Summary of profession

Dentists are concerned with the prevention and treatment of diseases and malformations of teeth, gums, and the oral cavity. They remove, correct or replace lost and damaged parts by procedures such as cleaning, fillings, crowns, dentures or straightening of teeth.

Working hours, patterns and environments

Many hospitals have a Dental Department where they provide general and specialist services. Some work in community clinics and schools. In general practice dentists usually work 38-40 hours per week. They occasionally work in the evenings or at weekends or on an out-of-hours rota.

Education and skills

Students interested in becoming a Dentist must have a strong science background. All Dentists must take Biology, Physics and Chemistry or Triple Science, Mathematics, English and electives. Specialist Dentists must train as a General Dentist and then complete further training which may take up to 6 additional years.

Job growth and opportunities

With further training you could work in the hospital dental service in an area like orthodontics (straightening or moving teeth), oral surgery or paediatric dentistry.