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Education in India, Career in India: Dentistry

Looking for a Career Option in the Field of Dentistry ? This section features Dentistry as a career option, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.

Dentistry, a lucrative profession, is concerned with all health problems afflicting the mouth, teeth, gums and other hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity. It is accepted as a professional field which includes dental care and correction. Dentists help people maintain their health and appearance. Dentistry is changing rapidly, creating many opportunities and challenges. To an extent, it includes cosmetology where corrective treatment is involved. Dentists improve patients' appearance by using a wide variety of cosmetic dental procedures. These days, dentists are assuming very important roles in the whole healthcare system. With an increasing awareness of the importance of oral health and the introduction of new fields like periodontics (care of gums and the diseases that might afflict them), oral pathology (diagnosis for diseases that affect the mouth ) and orthodontics (straightening and aligning teeth and jaws) have all enhanced the scope of this field.

Dental surgeons or dentists look after teeth by filling, crowning, scaling. They extract teeth and design and fill artificial dentures. They undertake surgically on the jaw, and some specialised orthodonits mainly for children. The preventive aspect of dentistry are gaining in importance.

Personality Traits

Dentist should have good health, ability to stand for long hours, manual dexterity, a methodical and scientific approach, ability to establish easy relationships quickly with people of all age, ability to infuse confidence in nervous patients, especially children, organising ability and ability to work as team.


To practice as a dentist one must need at least a Bachelor of Dental surgery(BDS). There is no specialisation at the bachelor level. BDS is a 4-year course followed by one year of compulsory rotating internship. BDS graduates may pursue the postgraduate course Master of Dental surgery(MDS).

Other Courses in Dentistry are

  • Dental Hygienist Certificate Course
  • Dental Mechanic Certificate Course
  • Diploma Course In Dental Assistance.


Candidates having passed 10+2 with physics, chemistry and biology, with at least 50% marks are eligible for admission in the Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS) course. The course is of four-year duration followed by one year of internship.

The all India entrance examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is common for both the MBBS and the BDS courses. The allocation of institutions is based on merit. Other than the centrally run medical institutions there is at least one dental college in most states, where admission is based on domiciliary status.

Selection Procedure: A merit waiting list up to a number of 1 to 2000 is made on the base marks obtained in the competition. The candidates are assigned their merit list and choice.


Please click here for the list of the Dentistry Institutes in India.

Placements And Prospects

Dental Surgeons are employed by state governments and the Central Government in hospitals, medical colleges (teaching) and dispensaries under their aegis. The railways, defence sector, banks and public/private sector units also employ dentists in the hospitals/medical centres set up by them for their employees.

There is a lot of scope in private practice for general as well as specialised treatment (orthodontics, for example). Salaries in government and public sector hospitals are governed by scales available to all Class I officers, the remunerations from private practice are very high.


In government hospitals, freshly trained dentists could begin around Rs 6,000 a month (including allowances), while in private hospitals it could be from Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,000. Postgraduate degree holders can expect to start on Rs 7,000 upwards.

Dental surgeons can earn good money through their own practice. The consultation charges could be Rs.500 upwards for cosmetic filling and can be as high as Rs. 40,000 to 50,000 depending upon the nature of dental problem the patient is undergoing. A well established dentist can make around Rs.20,000 - 1,00,000 or more per month.

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