What do you need to become a dentist?

If you are considering a career in dentistry you may be asking yourself “ what do you need to become a dentist? “ Well, what you need to become a dentist is an investment of approximately 10 years of your life to education and training.

Following good GCSE and A levels grades, a budding dentist would embark on either a BDS, MChd, BChd course at university (Bachelor or Master of Dental Surgery Course). The course would take a minimum of five years to complete and would cover a variety of scientific subjects including pathology, anatomy and biochemistry.

What do you need to become a dentist?


Many universities have a department specialising in this chosen area called a School of Dentistry. To become a dentist you will need the completed degree qualification and a registration with the General Dentist Council.

Armed with a degree in dentistry, you would work under supervision at an established dental practice. This vocational training would take place for a minimum of 12 months. There are a number of career paths available to a qualified dentist including becoming a general practitioner based in an NHS or private practice.

On a daily basis a general practitioner would meet with patients and examine them, advising them of correct oral hygiene procedures and treating any problems with their gums and teeth as they occur. The latest technology is used by a dentist to perform examinations and x-rays and perform root canal surgeries, extractions and fit crowns or dentures where necessary.

What do you need to become a dentist? contd…

As well as the possibility of becoming a general practitioner, there are other opportunities available to a qualified dentist including cosmetic dentistry where higher salaries can be expected or community work where the focus is on the education of the public at community forums and schools or treating individuals in their own homes.

To become a dentist in a hospital further vocational training would be required however, there are opportunities to work on more complex situations including jaw and facial abnormalities and reconstruction.

A career in dentistry is a solid choice for a calm and personable individual who communicates well and has a desire to educate.

There is currently demand for individuals in this field so it is a great time to enrol in the training to become a dentist and start the course to a career that can reward you with a salary of approximately £80,000 per year.

So, as you can see in answer to the question – what do you need to become a dentist? – there are many steps and plenty of training involved, however once complete you will be remunerated well for your hard work.