Dental Talent – Skills, Work Experience, and Professional Development to Expect as a Dentist in the UK

Dentistry is a lucrative and critical career in the healthcare industry in any part of the world, but it’s not a degree for the faint of heart as it often requires a 5-year course to complete in countries like the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, it’s a highly rewarding career that can bring you to a wide array of specialities. 

Dentistry can branch out from pediatric dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, public health dentistry, dentofacial orthopaedics, dental therapy, and more, giving you plenty of options as you progress through your career. Nonetheless, there are general skills you need to hone from the get-go, so this article aims to cover some of the basic training you will undergo.

Skills You Need to Become a Dentist

  • Manual dexterity; 
  • Technical dental expertise; 
  • Ability to maintain focus for long periods; 
  • Industry-level of communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to interact with patients of all ages; 
  • Sympathy and deeper care for the welfare of others; 
  • Reliable administrative and managerial abilities; 
  • Information technology skills, especially for handling digital imaging, intra-oral photography, and more; 

This shows that dentistry doesn’t just revolve around treating teeth and gums, but a holistic approach to a person’s oral health including the head, neck, jaw, tongue, salivary glands, and even nervous system. 

A dentist should also have the capability to identify conditions that require a different dental specialist or physician, so patients can seek the right treatment that is effective and appropriate to their unique needs. 

Education and Training Experiences to Expect for Different Dental Specialties

SpecialityDescriptionResidency Education
Dental Public HealthThis refers to a non-clinical speciality that revolves around preventing oral diseases, assessing general dental needs, and dental health promotion in population-based dentistry.1-2 years**
EndodonticsThis speciality focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the tooth pulp, tissues, and nerves.2-3 years
Oral and Maxillofacial PathologyThis specializes in dental diseases or tooth abnormalities that are congenital or acquired.3 years
Oral and Maxillofacial RadiologyAs the moniker suggests, this dentistry specialization uses advanced imaging technology and x-rays to diagnose different oral conditions. 2 years
Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryOut of the three similar specialities, this one involves more technical expertise and dedicated training since it involves surgical treatments for various dental conditions.4-8 years***
Orthodontics and Dentofacial OrthopedicsDentists dealing with orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics will diagnose, prevent, and correct any teeth and jaw irregularities. Braces are one of the most common examples of orthodontic treatment.2-3 years
Pediatric DentistryPediatric dentists specialize in the unique dental needs of babies, toddlers, and children. 2-3 years
PeriodonticsThis involves diagnosing and treating problems involving the gums and bone. 3 years
ProsthodonticsThis focuses on patients with missing teeth, so it uses oral prostheses to restore the patient’s natural teeth or correct deformations.3 years

The Bottom Line: Developing an Understanding of the Skills, Progression, and Technical Experiences You Need to Move Your Dentistry Career Forward

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.