What does a dentist do?
A dentist examines the mouth and teeth, and diagnoses oral disease and other dental problems. In consultation with patients, they formulate treatment plans for people of all ages and from varying socio-economic backgrounds. By educating patients on best-practice oral care, and issues such as proper plaque removal and reducing or ceasing smoking and excessive sugar consumption, they also work towards long-term oral health outcomes. Comprehensive dental work includes dental charting, keeping detailed records, periodontal disease and oral cancer screening, jaw analysis, saliva testing, and teeth whitening.
- Examining teeth
- Regular scaling and fluoride treatments
- Treating gum disease and tooth decay
- Formulating treatment plans
- Tooth extraction
What skills do I need to be a dentist?
Dentists require an aptitude for science and medical studies, and must have completed relevant tertiary qualifications in oral health and dentistry. They also require patience, and the ability to soothe nervous patients. Dentists must be comfortable with medical procedures such as administering injections and performing oral surgery. Dentistry courses are highly competitive and often have limited places so applicants must perform well in the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) before embarking on tertiary studies in dentistry.
- Good eyesight
- Manual dexterity
- Intense concentration
- Genuine care for patients
- Ability to use specialist equipment
Dentistry is a huge industry, offering many different career paths that allow you to tailor your studies and training to help you find fulfilment in your professional work. Below are just some of the popular specialisations in the field of dentistry.
Study pathways for dentists
There are opportunities for employment in dentistry at many levels, from entry-level positions requiring vocational training to specialised study for those pursuing highly skilled roles within dentistry.
These vocational courses will allow you to join the dental profession in an entry-level role, such as dental assistant, requiring supervision from senior staff.
Study for career advancement. Qualify as a dentist or dental hygienist, or pursue a career specialisation.
These study options will enable you to pursue high-level employment options requiring extensive qualification or specialisation in a particular dentistry field.
Australian dental professionals must register with Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) after successful completion of a relevant tertiary qualification.
Getting a job after graduation
Put your training to good use and fast track your dentistry career. Take a look at our sample resume and cover letter and put your best foot forward when you apply for jobs in dentistry.
Job Prospects and Salaries
Dentistry has always been in high demand, and with our increasing focus on physical appearance, the area of cosmetic dentistry in particular is booming. Employment for general dental practitioners to November 2019 is also expected to grow strongly.