July 14, 2024
A dentist treating patient using medical equipment

When you start working as a dentist, your duties will involve leading a team of therapists, hygienists, dental nurses as well as technicians. You will be responsible for treating a wide range of patients including children as well as the elderly.

A general dental practitioner is the most common role in this field. If you start practising as a general dental practitioner, you will be working as a contractor who provides dental care to the general public in high street practices.

You may also choose to work in hospitals as a part-time employee. You will also have the option to provide dental treatment services under NHS or privately or both. You can find a list of dentists simply by performing a Google search like root canal dentist near me and understand the roles and opportunities out there.

Dentistry Specialisations

There are various areas available in dentistry for specialisation. These include:

Community Services:

It involves working as a dentist in community clinics, nursing homes, and patient’s homes where you will treat patients with special requirements as they are unable to get treatment at a high street practice.

Public Health Services:

It encompasses nonclinical work where your job will be to assess the needs of various groups instead of individuals.

Hospital Setting:

Here, you will be working with difficult cases and offering treatment to patients that require long-term stay along with emergency treatment. You might also be interacting with the general public to teach.

Armed Forces:

It involves working as a military dental officer. You will be offering a whole range of dental services to the personnel in the armed forces in the country as well as abroad.


Your responsibilities will include:

  • Educating patients on how to take better care of their oral health
  • Examination of teeth including diagnosis of various dental conditions through the use of x-rays and other such tools
  • Assessment of various treatment options and helping patients choose the right treatment plant
  • Providing clinical treatments including gum disease as well as restoration of decayed teeth
  • Maintenance of dental records of patients
  • Recruitment, training, and management of staff
  • Overseeing budgets as well as maintenance of proper equipment stock
  • Providing various market services to clients

In certain dental practices, there are practice managers for other work allowing dentists to focus on clinical work.


Before you can start working in the NHS as a newly qualified dentist, it is mandatory to have one year of foundation training. During this duration, a salary of £33,720 would be paid.

In most cases, dentist work as self-employed contractors and they mix NHS work with their own work.

The earnings of dental practices vary but most dentists can expect to earn anywhere from £50,000-£110,000. Dentists that work completely privately can expect to earn more than £140,000 each year.

If you do not work as a general dentist but enter the field of dental core training, you may earn in the range of £40,000-£50,000. You will also get additional payment for on-call work, weekend as well as night duties.

If NHS employs you as a salaried dentist, you will mainly be working in community dental services and can expect to earn anywhere from £43,000-£92,000.

Consultants who work as dental specialists in NHS trust hospitals can expect to earn a basic salary ranging from £84,000 to £114,000. The salary depends on the number of years of experience in the consultant grade.

There are also other salaried jobs in corporate practices as well as in the armed forces.

Hours of Work

As a GDP, you are your own boss which means you have the freedom to manage your working hours. You may want to work during the evening or on weekends as per the needs of your patients. You can also take career breaks or work part-time.

If you work within a hospital, you will typically have short-term contracts and you will have to work irregular hours. You will also have on-call responsibilities.

Combining freelance hospital dentistry work and self-employment is only available for consultants.


You have the freedom to work in both rural and urban areas as work is available everywhere.

When you treat patients, you will have to wear safety glasses, surgical gloves, and a tunic for your own protection as well as for avoiding cross-infection risk.

This job may cause back fatigue as well as neck strain. You may also experience high-stress levels due to the pain and anxiety of your patients or due to strict working hours. Having said that, it is a rewarding job where you feel proud for providing relief to patients.