Dentistry is a vocational degree which gives you the specialist knowledge, technical skills and qualities needed to become a dentist
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Anatomical pathology technologist
- Health improvement practitioner
- Health service manager
- Higher education lecturer
- Medical sales representative
- Primary school teacher
- Science writer
- Secondary school teacher
- Teaching laboratory technician
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
A dentistry degree has a practical element that develops your clinical and technical abilities. Although additional work experience isn't essential to improve your chances of getting a job, a few weeks of work shadowing or experience within a dental practice can show your commitment to the role.
Some degrees offer the chance to intercalate. This involves spending a year studying a science or another healthcare subject between your second and third year of studies. It can help to develop your area of interest and focus the direction of your career.
Many dental students contribute to charities offering oral healthcare advice to the community. Volunteering will enhance your transferable skills such as communication and team work, as well as building your self-confidence.
It's also useful to join the British Dental Association (BDA) as a student member. This gives access to its journal, student magazine, dental library and e-books.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
The vast majority of graduates work as dentists in general dental practice, NHS hospitals and in community dental services.
You may also find opportunities in:
- national and global health charities
- private hospitals
- teaching and education
- the armed forces
- universities and clinical research organisations.
It's also possible to pursue opportunities outside dentistry in industries such as business, finance, marketing, education and sales.
Skills for your CV
A dentistry degree develops your subject-specific skills, technical dental skills, the ability to understand ethical issues and the skills enabling you to treat patients in a caring and empathetic manner. It also equips you with clinical competence alongside manual dexterity.
In addition, you'll gain transferable skills, valued both in and outside of dentistry, such as:
- administrative and management skills, to run a dental practice
- analytical and problem-solving skills, to help reach clinical decisions
- the ability to work in and lead a multi-skilled team effectively
- verbal and written communication skills, developed from integrated placements and assignments.
After graduation, you'll undertake a compulsory year of Dental Foundation Training (DFT) within approved general dental practices, which is essential to work within the NHS.
If you're fully registered with the General Dental Council (GDC), you can specialise further, for example in orthodontics, periodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgery. These are competitive courses, approved by the GDC, which require experience.
Alternatively, you could take a course within a different area if you'd like to follow another career path. For example, a teacher training qualification or a Masters or postgraduate qualification in marketing, business or finance.
What do dentistry graduates do?
Dentistry is a highly vocational degree and this is reflected in the destinations data. The majority (88%) of dentistry graduates in employment in the UK are working as dental practitioners, with a further 7% employed as medical practitioners or medical and dental practitioners.
|Working and studying||12.3|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Legal, social and welfare||0.3|
Find out what other dentistry graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.