Entry)
Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours) BSc Hons Advanced Dental Nursing BDS Honours Dental Surgery with a Preliminary year
Bachelor of Oral Health BDS Honours Dentistry

Explore Training Opportunities

As soon as you complete your bachelor’s degree, you become eligible for practicing full-time as a dentist. You can either explore assistant-level positions with a well-established and licensed dentist or opt to serve in a hospital. Other than this, you can also opt to practice as an independent dentist by opening a clinic for which you will need the requisite financial resource. You can choose to work with public and private dental hospitals or with non-profit organizations in the healthcare sector.

Master’s Degree Courses in Dental Science

If you aim to pursue further education in Dentistry and gain specialization in this field, then a master’s degree is the best option. Many dentistry graduates opt for a postgraduate degree to explore the field of their choice and become specialty doctors. There are varied specializations available for those aiming to become a dentist such as Endodontics, Orthodontics, etc. Moreover, pursuing a master’s degree in Dental Science abroad can also help you explore global career opportunities and practice as a dentist in top countries like the USA, Canada, etc. Take a look at the top master’s degree programs you can explore in this domain:

MSc Paediatric Dentistry Master of Dental Public and Primary Health Oral Science MSc MSc Dental Science for Clinical Practice
MSc Clinical Dentistry Master of Science in Dental Sciences Regenerative Dentistry MSc MClinDent Dental Implantology
Master of Dentistry MSc Forensic Dentistry Dental Public Health MSc Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery MSc
Postgraduate Diploma in Dental Technology MDS Endodontics MSc Dental Technology Master of Philosophy Oral Health

Note: Along with a bachelor’s degree in BDS or other related courses, many institutions demand a score in medical entrance exams like NEET PG, MCAT, etc.

Getting the License 

Once a candidate has completed a bachelor’s degree and a particular duration of the internship, they are eligible for seeking a license in dentistry that is authorised by their State Dental Council. If you have gained a BDS degree from a medical university in India and aim to practice in the country, you can get registered under the Dental council of India or the State Dental Council (differs as per every state). If you have completed your degree in Dentistry from abroad and want to pursue dentistry in India, you have to undergo the Foreign Dental Graduate Screening Test conducted by the Dental Council of India to get the license to practice in the country.

How to Become a Dentist in India

Dentistry in India is a dynamic career with new opportunities for students in various institutions. The growth in this field has escalated with advanced technologies and resources. Many universities in India provide graduation and postgraduation programs for dentistry that are taught by professionals. Here are the top colleges in India if you aspire to pursue a career in dentistry,

  • King George’s Medical University – [KGMU], Lucknow
  • Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai
  • Institute of Medical Sciences – [IMS], Varanasi
  • Christian Medical College – [CMC], Ludhiana
  • Government Medical College / Rajindra Hospital-[GMCP], Patiala
  • Government Medical College and Hospital – [GMCH], Chandigarh
  • Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences – [RIMS], Ranchi
  • Sri Ram Chandra Bhanja Medical College and Hospital – [SCBMCH], Cuttack
  • Pt Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences – [PGIMS], Rohtak
  • Baba Farid University of Health Sciences – [BFUHS], Faridkot

Top Universities Abroad

Let’s take a look at the popular universities you can explore for the dentistry programs:

Specializations

There are numerous types of dentist job profiles for students to pursue after completing the required academic qualification. Some of the popular dental specialties within the field are listed below.

  • Endodontics
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology
  • Prosthodontics
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
  • Periodontics
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Oral medicine
  • Dental anesthesiology
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiology
  • Dental public health
  • Orofacial pain
  • Pediatric dentistry

Careers in Dentistry

Now that you are familiar with the career map you need to follow to become a dentist, let’s explore the varied range of career opportunities in Dentistry. Here are some of the specialized career prospects you can explore in this field:

  • Oral Surgeon 
  • Orthodontist 
  • Endodontist 
  • Periodontist 
  • Prosthodontist
  • Pedodontist

Salary

A career in dentistry is financially rewarding and has a lot of perks including job security and stability. Dentistry is also considered a very respectable job. The average salary for a dentist in the initial years of their career is roughly around INR 7,00,000. The pay increases after years of practice and experience. The further salary can range between INR 10,00,000 to INR 15,00,000 annually.

Thus, we hope that this blog has provided you with the educational qualifications, professional experience, and other related details on how to become a dentist. Are confused about choosing the right course in dentistry? Get in touch with our Leverage Edu experts and we will assist you in picking the right program and university as per your interests and aspirations. Sign up for a free session with us today!

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