Author: James Menzies | Last Updated: 9 Mar 2021
Dentistry is one of the few in-demand jobs in every country. Aside from the fact that there is money in this job, most people who take it say that it is the job that never declines in popularity since there is a greater number of people who need dental healthcare. In Australia, proper oral hygiene is one of the fundamental needs that is being acquired. In that case, a lot of people aim to become a dentist. The thing is, how do you become a dentist in Australia?
The first thing that you need to know if you want to be a dentist is on where you should begin. First thing first – when you get out of high school, start getting yourself into a university and finish a bachelor’s degree. For some people, they take a 7-year program which shortens their part. It is where they spend three years studying in an undergraduate science program before they go straight to the four-year program of Doctor of Dental Medicine. However, this is not an easy path. You need to meet the required minimum ATAR score of 99.6 or equivalent, pass a satisfactory score in the assessment process, and meet the minimum English language requirement. But then, since it is a high demand program, passing the required ATAR score does not guarantee you to be accepted. Tough road, is it?
Let’s go into the other road, then. After having a bachelor’s degree, you have two options: apply in a licensure exam or go straight to the dental medicine proper. Either way, it’s just fine. Going back, before you are considered to be “qualified” to the other four-year program you would want to take, you should have completed the university’s bachelor degree. It comes with the requirement such as: meeting the minimum GPA score at the time of application, attain a satisfactory performance in Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) or its equivalent, fulfill a satisfactory performance in the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), and meet the prerequisite requirements at the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) Biology.
Here’s the deal, if you get through all of that and you could finally practice, one more step to take and you are ready to go. Just like any other profession, you need to be a licensed professional. Once you have already established your degree in dentistry, one of the legal requirements that you would need is to have yourself registered at the Dental Board of Australia. Once registered, you could already start practicing dentistry. But where are all those registration processes and requirements could be found? Don’t worry because it is all found in the website of AHPRA Dental Board. Any questions and clarifications that you have in you are all in there.
One more thing, once registered, it does not automatically mean that you could already practice for as long as you want. Your license expires within a certain time. Hence, you need to be re-registered to the board. You should have it renewed every year and accomplish a minimum worth of 60 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) over a three-year cycle.
Lastly, attaining your dental degree is not really the end. You may continue to go into a specialization that would allow you and your career to be centered into one specialty only. There are various areas that you may choose from. There goes orthodontics, pain management, prosthodontics, pediatrics, and more. Whichever you choose, all of it helps you to have greater opportunities for your career. With that, you could work in government hospitals, private hospitals, dental clinics, or start a private practice where you build your own clinic. Above all, what matters is you get to reach your dream and start helping other people. But do not forget to continue to dream bigger.