Dentists are health care professionals who provide preventive and restorative treatments for problems that affect the mouth and teeth. It’s also the Dentists role to teach people about oral hygiene.

Most dentists work as self-employed practitioners in general practice, providing dental care to the public under the NHS and privately. Others work in salaried posts within a variety of specialisms in hospital dentistry, community dentistry, the armed forces, and corporate practices. Every dentist that works in the UK will have followed the same education and training and will have graduated from one of the sixteen dental schools in the UK.

So what is it you need to become a Dentist?

To start on your journey in becoming a Dentist you will need the following:

  • At least 5 GCSE’s at grade level A/A* these have to include maths, English, and science
  • At least 3 A Levels grade Level ABB these must include at least two A Levels in Science.

Once you have these you will then have to apply to one of the sixteen Dental schools in the UK who have limited spaces available so only accept the highest academic achievers. You will also be expected to demonstrate potential in the following skills and attributes, which will be assessed at admissions interviews:

  • Strong academic ability;
  • Self-discipline;
  • Commitment to completing this long and demanding degree course;
  • Manual dexterity and technical dental skills, plus the ability to maintain intense concentration for prolonged periods;
  • The ability to build relationships with patients and colleagues;
  • High level communication and interpersonal skills, for interaction with patients of all ages and backgrounds;
  • An interest in the welfare of others and a sympathetic manner;
  • Good administrative and managerial abilities;
  • Information technology skills, due to the increasing use of computers for keeping records and accounts, and for digital imaging of radiographs and intra-oral photography.
  • It is also important that you have good eyesight.

Once accepted you will need to study a Dental degree for a further five years completing the following stages

  • Completing an undergraduate dental degree.
  • Following this up with a postgraduate degree of training.
  • Continued professional development.

With the first two stages of this, it is a case of one leading onto the other, however, the latter stage begins once a dentist has actually started his career and will continue until the point of retirement.

Once qualified, and before being able to practise, Dentists must register with The General Dental Council, the profession’s regulatory body. Dentists must maintain a professional attitude and follow a professional code of ethics in order to maintain registration with the GDC.



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