Becoming a dentist in the UK requires a lot of education and determination to get through the years of testing and continual development after acquiring a job in the profession. Staring at secondary school and ending with the continuation of education after becoming a practicing dentist, each step is important. The following summarises the different qualifications that are required to becoming a dentist in the UK.
Secondary School Testing
The first step to becoming a dentist is to do well in secondary schooling. This is measured by the GCSE’s, which are taken over the years, as well as the A levels that are mandatory to take in order to exit secondary schooling and move on to university. For the GCSE’s it is required to earn A’s and B’s on them in the subjects of Biology, Chemistry, English, and Maths. Occasionally Physics will also be considered. The A levels that are needed will be Chemistry and Biology. They also will consider Maths or Physics, sometimes both. Taking these four A levels will earn eligibility for all of the UK university dental courses.
After taking the A levels and moving on from secondary school, university is the next step in becoming a dentist. There are 14 different universities in the UK that offer dental courses. The dental program takes approximately five years to complete. Along with classes and coursework, a research project is also required during the final year. There are also a substantial number of hands-on experience hours that are required, and it is typical to take exams throughout the year for each course. Along with these, there will also be a minimum number of treatments that will be required to be performed in order to obtain a dental degree. These may include dental fillings, or even doing root canals. The first year of dental courses focuses on the basic anatomy, while the rest of the courses centres on actual dental practices and surgery.
After completing the university program, the learning doesn’t stop there. It is crucial that practicing dentists continue their educations. They need to be up to date on the recent developments and technique, as is with most professions. This can be done through taking extra courses, attending dental conferences, getting involved with research programs, and reading recent academic journals. Many people who complete their dental degree at university decide to go into specialisation. Having a dental degree can lead to specialising in many fields, such as orthodontics, forensic dentistry, or maxillofacial surgery.
Starting with the GCSE’s and A levels in secondary school, to a five-year program at a university, to continuing education during dental practice, these three steps can lead to becoming a dentist in the UK. There is a lot of testing and experience involved with entering into the profession, but each part is critical in becoming the best dentist there can be.