How to be a dentist in India | Dentistry Career Guide |Institutes, Courses, Scope, Salary

How would it feel to have a career in a field which has been consistently ranked amongst the top careers across the globe? This article is going to be a complete guide for one to know about the very respectful, technical, intellectual and revenue-generating career in dentistry. 

What is Dentistry? 

Dentistry is a professional activity which involves the treatment of diseases and other conditions that affect the teeth and gums, especially the repair and extraction of teeth and the insertion of artificial ones. This is one of the branches of the medicinal practice and it has grown at a moderately high proportion in the last few years due to the changes in the eating habits of individuals. 

The roles and responsibilities of a dentist

When was the last time you stopped by a dentist clinic to have a dental checkup? The individual actively involved in this practice is known as a dentist. There are quite many dental issues which may not be noticed by ordinary individuals and if the treatment is delayed then they may result in severe disease. The dentists are professionals in diagnosis and treatment of issues such as oral cancer, plaque, tartar, cavities, gum diseases and they also toil in the filling of tooth, replacing a bad tooth, aligning teeth, whitening teeth and so on and so forth. None of the health issues can be neglected and thus visiting a dentist once in a while maybe beneficial in one way or the other. The roles and responsibilities of a dentist are discussed in the following points.

  1. He/she should be able to diagnose any oral disease in their patients. 
  2. Unbiased treatment should be provided to all the patients irrespective of their status. 
  3. Safety protocols should never be undervalued or miscalculated.
  4. Examining the teeth and the X-ray of the teeth to ascertain the issue.
  5. Promoting and making people aware of oral health and disease prevention.
  6. The medical ethics should be followed and no irrelevant practice should be promoted which can be lethal for civilization. 

Every career has its share of merits and demerits. Its is always adequate to be aware of all the possibilities and hence some of the pros and cons of this profession are enumerated below. 


  1. Social status 
  2. Job satisfaction 
  3. No emergencies unlike other medical practices
  4. Decent earnings 
  5. Own boss 

Cons/ Disadvantages

  1. Lengthy study duration 
  2. The complexity of selection exams
  3. The high cost of education 
  4. The initial cost of setting up 
  5. Up keeping with the changing technology

Although there are a few disadvantages in the initial level to begin a career as a dentist, in the long run, all these complications hardly matter and one is certainly contented. 

Educational Qualification and Eligibility 

A profession of a dentist is not a job where the trial and error basis prevails and one must be suitably acquainted with the intricacies of the cases. The treatment of the patients done through medication or surgery can be carried out only with proper knowledge, practice and experience. This is the justification for having to study hard for years and using up the better part of one’s age.

The best students are shortlisted after a series of filtration procedure. The students need to earn the seats of various courses in several colleges to pursue medical studies. In dentistry, one needs to fulfil the following criteria to be eligible for the entrance exams. 

  • 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English/Mathematics as compulsory subjects 
  • Minimum 55% marks 
  • Minimum age limit 17 years as on31 December of the year of admission for all categories 
  • Maximum age is up to the competitor’s choice as there is no limit.

After meeting all the above-mentioned standards the aspirant becomes eligible for appearing the NEET UG i.e. the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Under Graduates. This exam is conducted by the NTA which is the National Testing Agency to select the best candidates amongst all. 

NEET UG Exams include

  • Physics [ 45 questions ] 
  • Chemistry [ 45 questions ]
  • Botany [ 45 questions ] 
  • Zoology[ 45 questions] 
  • Total questions 180
  • 4 marks for one correct answer 
  • 1 mark is deducted for each wrong answer 
  • Total marks 720 

The marks secured in this entrance exam plays a vital role in concluding which college one can opt for. For amassing seats in the best medical college, one should secure marks somewhere in the range of 600above. With state-level quota, a candidate can be applicable even with a score between 500-550 in NEET. After clearing the entrance exam, the candidate will have a clear view on which college to choose from the marks obtained. Clearing this exam may take more than a year or so in many cases. 

After all, this procedure candidate comes to be eligible to join the medical course for dentistry which is Bachelor of Dental Surgery ( BDS ). BDS is the only recognized course in the field of dentistry.

Bachelor of Dental Surgery [ BDS ] 

  1. Basic and only Undergraduate course 
  2. 4 years course 
  3. 1-year internship 
  4. The study includes few or all of these:- 
  • Anatomy 
  • Physiology 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Pharmacology 
  • Microbiology
  • Practical training 

The first three years usually comprises of a lot of theoretical learning and in the fourth year, the actual training begins. The students can have a career even after the completion of BDS, nonetheless, one should always go for higher studies if feasible.

 The post-graduation course is the MDS Master of Dental Surgery. This is a three-year course and again one needs to clear the NEET MDS exams to pursue higher studies in dentistry. Higher education opens up the gates for a lot more opportunities and an even better future. 

One can complete the MDS course to obtain specialization in any skill which one wants to enhance. Some of the specialized courses are mentioned below.

  • MDS [ Community Dentistry ] 
  • MDS [ Conservative Dentistry &Endodontics 
  • MDS [ Conservative Dentistry ] 
  • MDS [ Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology ] 
  • MDS [ Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery ] 
  • MDS [ Oral Medicine and Radiology ] 
  • MDS [ Oral Medicine ] 
  • MDS [ Oral Pathology and Microbiology] 
  • MDS [ Oral Pathology ] 
  • MDS [Oral Surgery ] 
  • MDS [Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics] 
  • MDS [ Orthodontics ]
  • MDS [ Pediatric Dentistry] 
  • MDS [ Pedodontia and Preventive Dentistry] 

One can choose any one of the above-mentioned courses and still be a called a dentist. 


The payments structure of every institution differs. Evident from the intricacies and elaborateness of the education process, the fee charged is high. It is not that unfortunate having to pay a price for entering into one of the highest-paid profession. 

The fee charged in government colleges is way less than the private colleges. For BDS course one may need to spend around Rs.1-10lakhs in government institute whereas in the private institute the expense may rise up to Rs.30-35 lakhs. 


Students all across the country have a common question bothering them, “ How to reduce or lift the burden of educational expenses from their parents’ head?” Well, there is one solution to it and the aspirants should be aware of it. There are quite several scholarships provided by various institutions and the government categorized into various schemes based on the merit and course that one opts for. 

The Indian Dental Association proposes the IDA Colgate Scholarship to students who want to pursue BDS. The applicants need to be undergraduate and they should be a member of the IDA. Interested students can search and find more about it and the eligibility criteria. 

Career Options 

Whenever we talk about a career in medical fields the only thing that comes to mind is to become a doctor or in this case a dentist. However, there are a number of activities that are involved in one single domain of the medical field. The healthcare industry is incredibly large and a large denomination of individuals work at various levels in this domain based on their qualification. In dentistry, one can look forward to having a career in any one of the following vicinities. 

  • Government or Private Hospitals
  • Personal Clinic 
  • Clinical Research
  • Dental Laboratories 
  • Pharmaceutical Companies 
  • Academics 
  • Management 

In the above-mentioned domains, one can operate as:- 

  • Dental Surgeon 
  • Dental Assistant
  • Dental Hygienist 
  • Dental Lab Technician 
  • Private Practitioner 
  • Oral Pathologist 
  • Consultant or Specialist 
  • Public Health Specialist 
  • Professor 
  • Manager of Sales and Medical Representative 


The salary or income prospects in a profession are what drives most of us and motivate us to pursue a specific career. A dentist not only earns esteem, prestige and specialization but also gives birth to a lifelong earnings potential. At the initial stage itself, a dentist earns a sum of Rs.4-5 lakhs per annum which rises to Rs. 10-40 lakhs per year after 9-10 years of experience. 

In any other field of dentistry, one can still earn Rs.30,000-Rs.40,000 per month which eventually increases with the time and years.

Certification Courses 

The field of medicine develops at a fast pace and one needs to keep themselves trained and ready to operate with the latest modern technical and advanced equipment used for the treatment of the patients. To upkeep oneself with the changing world one need to continue learning. Apart from this one can also opt for various other certificate courses in dentistry which offers specialization in orthodontics, periodontics, operative dentistry or endodontic, prosthodontic, oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry, oral pathology. The certificate courses in dentistry are named below. 

  • Certificate Course in Advanced Implantology
  • Certificate Course in Aesthetic Dentistry
  • Certificate Course in Basic Implantology 
  • Certificate Course in Dental and Oral Hygiene 
  • Certificate Course in Dental Hygienist 
  • Certificate Course in Dental Mechanic 
  • Certificate Course in Laser Dentistry 
  • Certificate Course in Rotary Endodontics
  • Certificate in Clinical Dental Technique 
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Endodontics 

Top Institutions

The knowledge and proficiency inculcated in the learner are extremely fundamental for the institutions as the learner is to become the future professional. The top medical colleges are accessible to only those students who have earned the seats in the college by sheer hard work and determination. The institutions direct the hard work and determination of the aspirants towards the only goal which is to become perfect in the particular field. There are quite many private institutes as well which are doing extremely well. Some of the top institutions who have bestowed us with many successful people are enlisted below. 

Government Institutes 

  • Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, Delhi 
  • Government Dental College and Hospital, Mumbai 
  • Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai 
  • Government Dental College and Research Institute, Bangalore 
  • Faculty of Dental Sciences, King George’s Medical University, Lucknow 
  • Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences, Rohtak  
  • Dr R. Ahmed Dental College& Hospital, Kolkata 
  • Faculty of Dental Sciences, MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore 
  • Government Dental College & Hospital, Aurangabad 

Private Institutes 

  • Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal
  • Christian Dental College, Ludhiana 
  • SDM College of Dental Sciences, Dharwad
  • Shri RamachandraDental College and Hospital, Chennai
  • Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore 
  • SRM Dental College, Chennai 
  • Faculty of Dental Sciences BHU, Varanasi 
  • Bapuji Dental College & Hospital, Davangere
  • College of Dental Sciences, Davangere

Career Scope  

Medicines have evolved for several years and this evolution is never-ending. The introduction of 3D printing and laser effects have brought a tremendous change in the way the patients are treated today. The dentistry, which was considered to be the most painful and complex sector for patients as well as the dentist has today become the fastest growing sector. This profession is bound to see success and the career scope is unstoppable. The changes in the lifestyle of people have a lot to do about it. There was a time when only a single dentist could be found in a miles radius because people were not aware of the importance of dental hygiene and prevention. At present people are aware and active when it comes to dental care and hence a career in dentistry is a good choice. 

Leave a Reply