Dental Talent – Our Guide to Becoming a Dentist in the UK

The road to becoming a dentist in the UK is a long one, but it’s a worthwhile career that can be rewarding in more ways than one. For the most part, aspiring dentists can move forward by completing the necessary education and training, from secondary school testing, university, and post-university before progressing with their speciality or practice.

Speaking of which, there are various specializations to venture into the world of dentistry, though a general dental practitioner is the most common role to start your career. As a GDP, you’ll be covering a wide variety of conditions and will be leading a team of nurses, hygienists, therapists, and technicians in hospitals, whether under the NHS or in a private sector.

What are the Responsibilities of a Dentist?

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Dentists play a pivotal role in diagnosing, treating, and preventing a myriad of teeth or mouth problems. Oral health can impact other aspects such as speech, digestion, and more, so a dentist will need to cover the following areas to provide holistic dental care for patients such as:

  • Educate patients on proper oral hygiene and healthcare maintenance;
  • Examine and diagnose a wide range of dental conditions using specialized instruments like x-rays, etc.;
  • Assess the appropriate treatment plans according to the patient’s needs, dental history, and more;
  • Proceed with dental treatments from orthodontics, root canal, tooth extraction, tooth cleaning, whitening, root planing for gum disease, and more;
  • Gather, record, and manage dental records;
  • Oversee budgets, stocks, and inventory of dental supplies;
  • Recruit, train, and manage dental assistants plus other staff;
  • Create a marketing plan to attract clients;

There’s plenty to cover as a dentist, that’s why it helps to hire practice managers, assistants, and other roles to free up their plate and have more time to focus on clinical work. 

What is the Expected Salary and Working Hours for a General Dental Practitioner?

If you’re planning to work in the NHS, keep in mind that you first have to undergo a year of foundation training, which should start off your career with a £32,050 income. As you get more experience and balance private work with the NHS, you can earn between £50,000 to £110,000, though venturing into the private sector completely can bump it up to £140,000 and more.

Being employed by the NHS in a community dental clinic can provide between £40,000 to £86,000, while those working full-time as a dental specialist in NHS trust hospitals can earn between £79,860 to £107,668.

The Bottom Line: Exploring the Qualifications You Need to Become a Dentist in the UK

If you’re looking for dental hygienist opportunities in the UK, browse our jobs at Dental Talent today! We’re a dental recruitment advertising platform for dentists that offers unique opportunities for employers and job seekers alike in the UK dental industry. Catering to a mix of different talents in the field, from practice manager jobs to associate dentist jobs, get in touch with us today to see how we can help you land the dental job of your dreams.