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:

  1. Good eyesight and colour vision. There is a lot of precision work involved in Dentistry.
  1. Manual dexterity. Once you’re a practising Dentist, you’ll need to be able to confidently work with medical instruments in delicate areas.
  1. An interest in and ability to acquire scientific knowledge, particularly about the human anatomy and oral disease.
  1. Confidence in offering advice and educating patients about their oral health is a key part of the role.
  1. 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.

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Where Can I Study Dentistry? A list Of UK Dental Schools

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 Dentistry courses:

  • Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Glasgow
  • King’s College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • Newcastle University
  • Plymouth University
  • University of Sheffield
  • Queen’s University Belfast

The following universities have Graduate Entry Dentistry courses:

  • Aberdeen University
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • King’s College London
  • University of Leeds
  • Newcastle University

Dentistry courses with a Preliminary Year are available at University of Manchester and University of Leeds for students who achieved highly at A-Level but didn’t take the required science subjects.

Dentistry courses with a Gateway Year are available at University of Bristol, University of Leeds and University of Liverpool for students who meet certain eligibility criteria and may have faced barriers to their learning. King’s College London also offers an Enhanced Support Dentistry Programme for students from selected ‘widening participation’ schools.

What Are The Entry Requirements For Dentistry?

Dentistry is very competitive. Most Dental Schools ask for at least 3 As at A-Level, generally in relevant science subjects. Most also require applicants to sit the UCAT admissions test – apart from Leeds which requires the BMAT.

For Graduate Entry Dentistry courses, applicants are typically expected to have a First or 2:1 degree.

Each Dental School has its own entry requirements, so it’s best to look at university websites to find out the most up-to-date criteria. You can also check the Dental Schools Council’s guide to 2022 entry requirements.

If you want to pursue Dentistry but don’t have the right A-Level grades (or subjects), you can look into applying for courses that begin with an extra year.

You could also look into other dental care professions that require less intensive training:

What Is The Training For Dentistry?

Undergraduate Dentistry courses usually last five years, and consist of academic work as well as theoretical and practical training. Graduate Entry courses usually last four years.

Then you must complete your postgraduate training, which can have two stages:

  1. 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).
  1. 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.  

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