OFO No: 226102





Other names for Dentist:

  • Dental Practitioner
  • Oral Medicine Specialist
  • Restorative Dentist



Youtube clip – All about Dentist careers

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is a Dentist?

Dentists examine, diagnose and treat gum disease and injuries. 

In some cases they will fit dental appliances and provide on-going preventative care.

Dentist’s work can be divided into 5 main areas:


  •  examining the teeth and gums to find disease or abnormalities

Preventative Work

  •  supplying patients with up-to-date dental care information and methods to maintain good dental health

Corrective Treatment

  •  clean, fill, treat teeth and gums – the making of false teeth, crowns and bridges


  • removal of teeth and treatment of jaw fractures


  •  bookkeeping, stock taking, managing and training staff, advertising etc

What does a Dentist do?

  • discusses with patient their problems and requirements
  • administesr anaesthetics to limit the amount of pain experienced by patients
  • practices safe and hygienic methods (wearing masks and gloves etc)
  • examines patient’s teeth, gums and related tissues
  • plans appropriate treatments
  • cleans, drills, fills, extracts, moulds, treats teeth and gums
  • designs, makes bridges, dentures or other dental items
  • advises patients regarding preventive dental care
  • writes prescriptions for medications
  • keeps good patient records
  • attends conferences

Are you . . . ?

  • good with people?
  • interested in dentistry?
  • science-orientated?
  • confident and trustworthy?
  • good with your hands?
  • able to do fine, detailed work?
  • a person with good special (3-D) awareness?
  • able to concentrate?
  • self motivated?
  • a person with good vision?

How do I become a Dentist?

 Bachelor of Dentistry degree

  • University of Limpopo
  • Univesity of Pretoria
  • University of Stellenbosh
  • University of Western Cape
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • 12 months community seervice (after completion of degree)
  • Register withh the HPCSA
  • Designation: Awarded by the HPCSA. Only then can you use the title Dentist after your name.


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 

Please Note: 

All the universities only admit a few students into their programme each year.  This means that the competition for these programmes is very high.  It is up to you to do as well as you can at school.  Your marks and attitude will be very important.


  • SADA: South African Dental Association

  • HPCSA: Health Professions Council of South Africa


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Medical Doctor or Animal Care Attendant

Is becoming a Dentist the right career choice for me?