What Is a Dentistry Degree?
Dentistry is a five-year course which qualifies students to practice as dentists in the UK. Dentistry enjoys an exceptionally high graduate employment rate and qualified dentists attract high salaries. A bachelor’s course in dentistry also gives options for further study if a graduate wishes to pursue a career in dentistry research.
What will I study?
For the first year, you will learn dental science in classroom based lessons. From second year onwards, you will develop clinical skills during extended work placements. These will take place in hospital and community settings and will teach you how to integrate your practical and theoretical knowledge. You will have the option to take an additional year (known as an intercalated year) to complete a BSc in a related subject (e.g. biomedical science).
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First year students study oral and craniofacial biology, dental public health and dental disease. You will also study epidemiology and microbiology; gaining and understanding of diseases and how this impacts dentistry.
Second and third year students study common dental illnesses and their diagnosis, treatment and prevention. You will learn technical skills such as fitting prostheses. You will start clinical learning and will begin to offer simple treatments to patients of your own.
Fourth year students spend the majority of their time in clinics with patients, undertaking more complex treatments including minor surgery. You will study child dental care and orthodontics, as well as learning practical skills including dental anaesthesia and radiology.
In fifth year you will learn professional skills such as management, communication and working in a team of dental professionals including hygienists and dental nurses. Your clinical placements this year will be spent working with complex patients in specialist centres and in community dental practices. You will have your own portfolio of patients and will treat them with minimal supervision.
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