Everything you need to know about becoming a dentist in Australia – Part 2

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Essential attributes in dentistry

A pre-dentistry student on her dentistry work experience placement in Tanzania A career in dentistry would be an excellent choice for you if you have strong interests in medical sciences and business, possess good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity, are detail-oriented with a life-long love for learning and have strong interpersonal skills. In addition, if you have the artistic ability to construct, form and design and find it personally rewarding being a good listener with sensitivity to the needs of others, you have some qualities that make you well suited to perform the role of a dentist.

Above average manual dexterity is an important skill that all dentists should have along with impeccable hand-eye coordination. During the course of the job you will be handling precision devices that are many times smaller than regular-sized tools. Grasping and manipulating these tools requires excellent manual dexterity. 

Good interpersonal communication skills are another essential attribute in this field. As a dentist, you have to give full attention to what your patient is saying so you understand exactly what or where the problem lies. As part of your duties you also have to inform, educate and advise patients across all ages and cultural backgrounds. You have to be sensitive to your patients’ needs and be able to explain treatment options and details clearly in a way that they understand.

Having a working knowledge of computers has become an essential skill for dentists today so as to be able to use advanced technological equipment to provide improved patient care.

Last but not least you need to have good time management and organisational skills and enjoy working with other dental and medical professionals.

 

Dental schools in Australia

Dental Schools in Australian universities grant Bachelor and Doctoral degrees in dentistry. Depending on your career goals, you can obtain a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), Bachelor of Dental Surgery (B.D.S.), Bachelor of Dental Science (B.D.Sc.), or Bachelor of Dentistry and Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science (B.O.H.D.Sc).  

Here’s a list of colleges that offer dentistry in Australia:

  • University of Queensland, School of Dentistry
  • University of Western Australia, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
  • University of Adelaide, School of Dentistry
  • Griffith University, School of Dentistry and Oral Health
  • University of Melbourne, School of Dental Science

 

All of these dental schools offer Undergraduate dental as well as Postgraduate dental programmes.

 

Legislative regulations for practicing dentistry in Australia


All dentists practising in Australia must practice under specified legislative regulations much like other registered health professionals. To be eligible for registration to practice dentistry in Australia you will need to provide proof that you have successfully obtained a university dental degree. Once granted, your registration will need to be renewed annually. One of the conditions of obtaining registration is that you will be required to participate in continuing professional development.

Practising dentistry without obtaining registration from the appropriate Dental Board is illegal and is punishable by fine and conviction.

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