Dentistry

What Is a Dentistry Degree?

A dentistry degree prepares students wishing to enter into the dentistry and oral care field. Dentistry is just one of the many important aspects of healthcare, and dentists are becoming more critical to human health. Aside from gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancers, new medical discoveries confirm that poor oral health is directly related to disease such as diabetes, dementia, heart disease and respiratory illness.

Shockingly, poor oral health has also been linked to conception problems and premature childbirth, and, not as surprisingly, poor self-esteem and depression. These medical findings confirm that the semi-annual or annual trip to the dentist is far more important than it was once thought to be. No longer is the primary concern cavities; it is clear gum disease is directly related to many serious medical conditions, and, as such, the dentist is critical to a person’s overall healthcare regime.

Dentistry is also critical to a child’s healthcare programme. As a child loses the baby teeth and grows the adult teeth, ensuring the teeth remain free of cavities and other complications is crucial to the child’s well-being. Dentists also monitor the direction in which the teeth are growing, ready to recommend orthodontics where necessary to ensure the child’s teeth are aligned properly for optimal bite and jaw health. Misalignments can cause severe trouble for a person throughout their life.

Tooth extraction and oral surgery are other important parts of dentistry, and dentists regularly pull teeth that are problematic and operate when necessary to prevent impacted molars and/or infection. The health of the patient’s entire mouth is the primary focus of the dentist, and students wishing to become dentists should demonstrate strength in the sciences, as well as a kind and caring manner. Many people fear going to the dentist; therefore, the dentist him or herself must have an extremely gentle way with his or her patients.

Job Opportunities

For the most part, dentists are self-employed and run their own practices. Dentists also have the opportunity to work within the hospital environment or the armed forces. Some dentists leave their actual dentistry practice to become researchers in the field or to teach at the university level. A graduate with a degree in dentistry also has the option of becoming a dental nurse, dental hygienist, dental therapist or dental technician.

The field of dentistry is quite lucrative. Graduates begin work as vocational dental practitioners and earn £30,132 annually. As the dental practitioner gains experience, he or she can expect salary increases upwards of £50,000 or more. Experienced self-employed dentists working within this healthcare specialty can expect to earn anywhere from £110,000 to £140,000 annually.

Dentistry Curriculum

Students entering a programme to earn their dentistry degree should expect the curriculum to include biology, chemistry, physiology – with an emphasis on the mouth and jaw – and other basic medical sciences. Students will also study human behavioural sciences, as dentistry is a form of medicine known to cause erratic fear in patients.

Dental students benefit from classroom and laboratory training, as well as clinical work with actual patients. This combination of curriculum and learning environments is designed to adequately prepare students for entry into the dental field.

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Are you in Singapore? You are eligible for our free services.

We are the overseas university application centre in Singapore. Fully funded by universities, our services are free for students in Singapore. Contact us to get free advice and assistance on your application, visa and accommodation.