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          Helping you find a career in the dental industry

          We all know the stereotype of English people having bad teeth is untrue, and that's because we have an excellent dentistry industry! The dentistry industry obviously hires dentists, but also has roles for dental nurses, hygienists alongside more administrational roles. There's a place for everybody in the dentistry industry.

          The dentistry industry consists of both public and private sectors. This means you'll be able to choose whether you'd like to work for the NHS or a smaller, specialised private practice. There is currently a shortage of dentists in the NHS, so there's lots of opportunity for young people looking to get into the industry.

          If you want to be a dentist, you're going to need a degree in dentistry. This can typically take about five years. Nurses and hygienists will also need degrees, but these degrees will take less time to complete.

          Quite a sizeable percentage of the population have a phobia against visiting the dentist, particularly small children, so being a calm, compassionate and considerate individual will be important for a role in dentistry. We all know going to the dentist isn't really that bad, but you've got to prove that to your patients!

          Roles in dentistry are well-defined, so your career path will be fairly clear to you. Once you achieve a certain level of experience or gain a particular qualification, you can move up in the industry. This means that you'll be less worried about having to prove yourself to your boss. If you have the right qualifications, you'll move up!

          The average wage of a dentist is about £50,040. This will vary according to your experience, so expect to see your wage grow throughout your career.

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          Skills & interests you'll need

          As mentioned, you'll need to be a caring, compassionate person. You'll be interacting with patients all day, so good communications skills will be essential. You'll also be cooperating with other members of your team too, so make sure you're a team player.

          You'll need to study a specific degree, and this degree will provide you with the scientific skills and knowledge you'll need once you're in the workplace. A passion for biology will be desirable.

          Scientific discoveries are being made all the day. As a dentist, your bread and butter should be science, so you'll need to keep up to date on all the latest developments related to dentistry.

          How to get Dental internships, work experience or placements

          As long as you've got the right degree, you will be eligible to work in dentistry. You'll need to register for the General Dental Council (GDC) and complete a year of foundation training after you have graduated.

          More specialised positions, such as orthodontists, will require further training.

          However, it can be a competitive industry, so any experience you can get will be useful. Consider calling local dental practices and ask if you can shadow their employees.

          Ask your school, college or university whether there are any connections they have with employers in the dentistry industry which might offer you the opportunity to secure a short work experience placement (typically 1-2 weeks).

          Alternatively, take the initiative and contact local dentists, hospitals or GP surgeries yourself to ask whether they offer short work experience opportunities.

          Read more about the Dental industry

          Health Careers (NHS)
          British Dental Association
          General Dental Council
          British Dental Association