How to become a dentist

Dentistry is a varied and rewarding career choice. In this article, we'll take you through the steps of how to become a dentist in the UK.

Why become a dentist?

Dentists in the UK are in high demand with high earning potential. Dentists positively impact the lives of their patients, reliving pain and restoring confidence.  

The journey to become a dentist may be lengthy and demanding, but the rewards are truly worthwhile.

How to become a dentist in the UK

To become a qualified dentist, you'll need to commit to a five-year degree course, on the job training, and continued professional development. Take a look at our timeline to becoming a qualified dentist:

How long does it take to become a dentist in the UK?

Study an undergraduate degree in Dentistry

This usually lasts five years and leads to a bachelor's degree (BDS or BChD). You will learn anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and dental materials. You will also gain practical experience in clinical placements.

Frequently asked questions

Hear from our dentistry graduates

Dentistry graduate Usama talks about helping dentists abroad

With an interest in Dentistry, Usama Riaz chose to study a Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Central Lancashire.

Endodontology graduate Rose Thomas talks about her career in dentistry

UCLan Endodontology graduate, Rose Thomas, has scaled up her dentistry skills to become Practice Partner and Dentist at Thomas & Thomas Dental Associates based in Blackpool.

Oral Surgery alumnus reflects on his career journey

After graduating with an Oral Surgery, MSc, Jonathan Liew has secured a highly sought-after post as a Specialty Registrar in Oral Surgery.

Slide 1 of 1
I loved getting hands on experience so early on in the course and I think the facilities here are great.
hsilberstein-testimonial copy
Hannah Silberstein
BDS Dentistry
United Kingdom

Where next?

  • Clinical Dental Technology, BSc (Hons)

    Our Clinical Dental Technology degree is a unique and innovative clinical dental technology course, which will allow you to train as you will practice in the future, as part of the whole dental team.

  • Dental Studies (Dental Care Professionals), BSc (Hons)

    The BSc (Hons) Dental Studies for Dental Care Professionals course provides excellent academic development opportunities for Dental Care Professionals to ‘top-up’ from your existing diploma to degree level.

  • Dental Therapy, BSc (Hons)

    The structure of this course is exciting and innovative in that it is integrated with both the BDS Dentistry and the BSc (Hons) Clinical Dental Technology courses.

  • Dental Surgery, BDS

    On our Bachelor in Dental Surgery (BDS) course you’ll be based in primary care where you’ll gain real-world experience from Year 1 and graduate well prepared for your foundation year.

  • Dental Surgery, BDS - International student route

    Our Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) - International Route is designed for overseas qualified dentists. You can gain the skills, qualifications and experience needed to register with the General Dental Council (GDC) and practise dentistry in the UK.

  • Why choose us?

    Find out more about why you belong at The University of Central Lancashire – with insight from our current students.