So you think you want to be a dentist in Australia?
Being a dentist means understanding how oral health impacts overall health and wellness. In our world of ever-deepening understanding about the body and infection, there is no other way of thinking that will suit anyone thinking about becoming a dentist.
If you think you want to be a dentist in Australia, here’s a quick look at what the process looks like. You’ll have to do two things:
- Enrol at an Australian University with a Faculty offering a Dentist Degree,
- Graduate with a degree allowing dental practice,
- Register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority.
Once you’ve completed these three steps, you’re on your way to becoming a dentist in Australia. Keep reading for a more in-depth look at what it takes to practice dentistry.
Becoming a Dentist in Australia
The first step to becoming a dentist in Australia is asking yourself, “Why Dentistry?”
It’s a field that is constantly changing, and because of this, a dentist’s career is one categorized by studying new trends, new treatments, and find out how they apply to your patients.
Also, as it is a medical field, one must be able to dedicate their work to the health of their patients, and nothing else. While dentists often make large salaries of over $150,000 in Australia, the monetary compensation pales in comparison to the amount of relief you can bring people with your practice.
Now that you’ve decided that yes, you want to become a dentist, you need to embark on your education. A bachelor’s degree in dental science, or in dental surgery, is the first step.
After completing your studies, you must take the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT). Then, with a successful score, you can apply to the Dental Board of Australia.
Once accepted, you must reapply every year for certification. A requirement for recertification is 60 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – this can include presenting or attending conferences, training for new treatments and techniques, or publishing research increase available knowledge in the field.
Schools for Dentistry in Australia
There are only three choices for studying dentistry in Australia in terms of schools.
Rated the number one university in Australia for dentistry, you can earn a Bachelor of Dental Surgery and a Bachelor of Oral Health. Additionally, you can earn an Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science in Dentistry.
The Bachelor of Dental Surgery at James Cook University is a five-year program.
James Sturt University offers a five-year degree program for Dental Science, a program the university boasts is developed by industry leaders.
And remember, it’s more than a mouth.
Oral health is crucial to overall health, and for people’s self-esteem.
Often, anxiety or depression around the state of one’s mouth – often when their smile is not as beautiful as they’d hoped – can be debilitating. Some people don’t date because of it, and others suffer embarrassment every time they want to show how happy they are with their smile.
As a dentist, you have the ability to not only make people healthier but make them feel better about themselves. With this in mind, every dentist should have a passion for their work. In some cases, it’s life-changing for your patients.
If you’ve decided to study dentistry in Australia, then best of luck! It’s a fulfilling, rewarding, and secure field with new challenges and techniques that make the field an exciting one.
Author; Dr Jeremy Rourke, B.D.S. Hons. Syd Univ. Dental Surgeon
Spelling and Grammar editor by Grammarly
My name is Jeremy Rourke. I’m part of a family of dentists with my father, brother, cousin and nephew also being dentists. I won a University of Sydney Dental Alumni prize for being the top student in my year and graduated with Honours in 1971. I have been a Registered dentist for over 40 years. In that time I have created a few “firsts” in my efforts to stay ahead.