Update concerning COVID-19 – Distance Learning (home study) courses are still available. Find out more about distance learning at Pitman Training

Update concerning COVID-19 – Distance Learning (home study) courses are still available. Find out more about distance learning at Pitman Training

Job Profiles: Dentist


School is Easy aim to help children achieve their aspirations in education, but where does this lead? In this series of blog posts, we are looking into popular job roles and how your child can get there. This blog post looks into the dental profession.

Job Definition:

Dentists work with patients and the general public to prevent and treat dental and oral disease, correcting dental irregularities and treating dental injuries.

Typical hours and salary: UK

Dentists typically have a full time week of 40 hours, but get paid extra if they are on-call and respond to emergency call outs. For their skills and time, they can earn up to £32,000 whilst training and when working full time after training, can get between £40,000 and £86,000. Consultant dentists can earn up to £100,000!

How to become a dentist: UK

Becoming a dentist requires a lot of study in scientific subjects. You would typically need a minimum of 5 GCSEs including maths and science.

Then for A-levels, you would need to take chemistry and biology and one other subject, maybe maths. For A-levels you would need to achieve between ABB or AAA in your three subjects.

At university, you will need to pass a 5-year degree in dentistry approved by the General Dental Council, then undertake 1 to 2 years of postgraduate dental training.

When you apply for a dentistry course, you could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test or BioMedical Admissions Test.They usually test the following skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Communication skills
  • Scientific knowledge
  • Critical thinking


As well as the skills listed above, you will also need to know how to show compassion and warmth towards your patients. Some people are afraid of the dentist and try not to go, you need to be reassuring and comforting when those patients arrive at your practice.

Interpersonal skills will go a long way in this job role as you will be dealing with all ages from toddlers to the eldery.

Day to day responsibilities:

Dentists will typically spend their day doing the following:

  • Giving patients check ups
  • Keeping records for each patient they see that day
  • Educating patients on their dental and oral hygiene
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Tooth extraction and other dental procedures
  • X-raying patients
  • Maintaining equipment stock

They will also work with other members of the dental team such as the dental nurses and the receptionist at the practice.

Future prospects:

Whilst exploring a career in dentistry, you may come across other professions such as; a dental hygienist, dental nurse or dental technician. You may work in one of these roles before working as a dentist.

Dentists do not have to just work in a dental practise, they can be found in other areas too. For example, many dentists work a mixture of private and public dental care. Some dentists also work in hospitals or even work within the army.


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