Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2015 Contents 98 GOOD UNIVERSITIES GUIDE
Where to study
The dentistry field remains small but is expanding, with the
introduction of new dentistry schools in recent years, including
some in regional areas to cater for the demand for dentists in
country Australia. All institutions offering dentistry courses have
their own clinical facilities for practical learning, including fully
operational clinics (which are open to the public in some cases).
In addition, all students in their last semester or year should
be in placements out in the community.
It is worth noting that all courses are hard to get into and are
also quite long (around five years). Admission to all courses
generally requires a high ATAR and good performance in the
Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test
(UMAT), as well as a range of prerequisite subjects and usually
To compare entry difficulty at different institutions, see the
‘How tough is it to get in?’ tables in Section 4.
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has revealed that the
forecasted shortage of dentists may be no more than a myth,
noting that the number of graduates has tripled since 2007. The
introduction of new dental schools and increases in student
intakes across the board mean that newly registered dentists are
exceeding demand. The ADA has called on the government to
implement a forward-looking plan to deal with these increased
numbers and find solutions to ensure that the most qualified
practitioners are working in the areas of greatest need. The
association has also raised the registration of overseas-trained
dentists as an issue contributing to lower employment rates,
urging governments to conduct a comprehensive health
workforce study that would ensure investment into training is
being made accordingly.
Emma — Bachelor of Health Sciences in dentistry/Master of Dentistry
Why did you choose to study
I was always interested in studying a
health science course, but was unsure
about the exact field. Having had a
great family dentist growing up, I was
left with such a positive perception of
the profession and thought that it could
be something that I would really enjoy
What is the best thing about your course?
Dentistry is hard work, but it can also be very rewarding. It’s
amazing how a person’s dental health and appearance can
influence their self-confidence. Knowing that I have helped to
take people out of pain, improve their wellbeing and given
some patients the confidence to socialise and smile is very
satisfying. There is also a large emphasis on practical classes
and clinical experience, which gave me the opportunity to live
in areas where I might not normally have the chance to visit
and experience. I love interacting with patients in a real
clinical setting — it’s a great way to get an idea of what it is
like working as a real dentist.
What is the worst thing about your course?
The workload of the course cannot be underestimated,
particularly in the last few years. As great as it has been to be
on rotation, it also presents its challenges. With travelling
around so often and being on full-time placement, as well as
having study commitments, holding down a part-time job or
finding time for a social life can be difficult. Financially, the
course has also has a number of large expenses.
What does your course involve?
The earlier years of the course involve mostly lectures, some
tutorials and plenty of pre-clinical experience (on mannequins
with plastic teeth). The first year also involves anatomy
classes in a wet lab with cadavers, which is an interesting
experience. Clinical experience begins in third year, with
occasional lectures and tutorials.
What are your prospects after graduating?
There are many opportunities after graduating, working
publically or privately as a general dentist, in many areas
around Australia or abroad. I am hoping to stay in a regional
or rural area, where dental positions are currently more
What advice would you give to students considering
Be prepared for the course expenses along the way and
making sacrifices to prioritise placement and study. For those
with sporting commitments, children or part-time work
commitments, moving town so often can add some strain to
day-to-day life. In relation to looking for work after graduating,
it’s important to find a workplace where you feel comfortable
and can be supported by good mentors.
Will you complete further study?
At this stage, I don’t have the intention of completing
postgraduate studies, but regular study courses are still
required as a general dentist to constantly update knowledge
on the latest treatment approaches and products available.
To be the best dentist you can be, you will always need to
continue to study and learn!
GUG 2015.book Page 98 Friday, June 13, 2014 11:51 AM
Links Archive The Good Universities Guide 2016 The Good Universities Guide 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page