If you are interested in considering a career path in the field of dentistry in the UK, you will be pleased to learn that there are a range of options. For example, you might end up being employed by a dental practice, you may decide to become a partner at one, or you may even select the opportunity to become self-employed and divide your time between different practices. Whatever you choose for your future, you can be happy in the knowledge that you will be making a big difference to the health of many people’s teeth, gums and general oral hygiene.
So what are the types of roles you could train for in the field of dentistry? Here are just a few examples…Dentists The head of a dental team is generally the dentist themselves; it is a role that requires great skill and confidence. On a day-to-day basis you can expect to diagnose and treat problems to do with the teeth and gums, and most of your patients will be from the local community.
Dentists spend a lot of their time doing preventative work, which means protecting teeth from things like decay and disease. However there also needs to be an element of empathy, as some people fear seeing their dentists and doctors; you would need to be sympathetic to their needs, but also demonstrate why certain problems need to be taken care of quickly. And as you will be working with everyone from toddlers to the elderly, a kind and professional manner is appreciated by your patients.
It is worth noting that EC Rights can be used by dentists who would like to practice in the UK but fall into the category of ‘exempts persons’ – you don’t necessarily need to do your training in the UK beforehand.
Dental nurses Perhaps you would prefer to be a dental nurse, where you would be helping dentists, hygienists and therapists with their patients. Each day as a dental nurse is different as patients come to the dental practice for all manner of things; there will be check-ups, but also more complicated treatments. Therefore, one of your main duties will be to put patients at ease, and provide care for them. Other things you will get involved in include looking after the patient records (including taking notes) and helping to keep the surgery ready for use.
Dental hygienists The role of a dental hygienist is to stop problems from occurring by taking preventative measures. There are many aspects to this job from showing children and adults how to brush their teeth and maintain good oral health, to working inside patients’ mouths by scaling and polishing teeth. As your work will be with people of all ages and backgrounds, you will need to have good people skills – especially as some people get nervous when they have dental check-ups and treatments.
Finally, if you work as a dental hygienist in a hospital, you may be helping patients who have had complicated orthodontic treatment to correct their teeth, so the work you are doing can help them to have clean and healthy teeth once again.