Dentists promote good oral hygiene, diagnose and treat teeth and mouth problems and help prevent dental disease. You could work at a dental practice, at a health centre or in an NHS or private hospital.

Day-to-day tasks

  • lead a dental team to diagnose and treat dental problems
  • see patients for routine check ups
  • perform treatments like fillings, extractions and fitting dentures and bridges
  • take X-rays and give local anaesthetics

Skills and Knowledge

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands

Industry Qualifications

You'll need to complete a 5-year degree in dentistry approved by the General Dental Council, followed by 1 to 2 years of postgraduate dental training.

You might be able to do a 4-year degree course if you already have a degree in a relevant subject, for example biomedical sciences.

When you apply for a dentistry course, you could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). They test the skills you'll need on the course, like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.

You might be able to apply for a 4-year dental degree course if you've already got at least an upper second class degree (2:1) in biology, chemistry or a biomedical subject.

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