Careers After BDS

With this post, our aim is to help you (dental students/graduates) figure out what career options lie ahead of you once you graduate with your BDS degree. It is common to be confused and curious about what lies ahead, believe us, we have been there. While some students plan to go for further studies, others jump into practicing dentistry right away. Increasingly, there are a bunch who find a way to pivot (I belong to this category).

Well, if such thoughts are running in your minds, you are not alone. We have got you covered. We have prepared a guide for you that outlines some options that you could explore after BDS. While it may not appear so right off the bat, the options after BDS are limitless and everyone can find something that fits well with the kind of life/career they envision having.

Get your MDS: This is one of the most traditional paths after BDS. Most students prepare for the entrance exams right from the internship days. Our recommendation here is to just think it through. While this is a great option, do not just do it because all your friends are preparing for it during internship and after graduation. Seats are limited, the entrance exams are extremely competitive and often it requires multiple tries to get admission. Hence, it is important to really want it so that the effort seems worth it. If you are going for this option, pick a reputable university and do not compromise on the branch of dentistry you pick. You would be creating a career out of this, so it is important to go for something you are passionate about

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Look for a Job: Many begin working after BDS or work while they are preparing for entrance exams. This is a great option, especially because it gives you a chance to practice real-world dentistry. You could work in private practices, multi-specialty centers, hospitals, or even charitable trusts. This will be a great way to kick-start your career. Some dental institutes may even offer graduate trainee programs and apprenticeships. These programs are designed for fresh graduates and usually provide a good exposure to patients and enhance your credibility in the field and dentist community. While deciding where to work, our recommendation would be to go for options where you get some training and mentorship but also exposure to patients and hands-on work.

Start your own Practice: While this is usually the plan down the road, few might decide to start their own practice soon after graduation. This gives you the opportunity to become self-employed right away and ensures autonomy. If you have much experience through your internships, you can go for this option. If you have additional certifications, that is going to aid you a lot. You can also join hands with your fellow dental graduates to start a multi-specialty practice. However, there are some things to consider: this usually requires significant investment and in many big cities there is a saturation of dental clinics. Hence it is important to do research and find the right location for your clinic. Also, it always benefits to find ways to “differentiate” your practice from the others around you.

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Practice Abroad: This could mean you go abroad for further education in dentistry or crack exams that let you practice dentistry in certain countries.

  • USA/Canada: If you want to settle in the US or Canada, you will most likely need to get your DDS first. After DDS, you can take the licensing exams and eventually practice in that state. For this, you would have to take your NBDE (both parts) and TOEFL. You could also go for courses such as Aesthetic Dentistry course or other similar courses which give you an opportunity to learn cutting edge technology within dentistry, but this would not lead to you being able to practice dentistry post-graduation in the US. Irrespective of which option you choose, a significant investment is required. We specialize in helping students explore DDS and other options.
  • UK: Indian dentists can practice in the UK after clearing the equivalency exam ORE (conducted by General Dental Council). There are two parts to the exam (theory and practical). Usually, it takes about 18 months and costs ~300,000 INR. One must also clear the IELTS test. 
  • Australia: You can start practicing in Australia once you clear the equivalency exam (including written and practical assessments). Clearing the exam also makes you eligible to work in New Zealand, under the Trans-Tasman mutual recognition. Usually, it takes 15-18 months and costs about ~400,000 INR. Clearing IELTS is a requirement too.
  • Gulf countries: This is a reasonably easy and straight forward option for many. To be able to practice, the candidate must clear the MOH (Ministry of Health) exam, which is not difficult or expensive to clear.  The work-experience requirement is also low: two years for general practitioners and three years for specialty-based practice.

Explore other career opportunities: Do not limit yourself to dental fields after your graduation. You can explore other domains as well depending on where your interest lies. Some options are:

    • MBA: There are endless opportunities after getting your MBA. You could either specialize and get an MBA in hospital administration or get a general MBA with broader options to choose from after graduation. You also have an option of getting your MBA in India or get it abroad. I personally got my MBA in the US with a scholarship. We do provide services for students looking to explore MBA as a career option after BDS and provide guidance on innumerable career options available after
    • MPH: Master’s in public health is one of the most common options chosen by students (esp. those hoping to work in the US). While some use it to pivot, others my use it as a stepping-stone towards getting their DDS. We provide services for students exploring this option.
    • Other Masters Courses: There are many other courses that could help pivot and find very lucrative jobs after graduation. These courses range from specializing in the life-science industry, healthcare (payer/provider) industry to health policy, business and so on. We provide services for students exploring this option.
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Join Academics: Go for this option if you have a passion for teaching and a reasonably good command over the field through internships and certifications. The important thing to keep in mind is that this is a much better career options for those who have an MDS. For students looking at this option after BDS, opportunities may be limited and not very lucrative. However, this could aid in getting some “work experience” on your resume if you later want to move to UAE etc. Another option is instead of joining a university, you could start your own teaching institute where you could teach dental graduates skills such as rotary RCT, veneers, crown cutting etc

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Dental Blogger: This means you write blogs for dental students/dentists on topics that matter most to them. This involves sharing articles, videos, news, etc on topics which are of most concern for this audience. The way you earn money here is by getting paid by Google, sponsors, affiliates, etc. This also helps create brand identity/credibility. Another option people choose is becoming a YouTube blogger. This could mean you can post videos of your treatments or talk about issues of importance (e.g., walking dentists/dental students through options after dentistry etc) or even teach some of the latest techniques within the field.

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Clinical Research: If you love being close to the science side of things, this could be for you. Clinical research usually involves determining and investigating the safety and efficiency of drugs, healthcare devices etc that are in development.

Each of these options brings unique opportunities with them and it is important to think hard about your aspirations, career goals and life you envision for yourself before deciding which option might be best for you!

This post is also related to topics like courses after BDS, higher education after BDS, MBA after BDSoptions after BDScareer options abroad after BDSMPH after BDS, BDS scope in future, BDS scope India, Career change after BDS etc.