I am pretty sure that I don’t have to tell you what a dentist does.
But still, if you have been living under a rock (or if you have extremely poor oral hygiene) – Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.
Some dentists have their own business and work alone or with a small staff. Other dentists have partners in their practice. Still others work as associate dentists for established dental practices. Dentists’ work schedules vary. Some work evenings and weekends to meet their patients’ needs. Many dentists, who run their own practices, work less than 40 hours a week; although some work considerably more.
Salary of a Dentist in India
Starting salary ~ 10,000 rupees per month, but it largely depends on your skills and locations. The money is less when you are working for someone. The real money here is in opening you own private practice, but that comes with its associated risks. Generally speaking, the prospects of monetary growth are high in dentistry, since our sugar consumption is only going to rise in the coming years.
Job Profile (A Day in the life of a Dentist)
The work starts in the morning and ends by early evening, as most dentists don’t see patients after 7’o clock or 8’o clock. Since there are no dental ’emergencies’, you wouldn’t have to rush to the hospital at odd hours unlike other doctors.
The work involves removing decay from teeth and filling cavities, repairing or removing damaged teeth and other such things. Basically a whole lot of teeth stuff. Only come into this profession if you won’t mind looking into people’s mouths all day long.
Dentists’ work schedules vary. Some work evenings and weekends to meet their patients’ needs. Many dentists work less than 40 hours a week, although some work considerably more. Job prospects for dentists are expected to be relatively good, especially for dentists who are willing to work in underserved areas like smaller towns and tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
An irritating daily experience of dentists is trying to get fair pay from hassling customers. It is only in India that patients would bargain with you over the price of a root canal treatment. Keep this in mind, especially if you want to start your own practice. Also be ready for standing all day.
For career growth, it is better to do master’s and then work in a medical institute or hospital.
Yes, a degree is required. (BDS – Bachelor of Dental Surgery)
One thing to love about being a Dentist
“You are literally ending pain from someone’s life. That’s a nice feeling.”
One thing to hate about being a Dentist
“Standing all day.”
Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, Delhi; Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Udupi, Karnataka; Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra. There are many other good colleges, and a simple google search would lead you to them.
Resources and Tips
- You might find interesting information on DentalTown. It is an online community for dentists (To be honest, I’m surprised this kind of a thing exists).
- You would need a few books for reference. “Modern Dental Assisting” by Bird and Robinson is as good as any other.
- Dentist with a Camera is a good YouTuber who can tell you about the Indian side of things. He also does travel vlogs which you can watch if you want, but it’s the dentistry related videos that are the goldmine.
Step-by-step guide to become a Dentist
- Take science (PCM) stream in 11th grade. Make sure that you also take biology as a subject.
- Score at least 60% aggregate in class 12th as most colleges have this criteria.
- Give NEET; most colleges use your performance in that to judge your potential. Do your BDS – it is a five year course.
- Try to do as many internships (there is one compulsory year of paid internship) as you can in college, and put a lot of emphasis on building a network.
- Also try to maintain an above average GPA, as some institutes put an emphasis on that. Also try to be up-to-date with the latest developments in your field.
- Sit for campus placements, and if it doesn’t work out, LinkedIn is your best friend.
Chiropractors, Optometrists, Podiatrists, Doctors