Subject Guide

Dentistry Degree

Uni Compare  · Nov 30th 2021

Dentistry is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disfigurement and disease in the mouth and oral area – it isn’t solely about pearly whites and laughing gas.

Dental check-up

When you graduate with a degree dentistry, you are highly employable. This essential role is well-paid, often with fixed hours (unless you’re an emergency, out-of-hours dentist) and dentists are needed in every town across the country.

So whether you’re a dentistry degree London graduate or a dentistry degree Birmingham graduate, you’ll likely be able to secure a stable, highly remunerated role without having to relocate. Here, we’re going to look at all the types of dentistry jobs available, dentistry degree requirements, as well as related careers that you might consider instead.

Dentistry Degree

What to do with a dentistry degree

Dentistry degree UK graduates are ready to begin work immediately, either with a paid foundation degree in dentistry in the NHS (rising to £50k+ after completion of the year), or in private practice, or other settings.

After their vocational year (or dentistry foundation degree), the majority of dentists go into general practice, though some enter hospital dentistry, academic dentistry, or become a dentist in the forces. A smaller number still enter the worlds of finance, business, marketing, sales or education.

A salaried role in the NHS has a lot to offer: a steady stream of work, a large network of professionals and colleagues, and the ability to focus solely on the day-to-day work of dentistry. On the other hand, working privately can be even more lucrative, as well as providing greater freedom in choosing your hours.

The downside of that is that you also need a business-head screwed on, managing a building, hiring staff, attracting patients and balancing the finances.

Mark Spitz, who is the owner of a record-breaking seven gold medals during the 1972 Olympic games, was accepted into dental school but decided to pursue swimming instead!

What can you do with a dentistry degree?

As well as employment versus self employment, graduates with a degree in dentistry should consider whether they want to specialise in a specific field of oral care.

Orthodontists use braces and other techniques to straighten teeth, while an endodontist focuses only on tooth decay and treatment. Oral surgeons carry out more invasive procedures, often in hospital under anaesthetic, and paediatric dentists use their friendly manner to help children feel at ease in the dentist’s chair and get a great start with their oral care, which often requires a cosmetic dentistry degree or a doctor of dentistry degree. Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, there is the role of the forensic odontologist, who identifies and analyses teeth remains or imprints for legal investigations.

There is also the setting and the requirements for dentistry degree to consider. Your dentistry degree could take you into community dental care, visiting clinics, patients’ homes, schools and nursing homes to provide checkups and treatment. Or, you could work in a hospital, a local practice, or even in the armed forces, providing dentistry to personnel working away from home.

Other jobs which make use of a degree for dentistry include dental public health advisor, science writer, lab technician, medical sales rep, health promotion specialist, and health service manager.

Teeth are important within the study of dentistry, but it involves more than our gnashers. The area of dentistry also includes Nurses, Hygienists, Dental Assistants, Therapists and Technicians and these are true of all ages, even those looking to do a mature student dentistry degree.

Similarly to other medicine-related courses it is related to human health, as well as being an important part of survival, the mouth can display primary symptoms for serious illnesses such as heart disease or cancer, which is also touched on in a dentistry masters degree (or any other form of post graduate degree in dentistry) and an online dentistry degree.

What A Levels do I need?

Dentistry requires hard working and intelligent candidates and can be a tough profession to gain access to. Top universities, Russell Group Universities, will ask students to have AAA or equivalent in science subjects, such as biology and chemistry.

Students are advised to check with their university and desired courses to ensure they understand the UCAS entry points for their course and their dentistry degree requirements.

Dentistry Degree

What are my study options?

Individuals wishing to pursue a career in dentistry will need to attend an accredited dentistry degree programme, known as a Bachelor’s of Dental Surgery (BDS) at university, however, there are Bachelor’s of Science degrees (in this case, a Bachelor's degree in Dentistry) available for those wishing to pursue a career (as mentioned above) related to dentistry but not to become a fully qualified dentist.

Dentistry degree courses aside from an undergraduate degree for dentistry include BDS Dentistry, BDS Dentistry with foundation year, part time dentistry degree, dentistry master degree, dentistry as a second degree and BDC dental hygiene and therapy and BSc veterinary studies (dentistry), although these will all have a different dentistry degree length, depending on your dentistry degree course.

Accredited courses in dentistry typically take five years to complete, and students who are completing a foundation year prior or as part of the course should expect to complete within six years.

The majority of dentistry degrees will be intensive programmes of study and students will throughout their first and second years to attend lectures on a daily basis, as well as learn through a series of tutorials and seminars.

Your dentistry degree could take you into community dental care, visiting clinics, patients’ homes, schools and nursing homes to provide checkups and treatment.

What should I expect from studying Dentistry?

Due to the heavy workload candidates should expect to complete written examinations and practical assessments alongside their module work and coursework. Towards the final year, modules begin to centre on patient care, and during the final years, studying may focus on refining practical clinical skills instead of academic knowledge in preparation for employment.

Choosing a degree course in Dentistry tends to be structured to cover the core topics all dentists are required and expected to pass to become qualified, making dentistry different from other degrees where students are typically allowed to tailor their degree to their specialised pursuits and the fact that the general dentistry degree requirements UK don’t change too much.

Students will acquire the skills to apply theoretical and practical elements of dentistry and health care to provide treatment for patients. Candidates may even perform treatments during their final year which will be a different learning experience than the beginning of their degree.

Individuals will learn anatomy, neuroscience, metabolism and homoeostasis, cell biology, respiratory, physiology and cardio biology – therefore a love affair for science and all things health will benefit studies.

Dentistry Degree

How will I be assessed?

Dentistry involves a minefield of examinations for students to pass during each year of study. However, there will be opportunities for practice or mock exams and coursework essays to aid students throughout the course.

What skills will I learn from studying Dentistry?

Dentistry will provide candidates with an extensive list of practical skills and techniques within the world of mouth and oral care – which there are too many to list. However, those interested in the skills gained can gain an insight into the skills learned with the study options above.

When you graduate with a degree dentistry, you are highly employable.

Why study Dentistry?

Dentistry will appeal to those interested in health, problem-solving and hard work as it isn’t the easiest of degrees to obtain.

Employers will be looking for candidates who can collaborate with other healthcare professionals and hardworking for patients as well as the company. Communication skills and a natural flair for science would benefit dentistry students, who wish to become a member of an industry that is constantly expanding and evolving.

What happens after I graduate?

Dentistry graduates tend to have high employability rates as they are not only fully qualified but also hard working and completed five intense years of university. Also, society will always need dentists; therefore, the demand for dentists will never cease.

However, those who wish to enter a different career sector upon graduation can find work within charitable establishments, health organisations, or a member of market research.

Dentistry Degree

Will it help me get a job?

Dentistry will offer students the opportunity to gain experience in the field which is vital for employment and training. Studying this subject provides individuals with the tools needed to become fully qualified.

What types of jobs can I get from studying Dentistry?

Graduate prospects within this area range from working with private practice speciality, dental nursing, research, charity health care as well as becoming a dentist.

What can I study after Dentistry?

For candidates wishing to continue with their studies, postgraduate study options include diplomas, Doctorate qualification and master degree in dentistry or online master degree in dentistry within endodontics, clinical studies, aesthetic dentistry and primary dental care.

Famous Dentistry studies alumni

Mark Spitz, who is the owner of a record-breaking seven gold medals during the 1972 Olympic games, was accepted into dental school but decided to pursue swimming instead!

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