Dentistry in a nutshell Watch

Cheesecakefactory
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I'm 16, doing my GCSE's, and have had my mind set of Medicine. I have started looking into dentistry and I think it may be a better career for me. I know this will sound stupid, but can someone give me a brief overview of dentistry as a career by answering the questions below? I just want to know a couple of fundamental things before I start doing some proper research.

1) Why do most people choose to be dentists?

2) What work do junior dentists do as opposed to senior dentists?

3) Do I need voluntary work like I would for medicine?

4) Is there a test like the UKCAT or BMAT for dentistry?
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DenHen
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1) Money, better working hours, good career progression prospects, patient satisfaction, interest in teeth, want to make the world smile :P
2) A senior dentists may have a specialty such as Paediatric dentistry or orthodontics.
3) Yes, usually a minimum of 2 weeks experience in a general practice is required
4) Yep, UKCAT

Hope this helps a bit
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Magnanimity
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(Original post by Cheesecakefactory)
I'm 16, doing my GCSE's, and have had my mind set of Medicine. I have started looking into dentistry and I think it may be a better career for me. I know this will sound stupid, but can someone give me a brief overview of dentistry as a career by answering the questions below? I just want to know a couple of fundamental things before I start doing some proper research.

1) Why do most people choose to be dentists?

2) What work do junior dentists do as opposed to senior dentists?

3) Do I need voluntary work like I would for medicine?

4) Is there a test like the UKCAT or BMAT for dentistry?

1) I chose it because it is well paid right away, good hours. I'm interested in medicine, I like the challenge, enjoy working with my hands and have good manual dexterity. It's a varied but stressful job.

2) For general practice, as soon as you graduate you are as qualified as your peers. If you go into general practice you will be expected to carry out the full range of treatments.

Your first year working will either be VT or hospital dentistry. Hospital dentistry is structured differently but generally everyone goes for VT.

VT is like a 'cushion' year, in which you are salaried and have a trainer to help you with any problems you have, and go on courses. It also helps you learn how to work the NHS. To give you a ballpark my VT salary was ~£30500 for a 35 hour week, one day a week was spend in courses. This year is completely invaluable as next year you are...

...A self employed contractor which is fee per item, how much you earn depends on how hard you work really and how many patients are registered to you. You must do your VT year to get a list number to practice in the NHS.

Hospital dentistry you will do foundation years, but you can't earn a list number this way. It's structured much the same way as general hospitals with juniors (foundation years) at the bottom rung and consultants at the top.

There are many routes and professional examinations to go down for career progression, masters degrees, dentist with a special interest, memberships to faculties...

3) Anything you can do to strengthen your application is worthwhile. Dentistry is more competitive than medicine simply due to the lack of spaces (costs more to train etc). It is vital to get as much dental work experience as possible. It's even more competitive than when I applied!

4) There was no UKCAT or BMAT when I applied. I imagine it will vary by university. Your best bet would be to ring and ask any you're looking at.

Hope this helps. PM if you need more info
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SRK.
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(Original post by Magnanimity)
1) I chose it because it is well paid right away, good hours. I'm interested in medicine, I like the challenge, enjoy working with my hands and have good manual dexterity. It's a varied but stressful job.

2) For general practice, as soon as you graduate you are as qualified as your peers. If you go into general practice you will be expected to carry out the full range of treatments.

Your first year working will either be VT or hospital dentistry. Hospital dentistry is structured differently but generally everyone goes for VT.

VT is like a 'cushion' year, in which you are salaried and have a trainer to help you with any problems you have, and go on courses. It also helps you learn how to work the NHS. To give you a ballpark my VT salary was ~£30500 for a 35 hour week, one day a week was spend in courses. This year is completely invaluable as next year you are...

...A self employed contractor which is fee per item, how much you earn depends on how hard you work really and how many patients are registered to you. You must do your VT year to get a list number to practice in the NHS.

Hospital dentistry you will do foundation years, but you can't earn a list number this way. It's structured much the same way as general hospitals with juniors (foundation years) at the bottom rung and consultants at the top.

There are many routes and professional examinations to go down for career progression, masters degrees, dentist with a special interest, memberships to faculties...

3) Anything you can do to strengthen your application is worthwhile. Dentistry is more competitive than medicine simply due to the lack of spaces (costs more to train etc). It is vital to get as much dental work experience as possible. It's even more competitive than when I applied!

4) There was no UKCAT or BMAT when I applied. I imagine it will vary by university. Your best bet would be to ring and ask any you're looking at.

Hope this helps. PM if you need more info
Hi there .. wow lots of good info. I just had 3 questions :


As an associate, what is the average salary .. I know you say it depends on how hard one works ( and I think some of that money goes to the principal .. then you have to pay for equipment ... ), but does the pay level out ( since you said dentistry is paid very well right away , I am assuming that the pay will not be substantially larger the second year ?? :confused: )

If one wants to go down the orthodontic route ... do they work as a associate whilst studying for the MFDS degree for 2years or so ...

Also, can I ask - is the orthodontic training route ( 3 years ) paid ? - ( like SHO/ registrar posts in medicine) or does one still work as an associate to self fund themselves throughout ?

I want to grab this opportuniy to ask you as from your previos post as you do seem to know your stuff !

Thank you !
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Magnanimity
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(Original post by SRK.)
Hi there .. wow lots of good info. I just had 3 questions :


As an associate, what is the average salary .. I know you say it depends on how hard one works ( and I think some of that money goes to the principal .. then you have to pay for equipment ... ), but does the pay level out ( since you said dentistry is paid very well right away , I am assuming that the pay will not be substantially larger the second year ?? :confused: )

If one wants to go down the orthodontic route ... do they work as a associate whilst studying for the MFDS degree for 2years or so ...

Also, can I ask - is the orthodontic training route ( 3 years ) paid ? - ( like SHO/ registrar posts in medicine) or does one still work as an associate to self fund themselves throughout ?

I want to grab this opportuniy to ask you as from your previos post as you do seem to know your stuff !

Thank you !
In general practice you earn as fast as you practice, really. So as you can imagine, you'll be slower at the start of your career, improve as time goes on, and you'll be slower when you're older.

So your earnings will be good but less than when you're more experienced.

The average salary for a GDP is £70-100k.

Do you know how GDP pay is structured? Continuing care + capitation and renumeration etc?

If not (this is certainly true for Scotland, England is different and based on UDA's - look them up), you will earn a baseline wage based on how many patients are registered to you (continuing care for adults, and capitation for children), then any treatment on top of that. You would give roughly 50% of that to your principal. But in return you get a surgery to use, materials etc and half your lab bills paid.

An orthodontics qualification would be a paid, hospital based route (i.e. DF --> SHO --> registrar etc), the same as a doctors progression. I believe it takes 7 years after your BDS at an absolute minimum.

MFDS/MJDF is better done in a hospital position as if you are self employed any time you take off, you don't earn any money. In a hospital position you will probably have a 'study leave' allowance.
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SRK.
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(Original post by Magnanimity)
In general practice you earn as fast as you practice, really. So as you can imagine, you'll be slower at the start of your career, improve as time goes on, and you'll be slower when you're older.

So your earnings will be good but less than when you're more experienced.

The average salary for a GDP is £70-100k.

Do you know how GDP pay is structured? Continuing care + capitation and renumeration etc?

If not (this is certainly true for Scotland, England is different and based on UDA's - look them up), you will earn a baseline wage based on how many patients are registered to you (continuing care for adults, and capitation for children), then any treatment on top of that. You would give roughly 50% of that to your principal. But in return you get a surgery to use, materials etc and half your lab bills paid.

An orthodontics qualification would be a paid, hospital based route (i.e. DF --> SHO --> registrar etc), the same as a doctors progression. I believe it takes 7 years after your BDS at an absolute minimum.

MFDS/MJDF is better done in a hospital position as if you are self employed any time you take off, you don't earn any money. In a hospital position you will probably have a 'study leave' allowance.
Thank you for your response ! errrm.. yes I have thouroughly researched the contract in England .. 3 bands - around £22.00 for each UDA.

However since I live in Glasgow,I think I will be more interested towards the scottish contract .
Errm, when you say a "good" salary when you 1st start out- in your first year of self employment after VT - what would the salary actually be ( average )

what do you mean by "capitation" , is it like a bonus system ? How long does one work as an associate before become a principal ( possibly in the same practice !) ?

Sorry for all these questions as I have recently become quite interested in the dental field ( having applied to medicine before for the last 2 years , but found out about the advantages of a career in dentistry during my gap year for medicine ! ! )

Its not only the pay, the whole " you're your own boss", multidisciplinary team , lifelong relationship with your patients ..etc etc ... plus the opportunity to use intricate surgical skills.

Can I ask - are you a Dental student, VT, or GDP, and how do you find dental field in terms of its future prospects ( there wont be like too many dentists in the future ??)

Thank you
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dentistry1
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There will always be demand for dentists as the GDC regulate how many dental students unis can train.

Low supply--->high demand--->good pay and job security
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Magnanimity
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(Original post by SRK.)
Thank you for your response ! errrm.. yes I have thouroughly researched the contract in England .. 3 bands - around £22.00 for each UDA.

However since I live in Glasgow,I think I will be more interested towards the scottish contract .
Errm, when you say a "good" salary when you 1st start out- in your first year of self employment after VT - what would the salary actually be ( average )

what do you mean by "capitation" , is it like a bonus system ? How long does one work as an associate before become a principal ( possibly in the same practice !) ?

Sorry for all these questions as I have recently become quite interested in the dental field ( having applied to medicine before for the last 2 years , but found out about the advantages of a career in dentistry during my gap year for medicine ! ! )

Its not only the pay, the whole " you're your own boss", multidisciplinary team , lifelong relationship with your patients ..etc etc ... plus the opportunity to use intricate surgical skills.

Can I ask - are you a Dental student, VT, or GDP, and how do you find dental field in terms of its future prospects ( there wont be like too many dentists in the future ??)

Thank you
Salary at the moment for a VT in Scotland is exactly £30458. That is for everyone, as the scheme is provided by NES (NHS education for Scotland)

Capitation is a fee you get for every child registered to you. It varies by age, and is increased in certain circumstances... Such as exceptional medical needs or if they live in a high deprivation area.

Continuing care is the equivalent for adults. Both of these payments make up your 'baseline' wage if you like.

Anyone I know who has opened a practice has been early 30's.

In terms of intricate surgical skills... It's interesting that in one of the general hospitals I did a placement in, the dental SHO's would often be called to A&E to suture because their handiwork was better and left less scarring!

I'm a VT. In our year, everyone got a job as a VT. Some had to move and it was an intensely competitive process but everyone got settled in the end.

To give you an idea, I went for a GDP interview about a week ago and the principal told me he still felt like the dentists are picking the practices, not the practices picking the dentists
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