Route To Becoming A Dentist In Australia

April 14, 2014

Route To Becoming A Dentist in Australia

Dentists perform a variety of roles that are aimed at improving the quality of life for their patients by treating and helping prevent oral ailments and disorders.

The most common path to follow to become a qualified dentist is to obtain the required University Admissions Index mark (UAI) to gain entry into a degree course in dentistry. Different universities offer different degrees such as a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (B.D.S), Bachelor of Dentistry (B.Dent), Bachelor of Dental Science (B.D. Sc), or Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science (B.O.H.D.Sc). There are no differences between the training provided by each of these courses.

Entry to dentistry degree courses is highly competitive. You would need to complete the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) and attend a structured interview before gaining admission.

Alternately, you can apply for a postgraduate qualification in dental medicine, dentistry or dental surgery after completing a degree in a related field. For entry to any postgraduate dental course you would first need to complete an appropriate bachelor degree. Different universities have different prerequisites and eligibility criteria. Some have more flexible entry requirements.

Whether you are applying for a degree course or a postgraduate course, you will need to contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

Australian Universities offering dentistry courses

There are only 7 Australian Universities that offer Dentist degrees:

University of Western Australia – Bachelor of Dentistry

University of Sydney – Bachelor of Dentistry

Charles Stuart University – Bachelor of Dental Science

University of Melbourne – Bachelor of Dental Science and Bachelor of Dental Health

University of Adelaide – Bachelor of Dental Surgery and Bachelor of Oral Health

La Trobe University – Bachelor of Health Sciences in Dentistry

University of Queensland – Bachelor of Dentistry

Dentistry course duration & curriculum

The Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) is a 5-year course. In most dental schools, students are involved with clinical procedures from the beginning of the program, with an emphasis on recognising and preventing oral diseases. The curriculum is typically a balance of traditional, problem-based, self-directed and hands-on learning approaches with early exposure to clinical dental practice. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad dental education that promotes continual professional development (CPD) and produces graduates who are well-rounded, mature clinicians.

Practical placements are a compulsory requirement in dentistry courses but before you can begin any practical placements, you will be required to obtain relevant immunisations and an Apply First Aid Certificate. You will also have to undergo a National Police Check.

It is a legal requirement for graduates to be registered with the Dental Board of Australia before being able to practise as a dentist in any state or territory in Australia. In order to register, you will need to submit proof that you have completed an accredited university dental degree. You will have to renew your registration annually and for this you will have to participate regularly in continuing professional development.