Dentistry As a Career Option

TheCareerHub, 22nd December, 2020


Visiting a doctor is one of the least preferred but inevitable parts of our lives. In a culturally rich country like India, with our ancestors' valuable legacy of knowledge, we have often relied on home remedies for our common illnesses. All of us have heard these joint statements from our elders "Health is wealth" and "You must brush your teeth twice a day", which are still relevant today. 

In the era of social media and selfies, people have become more conscious about their fitness and appearance. Also, stressful lifestyles, junk food and addiction have taken a toll on our health in every possible way. 

Therefore, the medical field will stay in demand as long as humans exist. With the advent of technology, the field of medicine, like any other, has developed leaps and bounds. Gone are the days when MBBS was the only qualification associated with treatment.

Amongst the other branches of medicine, Dentistry has emerged as one of the forerunners in modern times. The prospects of this field can be gauged from the fact that the Global Dental market is expected to cross USD 60 billion by 2024, with an approximate annual growth of 8%. Dental Insurance is also becoming prevalent globally, indicating its significance.

Dentistry is also commonly known as oral medicine or dental medicine. It encompasses the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases or disorders of the oral cavity along with other areas of the mouth like tissues and muscles surrounding the teeth. The person who possesses expertise in this discipline is commonly known as a dentist.

Where to begin?

To become a dentist, you should choose the science stream after 10th and aim to excel in PCM subjects, a prerequisite for any medical field. This is followed by enrollment into a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) course via an entrance exam after your 12th class. Along with other colleges and universities, students at the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) are also eligible to give the entrance exam based on their marks in Physics, Biology, Mathematics and Chemistry. This is a 5-year course which includes an internship of 1 year. The average fee is 8-12 lacs per annum. You can choose to go for a Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) which takes about 2-3 years at the cost of 6-20 lacs. 

Options for specialization and other alternatives: 

Apart from that, you also have the opportunity to specialize in one of the below disciplines of dentistry:



Public Dental Health Specialist

General dentist working in a hospital or his own clinic


They are expert in performing root canal.

Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologist

Responsible for diagnosing diseases in head and neck using imaging technology

Maxillofacial Surgeon

Perform operations on jaw, teeth and gums

Oral Pathologist

Run diagnostics to find bumps, ulcers or even mouth cancer


Specialize in straightening and realigning of teeth with the use of braces.

Pediatric Dentist

They are dentists catering to young children


Core duties include treating gums and teeth bones


Responsible for replacing missing teeth with fixtures, crown, or bridges.

If these options sound boring or limited, let me tell you that you can also opt for Clinical research, dental cosmetology and even forensic studies to solve mysteries. 

Putting Dentistry at work:

Depending on your academic route and choice of job, you can find yourself working with a hospital, dental clinic, pharmacy company, dental product manufacturer, government health services, or open your private clinic.

Similarly, people working in this field are called by different names, like dental assistants, dental technicians, dental hygienists etc., based on their role and country. 

According to PayScale, an average salary of a dentist ranges between INR 3-5 lacs per annum, depending on the experience. This varies with differences in skillset, specialization and choice of employment.

Opportunities Abroad:

Taking your dentistry career abroad can become a life-changing experience. Dentists are in high demand across the globe. Countries like UAE, Canada, the U.K, the USA and New Zealand are considered ideal destinations to work as a dentist. New Zealand and the Netherlands face a shortage of dentists, and hence this profession is mentioned on their skill shortage list.

Other benefits of working abroad include excellent pay, work-life balance, advanced medical technology and career growth.

Bottom Line:

A career in dentistry gives you access to abundant opportunities. It is one of the most respected professions in the world. 6th March is observed as National Dentist Day to pay tribute to their role in our society. It gives you the flexibility, financial stability and job satisfaction one seeks from their career. After all, you are working to fix people's smiles. So, start considering this as a career option, and your name could be next on the list of "dentists near me".


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