What do I need to be a dentist?


31 May

Academics

To become a dentist you must attend  fives years study at dental school, followed by one or two years of supervised practice. It is one of the hardest and most competitive courses to get into in the UK. At a basic level the standard entry requirement for a 5 year undergraduate dental degree in the UK is 3 As at A level, and good grades achieved at GCSE. Although one year pre-dental courses are offered by some dental schools which broadens access to other students

One the academic side of becoming a dentist there are 3 categories:

  • university
  • supervised practise
  • individual development

University- 

To become a dentist a five year undergraduate degree must be completed within which you will learn from manual practise, academic lectures and community experience. 

Supervised practise- 

Dental foundation training, dental core training and specialist training must be completed before individual development can happen

Individual development-

Once both previous stages have been completed you will need to be registered with the General Dental Council to allow you to practise. As soon as you have registered with the GDC and throughout your career, you will need to undertake continuing professional development to be allowed to continue to practise as dental information and knowledge develops and improves. You'll need to have thirst for knowledge about human anatomy and oral disease. 

Personal

To be a dentist isn't just about achieving academically but more so about your personal skills. This can be achieved through volunteering, extra curricular activities and work experience all of which is required to gain a place on a dental course in one of the 14 dental courses in the UK. 

You will need strong communication skills to be able to converse and support everyone of all ages, background and needs. You’ll need to be able to put patients at ease, gain their confidence and deal sympathetically with their fears. You will hold a position of trust, so you will need to behave with integrity and compassion.

It’s also important for you to be able to lead your team effectively, so good managerial and administrative skills are essential.

Conclusion

academic skills-

3 Alevels

Good GCSES

proof of academic interest


general needs-

volunteering

extracurricular activities

work experience


personal skills-

empathy

communication

leadership


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