Following qualification as a Bachelor of Dental Surgery, students are expected to undertake one or two years in Dental Foundation Training. This consists of a period of vocational training and potentially a period of specialist training. The duration and content vary according to a trainee’s interests and aims. Some of the main options are as follows:
- General dental practice – Many trainees opt for general practice, which can be in the NHS or in a private practice.
- Hospital dentistry – Working in the NHS as part of a team. This route permits further learning and specialisation.
- Community dentistry – As with hospital dentistry, this is a salaried role, here working in the community in roles such as health promotion.
A highly qualified dentist who works in both the clinical and research settings is called a clinical academic. They work in a university environment to develop teaching and undertake research into their area of dental interest while continuing to provide clinical care to patients. For more information, see the Academic dentistry section.
The ‘traditional’ clinical academic lecturer, or clinical teacher, post tends to be an appointment at a university. Early-career clinicians will often apply to these posts with the intention of following an academic pathway to gain higher qualifications in research, education and often a specialty clinical training.
There are 13 specialties:
- Dental and Maxillofacial Radiology
- Dental Public Health
- Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
- Oral Medicine
- Oral Mircobiology
- Oral Surgery
- Paediatric Dentistry
- Restorative Dentistry
- Special Care Dentistry
More information can be found through the websites of the following organisations and on the Useful links page.
- NHS Health Careers – Dentistry
- British Dental Association
- The Royal College of Surgeons
- The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
If you are already a qualified dentist outside of the UK then the National Advice Centre for Postgraduate Dental Education offers advice and information for non-UK qualified dentists who wish to work in the UK, to undertake general/specialist training, or to study for a postgraduate degree or diploma.