Job description

Dentists are health care professionals who provide preventive treatments for problems that affect the mouth and teeth. There are different types of dentists, some are self employed practitioners who work privately or with the NHS and some work and get salaries. A general dentist practitioner (GDP) leads a team made up of dental care professionals and treats a wide range of patients from children to the elderly. 

Salary and Conditions.

Dental Foundation Year 1 (DF1) graduates working as vocational dental practitioners (VDPs) start on £30,132 a year.Most dentists are self-employed contractors, mixing NHS with private work, and earn between £50,000 and £110,000 annually, while wholly private dentists can earn £140,000+.Some dentists choose to work in salaried posts in the Community Dental Service (CDS), known in England as the Salaried Primary Dental Care Service (SPDCS). Salaries in the CDS/SPDCS range from £37,714 to £80,674. Locums (someone stepping in forsomeone else) can expect to be paid £250-£360 a day.Most general dental practitioners (GDPs) are self-employed and can arrange their own working hours, which may include weekend or evening sessions to suit patients. Hospital dentists tend to be employed on short-term contracts (6-12 months) and work more irregular hours, with on-call responsibilities.When treating patients, dentists wear a tunic, surgical gloves and safety glasses for protection and to reduce the risk of cross-infection.Dentists may experience eye-strain and neck and back fatigue.All dentists must abide by a professional code of ethics. They may experience high stress levels when handling patients' pain and anxiety and/or as a result of working within strict time schedules.If you work in a hospital, long days and nights on duty may limit your social life, and short contracts of employment may mean repeated job search and relocation.

Entry requirements.

 In order to practise as a dentist, an approved degree in dentistry (BDS or BChD) is essential. Entry to the course usually requires high grades at A-level/Highers in chemistry, biology and physics or mathematics. The course combines academic education with theoretical and practical training in all aspects of dental practice. Courses including a pre-dental year exist for candidates without science-based A-levels or equivalents. This course normally lasts for 30 weeks and immediately precedes entry to the undergraduate degree course. It is not possible to become a dentist with an HND only. Graduate entry to dental school is possible. A 2:1 in a science-based first degree is usually preferred. Graduate entry courses usually last for five years, but accelerated four-year courses are available for candidates with a 2:1 or better in a degree with a large element of biology or chemistry.  Other graduate courses offer science foundation courses (a 'pre-dental' year) for suitable candidates with a non-science background. Some dental schools admit graduates in any subject as long as A-levels or Highers in sciences (including chemistry) have been passed with high grades.