Why to become a dentist and how to become a successful dentist.

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                     You happily pay a visit to this professional to get a million dollar smile. Yes, we are taking about dentists and dentistry. This profession deals with the inspection and treatment of teeth, gums and other parts of the oral cavity. A dentist especially takes care of problems affecting the teeth. Common procedures are removal, correction and replacement of decayed, damaged or lost teeth.
Dentists provide preventive care & oral hygiene advice. Dentists typically use anaesthetics to help patients minimize pain during procedures. They also perform & examine x-rays of the mouth. Furthermore, this professional also has to carry out computer and magnetic resonance imaging, implants, tissue grafts, trauma and laser surgery. These professionals may practice general dentistry or work in a specialized area. Some dentists work weekend or evening hours to accommodate their patients’ schedule.
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To get into this business you have to pass the 10+2 level with Physics, Chemistry and Biology to apply for the competitive entrance examination.

Numerous universities and institutes, both in the public and private sector, conduct their own admission tests. Government colleges are usually a preferred destination for studying, though the number of seats available there is limited, as is the number of colleges in comparison to private institutions. When opting for a private college, choose the one that has an approval from the Dental Council of India.

The Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS) degree programme is a five-year course that is divided into four parts each of one years’ duration followed by a year of internship. The Dental Council of India registers those who have completed the BDS to practice dentistry.

After completion of this degree, many graduates choose to join a government hospital to get hands-on experience. A BDS degree alone is not considered enough to succeed in this profession so you will have to go for a Master of Dental Science (MDS) degree. 


This career offers high wages and flexible work schedule. You also get the opportunity to be your own boss if you choose to start your own practice. What’s more, dental care is a growing industry because you will never miss anyone who has not had problems with their teeth.

A career in dentistry is personally fulfilling since you will be performing an important community service to help people uphold their health and appearance. To serve the present and future oral health needs of patients, as a dentist you will enjoy the challenge of a lifetime of learning.

The profession used to be a 'standing' profession and dentists would stand while treating their patients. Later, it became a combination of sitting and standing, depending on the procedure involved. Now, it is largely a sedentary one and dentists are prone to back and neck problems. You will have to deal with biological waste and radioactivity as X-Rays are taken within the clinic setup in most settings, thus exposing you to harmful elements and disease.

In the initial years of your career, you will have to put in a lot of hard work before you can establish your name in this industry. Dental health is an essential part of the overall health system. With modern lifestyle, dental problems are becoming common among all sections of the society.

Additionally, improper dental care also creates problems like early tooth falling, tooth decay, enamel loss, etc. All these problems require proper suggestions of dentists to keep teeth healthy and fit for a long time. Thus, dentistry as a profession has become more demanding and because of its promising nature, a lot of young aspirants are entering this profession.

You have to keep participating in education programmes based on your specialisation throughout the duration of your practise. Continuous education is an integral and an essential part of this profile. You simply cannot escape this aspect no matter whether you are a new entrant or have spent 40 years in practice.

Upgrading your knowledge is required, even in order to renew your license to practice on an annual basis. It's is also important to be aware of the developments in the medical field and pharmaceuticals. You can also pursue various certificate and diploma courses to upgrade and update your knowledge in this field. 


The basic qualities required for this career are patience, ability to stand for long hours, good health, concentration, accuracy and a methodical and scientific approach. You must also have an eye for detail, cool temperament, manual dexterity and compassion for people. Strong interpersonal skills and communication skills are also required to do well in this job. India is a hot destination to get that perfect smile at a friction of cost compared to many parts of the world. Dentistry is one of the most desirable professions today.

Post BDS you get the opportunity to work towards specialisation in the field of dentistry. This can be achieved by doing MDS. The different areas of specialisation are as follows: Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Pedodontics, Periodontics and Prosthodontics. The advantages of pursuing one of these areas of specialisation are generally higher salaries and a more academic bent to the work.

Every specialisation plays a different role:
  • Endodontics: Practice of basic clinical science including the biology of the normal pulp, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp and root canal procedures.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology: Research and diagnosis of diseases using clinical, radiographic, microscopic, biochemical or other examinations.
  • Oral Surgery: Diagnosis and treatment of oral disease, in particular benign and malignant tumours of the jaws, head and neck. They also perform surgeries for sleep disorder.
  • Orthodontics: Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
  • Pedodontics: Dental stream dealing with the care for teeth, gums and mouth of children.
  • Periodontics: Dealing with diseases of the gums.
  • Prosthodontics: Science that deals with the general working of the mouth, teeth and face. 

Excellent employment opportunities are available for dentists in dental departments in hospitals, nursing homes, dental clinics and health departments. You can also seek a teaching job in any of the dental colleges spread across the country.

Apart from this, as a dentist you can seek work in the research and advisory departments of pharmaceuticals. Opportunities are there in companies producing oral care products like toothpaste, mouth wash, and gum care products.

Self-employment is also a promising avenue. With experience, you can start your own individual clinic. Many dentists prefer private practice as it provides the best financial prospects along with a greater level of independence.

Due to the rising dental problems in the country, dentists are in great demand. Besides, more and more people have now become conscious about their looks and consult dentists for cosmetic correction of their teeth. This has led to the emergence of a sub-discipline called aesthetic dentistry.

This has enhanced the scope and significance of a professional degree in the discipline. A comparatively short-span and self-specialised course gives the field an added advantage.
In the light of increasing incidents of various dental disorders, the requirement of dentists is growing rapidly. Liberalisation of economy has brought better opportunities for these professionals in terms of remuneration, research and working facilities. Fresh pass-outs have a wide variety of job options to choose from.

In Europe, the dental industry needs more and more professionals. So there is good scope for Indian  dentists abroad. There are a lot of career opportunities available in countries like USA and Australia.

There are many options to work and thus it is very unlikely that you would miss a job once you graduate. Some of the wide ranges of employment opportunities available for dentists are as follows:
  1. Dental departments of government or private hospitals
  2. Nursing homes, dental clinics and health departments
  3. Teaching departments in dental colleges
  4. Medical insurance firms
  5. Researcher or adviser in a pharmaceutical or a dental care company
  6. Armed forces
  7. State services
  8. Indian Railways

If you have the will and ambition, you can even go for individual practice in this field. Nowadays many dentists prefer self practice rather than working in organization as it offers independence along with better financial prospects.


1. Fostering communication with patients

According to research by the University of Florida, patient satisfaction varies significantly among dentists. One of the biggest reasons for the discrepancy in patient satisfaction between dental practices is there focus on communication. Maintaining an open dialogue with your patients is extremely important. You need to discuss the following with them:
  • Potential complications from dental surgeries for new treatments
  • Changes to your fee schedule
  • Your availability to perform exams and treatments
  • New treatment options available

If you believe something is relevant to your patients, you should bring it to their attention. According to Solution Reach, improving relationships with your patients is one of the most important ways you can grow your practice.

2. Dealing with tax issues

Data from Payscale shows the average dentist earns about $125,000 a year, which places them in the 28% tax bracket. That is after they pay nearly $20,000 in FICA taxes. As you can imagine, taxes can be significant burden for any dental practice. They may become even worse, since so many lawmakers are angling to raise taxes on anyone making a six-figure income. It’s much more difficult if you fall behind on them. The first third of the year tends to be busier. If the practice doesn’t pay enough taxes well it is busy, it can have a lot of trouble making up for it in the following months.

Determining whether you need to pay sales tax on certain items is also a big challenge for many practices. Bob Creamer, a public accountant for Aldrich Advisors in Portland Oregon, advises dentists to understand the tax code carefully, especially if they plan on selling items directly to their patients. “Does your practice sell tangible personal property, such as toothbrushes, paste, and whitener? Does your practice purchase tangible personal property items such as dental equipment, bibs, masks, and gloves? If so, then you might be subject to sales and use taxes.”

3. Balancing appointments carefully

The average no-show rate for dental clinics is between 16% and 20%. Dentists must often book extra appointments to make sure their patients are seen. Fortunately, if they overbook too much, they may not be able to see all of their patients and patients may leave for other dentists. 

This is one of the biggest challenges every dental practice faces. Practice managers need to make data-based decisions on no-show rates to book appointments carefully. They must also make sure receptionists follow these templates carefully.

4. Managing Your Accounts Receivable

Patients often pay late. You can be understanding about that to a point, especially if they received a major surgery while facing other financial problems. However, late payments can create serious problems for your practice. You can’t afford to give patients too much leeway, so it’s important to have a strict, but reasonable policy on overdue bills.

5. The Imbalance of dentist-patient population ratio

Although the dental profession is considered as a virtuous profession, but the current status of dental graduates in India is found to be underrated. If this situation persists, it will create a negative impact on the reliability of the dental profession, and the highly skilled dental manpower of the country will go in vain.

India has 310 dental colleges out of which the no. of private colleges are increasing enormously. In India, it is supposed that more than 1 lakh dentists will be available by the end of year, 2020. As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Data, the Dental surgeon to patient ratio is found to be 1: 8,018.48. In today’s era, getting a job or a promising career in dentistry is very challenging due to several reasons which is putting the dentist's career at a risk and depriving the patient from getting dental services.
In urban areas, the dentist to population ratio is 1:8,000 and on the other hand this ratio is found to be 1:50,000 in the rural regions.

Dr.A. K. Chandna, member, Dental Council of India (DCI) had said "India has 310 dental colleges and most of these colleges are in the private sector. Despite the fact that there are so many dentists, the doctor-patient ratio is not satisfactory because most of the dentists are concentrated in urban areas for private practice as there are meagre opportunities in the government sector".


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