About Dentistry

Dentists are able to use their knowledge, problem-solving and technical skills to help people in times of distress and pain. They can also greatly improve a patient's quality of life, boosting their self-esteem by restoring or improving their smile.

Qualities of a Dentist
The General Dental Council (GDC) outlines a number of qualities that dentists should possess and it is important that you have some of these attributes already.

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The Dental Career Path

Following completion of the typical 5-year Dentistry course a period (as little as 1 year or as many as 3 years) of paid dental foundation training/ vocational training (DFT/VT) is necessary; this takes place in an approved NHS training practice where typical primary care is provided . Further NHS dental work is then usually taken in a hospital or community setting though the type may differ depending on the career path followed.

The career path for dentists is varied with lots of areas of sub-specialisation. Many specialities require further study for postgraduate degrees while continued profession development (CPD) is necessary as a dentist to maintain year on year registration with the GDC.

Pros and Cons of Dentistry
The positives and negatives of any job differ from person to person but here is a list of the general pros and cons of dentistry to consider. It's a good idea to draw up a list yourself based on your own preferences.
The Good
The Bad/Ugly
  • Improving people's quality of life
  • Well-Respected and positive part of the community
  • Freedom of being self-employed
  • Working with hands and developing manual skills
  • Multiple Career Paths and chance to run a business
  • Variety of Patients
  • Develops Leadership, Communication, Problem-Solving and Practical Skills
  • Working with a team
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Use of Technology and Constantly Changing
  • Dealing with people in extreme pain and distress
  • High-Pressure
  • Stress of being self-employed
  • Competitive
  • Long University Course
  • Can be boring and repetitive
  • Requires long, demanding periods of concentration
  • May not be able to please every patient
  • Lots of Exams
  • Looking in people's mouths and dealing with bad breath!