Deciding on Dentistry
Are you thinking of studying Dentistry?
The Medic Portal has created the ultimate guide to aid you in making your decision to study Dentistry, and to give you all the information you need to secure a place at Dental School!
The typical Dentistry course runs for five years, followed by further training whilst working. This training is further extended if you want to specialise in a certain area. Due to this, it is important to ensure that Dentistry is the career for you.
This page provides the key information you will require to decide on whether or not you wish to study Dentistry.
What is Being a Dentist Like?
Dentistry is a career unlike any other. It is a challenging career path in which you will be treating patients even during your degree training. What’s more, for the right individuals, Dentistry can also be extremely rewarding.
To a certain degree, studying Dentistry ties you to the career path of being a Dentist. Whilst many Dentists work within the National Health Service (NHS), it is also possible to work privately at a later stage in your career.
It is vital to understand the realities of being a Dentist. These include how long you’ll be studying for, the lifelong learning commitment of continual professional development and the practicalities of the work that Dentists do on a daily basis.
Similarly to Medicine, Dentistry combines scientific knowledge and problem solving with interacting with patients. In addition to this, Dentistry is a hands-on career that requires high levels of manual dexterity and perseverance to develop the required skills. Combining these skills allows Dentists to make an impact in people’s lives; whether it’s alleviating the pain of a carious tooth or giving a patient an aesthetic smile through orthodontic appliances.
On the flipside, Dentistry can be very stressful. It often involves working to tight deadlines, dealing with anxious patients and sometimes being unable to help patients.
One of the best ways to decide whether Dentistry is the career for you is by getting some Dentistry work experience! Read our case studies and follow our blogs relating to Dentistry to see if you’re interested!
What Makes a Good Dentist?
There are certain skills and qualities that make a good Dentist, some of these are:
- Communication skills
- Academic knowledge
- Detail-oriented and artist approach
- Comfortable with close patient contact
- Time keeping skills
- Personable, have empathy for patients and can build a rapport
- Stress management
- Commitment and passion for the career
- Trustworthy and honest
- Ability to follow regulations.
What is the Dental School Application Process?
Applying to study Dentistry is a challenging process that requires many steps. The steps required are:
- Deciding on Dentistry – ensuring that Dentistry is the career for you
- Completing Dentistry Work Experience – strengthening you application and knowing what being a Dentist involves
- Choosing a Dental School – deciding on which Dental school is for you
- Completing UCAS – applying for four UK Dental Schools through the UCAS system
- Writing a Personal Statement – writing a personal statement that sells yourself to Dental schools
- Doing UKCAT – getting a high mark in the UKCAT is required for most Dental schools
- Doing BMAT – taking a second exam might be necessary for certain Dental schools
- Passing the Interview – performing well during the Dentistry interviews
- Starting Dental School!
Can you Study Dentistry as a Graduate?
Many candidates choose to study Dentistry after completing a previous degree, there are often dedicated Graduate Entry Dentistry programmes that are along four years. However, these places are very competitive due to reduced numbers.
Are There Other Options in Healthcare?
If you are interested in working in healthcare but you aren’t sure about becoming a Dentist you might be interested in pursuing a career in Medicine or another Allied Health Profession.