If you have an interest in the educational background of dentists or are considering a career in dentistry, it is important to understand the requirements to become a dentist. These requirements are designed to ensure a high level of academic achievement and practical education before dentists start treating patients. In this article, we will outline the four main steps that aspiring dentists commonly take to enter this esteemed profession. If you’re in Hampshire and need a dental implant, check out dental implants Hampshire UK.
It is commonly understood that the educational path for medical doctors and lawyers is longer than that of a typical undergraduate degree. In the case of dentists, they must attend dental school for a minimum of four years, or five years if they do not already possess a medical undergraduate degree. However, becoming a dentist requires more than just education. Aspiring dental students usually need to undergo further training before being able to practice, particularly if they aim to work within the NHS. In fact, some students may even pursue additional education in order to specialize in a particular area.
Dentistry is a highly rewarding profession that offers attractive remuneration and a healthy work-life balance. As per the UK government’s National Careers Service, experienced dentists earn an average salary exceeding £85,000 annually, working a standard 35 to 40 hours per week. Moreover, there is the option of being self-employed, allowing individuals to have greater control over their working hours. In the following sections, we will delve into the necessary steps and qualifications required to pursue a career in dentistry, along with the essential criteria to consider when selecting your dental healthcare provider.
Dental Admissions Tests
Before applying to university, it is crucial for secondary school students aspiring to become dentists to understand the necessary tests and prerequisites. The Dental Schools Council suggests that potential dental students should consider taking either the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT). Ideally, students should aim to take these tests in the same year they intend to apply to university.
Requirements and Prerequisites for Applying to Dental School
In the field of dentistry, the competition is intense due to its popularity in the UK. To be eligible for admission, students must achieve three As in their A-levels, along with a competitive UCAT or BMAT score. Additionally, they are required to have shadowed a dentist and undergone an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The applicant must be pursuing or have obtained A-levels (or equivalent) in biology and chemistry, and it is preferable to have an additional third subject in a complementary field like physics or mathematics.
Dental schools typically offer five-year programs, resulting in a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Surgery (BDS) or Bachelor’s degree in Dental Science (BChD). Although the abbreviations differ, they both represent the same type of dentistry degree, encompassing similar coursework and practice methods. Whether you are verifying your dentist’s qualifications or exploring educational options, be sure to consider either of these degrees.
The initial couple of years of dental school generally revolve around academic coursework comprising lectures, seminars, and tutorials. In the latter stages of education, the emphasis gradually transitions towards practical clinical training, as mentioned by WhatUni. It is important to note that the specific training curriculum for dentistry may vary slightly among different institutions.
Dental Foundation Training
After graduating from dental school, the majority of students usually undergo foundation training in order to pursue a career in the National Health Service (NHS). According to The British Dental Association, Dental Foundation Training (DFT) involves spending a year at authorized dental practices to gain additional practical experience. During this period, participants also receive regular tutorials from their supervisor, which further enhances their knowledge and skills in the field.