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THE UK: Subject Guides

Course Info: Dentistry

Hotcourses editor, Alejandra Diaz Camecho gives an insight into studying Dentistry.


Dentistry and other related career paths have become a top course choice for many students. It involves not only commitment to serve others but also high levels of manual dexterity as well as analytical and communications skills. As many countries are experiencing a lack of professionals in oral care, dentistry could become a great career path for you. Hotcourses’ editor Alejandra is here to give an insight into the subject.

Mentioning the word ‘dentist’ can make us go back to our dreariest childhood memories when the buzzing sound of the drill that is used to repair our teeth made us all shiver. However, dentists perform an important role in our oral hygiene and general health.

The principal role of a dentist and other career-related professionals is to contribute to the improvement of the oral health of a specific population. It requires not only deep knowledge of the anatomy of the mouth and face but a general understanding of the entire human body. Besides this, an oral care professional can perform activities in management, education, research and other matters related to people’s oral care, which makes of them integral professionals and care providers.

As a dental student, you will have a very busy initial timetable, including studying the foundation of oral physiology plus time spent in the clinic, that will require all of your energy put into your studies. However, this commitment will be soon rewarded with a close-knit peer group, a good support network from the dental school that will accompany you throughout your studies and lots of activities designed especially for you by the student committees of your universities.

Professor Liz Kay, dean of the Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry in the UK admits that the dentistry course, especially, is ‘clinically intensive’ and brings with it a lot of exposure to patients. ‘We want them to treat real people from the beginning, giving them total holistic care just as if they were in general practice. Then later on in the course they will be exposed to the specialties,’ she explains.

However, these are not the only features that you can expect from the dentistry course. One of the most recurrent worries of dentistry students is that they want to be prepared not only to repair teeth, but to respond professionally to diverse challenges in the clinic. Modules such as preventive dentistry, health education, dental practice administration, and dental mechanics, among others are imparted to the students from the early stages of their course.  

Besides, specialisations such as cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics have become popular options for those seeking more independence in their future businesses.

In order to apply to a dentistry course, you need to comply with all the entry level requirements as well as proficiency in English. There is then an interview which seeks to establish what your motivations to follow the dentistry profession are. Additionally, potential students are often asked to demonstrate their  manual dexterity skills as they will be required to work at small scale. Examples of manual dexterity may include playing a musical instrument to a high level or assembling small models. Also dental schools prefer applicants who demonstrate a long-term commitment to serving others. If you plan to apply to dental school you should endeavour to gain experience serving the community through volunteer activities.

If you think you have what it takes to commit to serving others, you can find out more by checking our courses information page where you can find all about entry requirements for each dental school. Also, for information about scholarships, follow the link.

For a video with some dentistry students’ testimonies, follow the link.

Also read Nuannat's blog about dentistry courses in the UK.



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About Author

Aspiring journalist and Cambridge University graduate, Londoner 'by adoption'. Tweeting for @hotcourses_Abrd


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