Dentist | Selby College
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Dentists diagnose and treat teeth and mouth problems, and work to prevent dental disease and promote oral health.

Potential salary

£32,000 to £86,900

Employment by 2024


Working hours

35 to 40 a week

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • customer service skills
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to read English
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

You will:

  • lead a dental team to diagnose and treat dental problems
  • see patients for routine check ups
  • perform treatments like fillings, extractions and fitting dentures and bridges
  • whiten teeth
  • take X-rays and give local anaesthetics
  • refer patients to a dental hygienist or dental therapist

You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

You could work at a dental practice, at a health centre or in an NHS or private hospital.

As a dentist in general practice you could go on to become a partner in the practice or set up your own practice.

If you're working in the hospital dental service, you'll be able to follow the same career structure and training pathway as a hospital doctor. You could also specialise, for example in implant or paediatric dentistry.

As a consultant, you'll often find work opportunities in the private sector.

With experience, you could lead a team, or manage a unit or department.

You could also progress to teaching and training students, trainee dentists and other healthcare professionals.

You can find out more about becoming a dentist from the British Dental Association and Health Careers.

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