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Dentists work with patients and the general public to prevent and treat dental and oral disease, correcting dental irregularities (particularly in children) and treating dental and facial injuries.
Training and qualifications required
Becoming a dentist involves at least five years’ study at dental school, followed by one or two years of supervised practice. Most entrants will require three As at A-level, although one year pre-dental courses are offered by some dental schools which broadens access to other students.
Expected working hours and salary range
Most dentists work as general dental practitioners and can choose where they work and determine their working hours. Newly qualified dentists undertake dental foundation training for one year and earn £30,132.
Dentists then either choose to work in a dental practice, or enter dental core training. Dental core trainees earn a basic salary between £29,912 and £39,092, and may be paid an additional supplement. Salaried NHS dentists earn between £38,095 and £81,480.
Consultants in dental specialties are paid on the same scales as other hospital consultants and earn between £75,249 and £101,451.
Desirable skills and values
Dentists lead the dental team so good leadership skills are essential, as well as excellent knowledge of human anatomy and first class clinical skills. You will need to be confident to diagnose and treat problems and provide good advice to patients.
Dentists can work in general dental care, community dental care, dental public health or hospital dental care.
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