After completing your work experience and researching dental schools, it is likely that you’ll have an idea of what studying dentistry is like. However, this guide will reveal five things you didn’t know about studying dentistry, as told by current dental student Joelle!
Heading into dentistry, you may think that it is like any other degree – but prepare to be in university a lot more often than your peers. By final year you will be on clinics five days a week and then spending the evenings preparing for exams. The holidays are also much shorter than other degrees so you’ll be heading back to university a lot earlier than your friends.
Although dentistry obviously involves mainly learning about teeth, there are several other subjects covered on the course. For example, you’ll learn the basics of human disease, drug doses, health psychology and the ins and outs of the physics involved in dental materials. The course covers a wide variety of subjects that can be applied to understanding dentistry and improving patient care.
It’s clear that dentistry will involve a degree of practical work but people are always surprised at how early dental students start treating patients. Depending on the dental school you go to, you could be treating patients in your second year of university and then throughout the degree until you graduate.
Before graduating each dental student is required to have completed a certain number of different treatments. The quotas mean that on graduating every dental student has shown competency in a range of treatments such as root canals, extractions and crowns.
Whilst the majority of dentistry is practical, you’ll spend a large proportion of your appointments offering patients advice. Whether it is oral hygiene guidance, diet advice or which toothbrush to use, patients always have questions relating to their dental care. Your friends will also ask you for advice on their tooth related problems such as tooth whitening and erupting wisdom teeth.
Words: Joelle Booth
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