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Career as Dentist

Dentistry or Dental Medicine is the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of oral disorders in humans. The research in this field deals with keeping the mouth, gums, and teeth healthy and in working condition. Recently, the world of dentistry saw many huge leaps with better technology that helps Dentists and patients save time in locating any oral abnormalities. Even the much-hated braces that people used to wear got a considerable upgrade and now are clear and practically invisible. Oral-related issues plague over 3.9 billion of the population and Dentists are in huge demand in several countries.

Job Profile

Career as Dentist

The work pressure depends on how many other Dentists are working at your place of work. With people getting aware of oral hygiene and oral related issues on a constant rise, the work pressure at times can be quite overwhelming. In India, the working hours of a dentist can go to 8 hours, and in a few places, they work in shifts. If you own a private clinic, you can be your boss and work as much as you like.


According to data gathered by the FDI and governmental agencies, over 3 million certified dentists working across the globe. Countries like Japan, China, and Italy have the highest number of Dentists as they take oral hygiene very seriously. The scope for dentists across the globe is quite high.


A Dentist is responsible for diagnosing and treating dental issues. They need to help their 

patients develop and maintain good oral hygiene so that they do not face any other oral related issues. Here are some of the duties a dentist has to do:


  • Inspect a patient’s mouth to find the cause of their oral problems.
  • Remove decaying teeth and or fill cavities.
  • Repair cracked or damaged teeth.
  • Straighten or realign the teeth if needed.
  • Take and study X-rays of the patient’s teeth, gums, jaw, etc.
  • Administer anesthetics while performing tooth removal procedures.
  • Write a prescription for the medicines required after the tooth removal procedure.
  • Instruct the patient on how to keep good oral hygiene with everyday products.

There are different aspects of Dental practice, some of them are as follow:

  • Public Dental health specialist: This is the position of a general Dentist wither working in a hospital or his own clinic.
  • Endodontist: In this position you will be responsible for performing root canals.
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiologist: You will be responsible for diagnosing diseases in the head and neck using imaging technology.
  • Maxillofacial surgeon: Your job will be to operate on a patient’s jaw, teeth, gums or neck.
  • Oral pathologist: In this role you will be responsible for diagnosing the condition of a patient’s mouth to find bumps, ulcers or even oral cancer.
  • Orthodontist: Your job will be to help straighten or realign the teeth of your patients.
  • Pediatric dentist: This is Dentistry but for young children.
  • Periodontists: Your main job will be treating gums and the bone of teeth.
  • Prosthodontists: You will be replacing missing teeth with fixtures with crowns or bridges.

The starting salary of an entry-level dentist with less than a year’s worth of experience can be around Rs 15,000 to 20,000. With over a year’s worth of experience, a dentist will be compensated to the sum of Rs 24,000 to 30,000. A mid-career dentist with over five years of experience can look forward to over Rs 38,000 per month. With over ten years’ experience, a dentist can receive a handsome pay of over Rs 60,000 per month. These are just the basic level pay scale. These can differ significantly from state to state and from hospital to hospital.


Many private institutes provide placement based on marks once their students finish their course in BDS while completing the course form a government college will require the students to apply for jobs themselves. 

Future Growth Prospects and How to get there faster

To become a fully certified Dentist, the student must complete five years of BDS, after which they can get a job. If the student wants a higher role, they can go for advanced studies and get a better job which will take another 2-4 Years. The students who pursue this career path need to be dedicated and passionate about what they are studying and what they will be doing in life.

Pros and Cons of a Dentist


  • It is a career path that is in demand right now.
  • A stable 9-5 job with little work pressure.
  • You can start your own clinic.


  • The work can get very monotonous.
  • You can suffer from backaches and back-related problems
  • Some dental procedures do not work on certain patients.  

How do I get there?

To begin your course in Bachelor of Dental Surgery or BDS, you will need to have a pass certificate of Higher/Senior Secondary Examination from a recognized board with 50% marks in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. The course for Bachelor of Dental Surgery now also allows students who have studied from NIOS or National Institute of Open Schooling to apply for the entrance exam. The college or university will determine the difficulty of the entrance exam you will be applying to but be assured questions on subjects like Mathematics, Physics, Biology/Biotechnology, and Chemistry will appear.

How much does it cost?

The beginning fee for a BDS course starts at around Rs 1.5 Lakh and could quickly go up to and beyond Rs 6 Lakh. This is just the course fee and the living arrangements in the hostel for some colleges and universities will be separate. The course fee in some of the top universities and colleges offering courses in BDS can go up to Rs 12 Lakh. The entire course is for 5 Years and can be pursued via full-time courses as well as part-time courses. Students wanting to pursue this course will have to give an entrance exam.

What are the Top Colleges where one should be studying to become a Dentist?

In India, a total of 313 colleges are registered with the Dental Council of India, and all of them offer a course in BDS. Unfortunately only 308 out of the 313 colleges are allowed to provide admissions while the rest have been disallowed for various reasons.

Rank of College

Name of College, City

Programme Fees (in Rs)


Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies, [MRIIRS] Faridabad

Rs. 19.06 Lakh


Gujarat University, Ahmedabad

Rs. 1.47 Lakh


Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute, [DMGRERI] Chennai

Rs. 18 Lakh


Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology [ZHCET], Aligarh

Rs. 1.86 Lakh


Jodhpur National University, Jodhpur

Rs. 10 Lakh


Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi

Rs. 52,800


Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, [BVDU] Pune

Rs. 12 Lakh


Yamuna Group Of Institutions, [YGI] Yamuna Nagar

Rs. 96,000


Nitte University, [NU] Mangalore

Rs. 20.07 Lakh


MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, [MSRUAS] Bangalore

Rs. 17.16 Lakh

Books and other Study Material

There are a plethora of good books students can read if they want to take up being a Dentist as a career path. Some of them are as follows:


  • Dental Secrets by Stephen T. Sonis
  • Contemporary Fixed Prosthodontics by Stephen F. Rosenstiel
  • Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition by Ramiel Nagel
  • Basic Dental Materials by Manappallil John J
  • Mastering the BDS 1st Year by Hemant Gupta
  • Essentials Of Pharmacology For Dentistry by Tripathi Kd                              

What if this career does not work out for me? What are the other options for a person with these credentials?

Students who want to be a Dentist will have to deal with the rise and fall in the demand for Dentists. While in high demand right now and the constant need for Dental treatment there are particular places and instances when there has been a fall or shortage in demand. Any student with qualifications in this field can apply to other countries if they do not find a scope in India. With the qualification you earn with this course you can also enter the health and fitness industry, the nursing profession, public health and safety, etc.

Content on this page is by Career Expert
Mrs. Kum Kum Tandon
MA (Psychology), M.Ed, Diploma in Educational Psychology, Vocational Guidance & Counseling (NCERT, Delhi) | View Complete Profile

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