A Dentist is a highly qualified health professional dedicated to oral health and hygiene. To be a fully qualified Dentist, you will need to undertake both undergraduate and postgraduate dental education at Dental School
What Makes A Good Dentist?
A good Dentist needs to have the right physical abilities as well as personal skills. Take a look at our checklist to see if you’re up to the challenge:
- Good eyesight and colour vision. There is a lot of precision work involved in Dentistry.
- Manual dexterity. Once you’re a practising Dentist, you’ll need to be able to confidently work with medical instruments in delicate areas.
- An interest in and ability to acquire scientific knowledge, particularly about the human anatomy and oral disease.
- Confidence in offering advice and educating patients about their oral health is a key part of the role.
- Patience and compassion. Unfortunately, a lot of people are scared of the Dentist! It’s your job to convince them there’s nothing to worry about.
Where Can I Study Dentistry?
If you think you can meet the above criteria, it’s time to start looking at Dentistry courses.
The following Universities offer GDC-approved undergraduate dental courses:
- Cardiff University
- University of Manchester
- Newcastle University
- University of Central Lancashire
- University of Dundee
- Queen’s University Belfast
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- University of Glasgow
- University of Liverpool
- Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
- King’s College London
- Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
- University of Sheffield
- University of Leeds
- Aberdeen University
Some of these universities also offer Graduate Entry dentistry courses.
King’s, UCLan and Aberdeen offer accelerated/fast-track Grad Entry courses which you can apply for if you already have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject (e.g. a biomedical sciences related subject).
Manchester and Leeds both offer pre-dental courses for those who do not meet the normal entry requirements.
King’s also offers an Enhanced Support Dentistry Programme for students from selected ‘widening participation’ schools.
What Are The Entry Requirements For Dentistry?
There is intense competition for places at Dental School. Most ask for at least 3 As at A-Level, often in relevant sciences.
If you don’t have the grades, you can look into doing a pre-dental foundation course. These are offered by some Dental Schools in order to widen access to the profession.
Each school will have its own entry requirements, so it is best to look at their website and prospectus to help you make your decision.
You can also look into other dental care professions that require less intensive training:
What Is The Training For Dentistry?
Undergraduate Dental Degrees usually last five years, and consist of academic work as well as theoretical and practical training.
Then you must complete your postgraduate training, which can have two stages:
- Dental Foundation Training (DFT). This is at least one year spent in primary care, and will allow you to complete the compulsory Vocational Training required by the General Dental Council (GDC).
- Specialist training can then be undertaken by those who want to work in hospital dental services. You will spend time in a hospital gaining experience of the various Dentistry specialities.