A day as a dentist

You're working in your local dental practice. Your first patient is at 9am who is a visibly upset gentleman who has broken his front tooth after falling over. He has brought the broken porcelain crown with him and you and your nurse first reassure him. You then re-cement the crown back into place, restoring his smile and giving you a great sense of pleasure. You continue to see patients throughout the day ranging from dental check-ups to filling teeth and making dentures to replace lost teeth. Your last patient of the day is a lady who has made an emergency appointment. She has been struggling with toothache and a swollen face over the weekend. She has a dental infection caused by a lower left tooth. You take out the tooth and prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection and she thanks you for relieving her pain. You finish up your day feeling happy that you and the fantastic dental team around you have made a difference to many people’s lives.

Real-life stories

Sharon Uppal

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Careers A-Z

Does this sound like you?

You enjoy being part of a team and have good communication skills. You will be working with a range of people, not just patients but your colleagues, other health professionals and hospital specialists. You have great manual dexterity and enjoy working with your hands. You are a caring individual who always wants the best for your patients.

What's next after GCSE?

You're likely to need around nine high grade 9-6 (A*-B) GCSE grades (or the equivalent), preferably including a science subject, and be all set to take three AS/A levels (or the equivalent) at college or sixth form. Please check individual university websites for entry requirements as they do vary.

What's next after A level and beyond?

Dentistry is an extremely competitive field, so setting yourself apart from the crowd is a requirement if you wish to get onto a dental degree course. You will need three good A-Levels (once again check individual university websites for entry requirements), along with a well-balanced CV incluidng some work experience. Dentistry is a five-year course and once you have graduated you must undertake a further year of paid training in order to work in a NHS dental practice.