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Why study dentistry at a medical college?

Dentistry is one of the most popular careers with students, but qualifying is a long slog – it takes at least five years of study before you’ll be ready to practice as a dentist.

Dentistry is the study of everything to do with your teeth. From implants to dentures, abscesses to wisdom teeth, choosing to study a dentistry program at a medical college will lead you into this lucrative important industry.

What will I study on a dentistry program?

A dentistry program will provide you with the skills to work with all things dental. You’ll learn how to pull teeth, how to give fillings, how to whiten teeth and how to perform x-rays and give anaesthetic. You’ll learn how to diagnose tooth decay and provide emergency dental care.
A dentistry program will take several more years to complete than most other undergraduate programs due to the complexity of the study involved, but with an almost guaranteed job at the end and a high salary, the time investment will be worth it.
Expect your dentistry program to include modules on subject such as anatomy of the head and neck, dental tissues, oral environment and dental materials science.

Length and structure

Dentistry programs are lengthy. Most dental programs will take at least five years of study at dental school followed by two years of supervised practice, although this does vary depending on where in the world you choose to study.

It is possible to take a postgraduate dental program if you are already qualified in a related medical subject, although each subject will have different criteria.

Other areas of dentistry, such as dental nursing, dental hygienists and dental technicians will have shorter periods of study.

How can a dentistry program help my career?

Dentistry can be a lucrative career, with graduates starting on £30,000 an practice leaders earning more than £120,000. Most graduates will start out as vocational dental practitioners working for more experienced dentists. As you gain experience, your salary will rise until you set up your own practice. As such, most experienced dentists are self-employed, setting their own hours and salaries.

Dentists can also work in hospitals, providing emergency treatment or working on short term contracts.

Entry requirements

Most countries require dentists to have an approved dentistry degree before they are allowed to practice. Entry onto a dentistry program can be competitive. Most medical schools will require you to demonstrate the following:

  • School qualifications in science based subjects or a previous medical-based degree
  • High level of numeracy and literacy
  • Successful interview

What to do next

If you would like more information on studying a dentistry program at a medical college, sign up for our Free Application Service. You’ll get advice, tailored programs and application advice on medical colleges around the world.