Dental Careers

General Dental Services

The majority of dental care takes place in General Dental Practice. Practices are often on the high street or with in Health Centres. Most provide dental services as part of the National Health Service, but some also provide private care. Routine Dental care is provided to adults & children with some practices providing more specialist services e.g. Orthodontics (braces).

Salaried Primary Care Dental Service

This dental service provides care to people who cannot access it through the General Dental Service. This may be due to a patient’s physical or mental disability or due to limited NHS dental care in their locality. The salaried dental service may also undertake dental surveys & oral health promotion programmes. In some areas, specialist areas such as Orthodontics or Oral Surgery are also available.

Specialist Dental Services

Some dentists undertake further training in the following specialties:

  • Dental Public Health
  • Oral & Maxillofacial surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Restorative Dentistry
  • Paediatric Dentistry
  • Special Care Dentistry 

This enables them to undertake more specialist work in Primary Care or hospital services and may be trained to become consultants within the NHS. Some dentists undertake training in Dental Public Health. This is a non-clinical speciality working in NHS organisations to identify dental health needs & ensure dental services meet those needs.

Academic Careers

Qualified dentists may take on additional training to pursue a career in academic dentistry where they may undertake training & research, usually within dental teaching hospitals.

Dental Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is where an individual works in a job role whilst gaining a qualification at the same time. Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes where most of the training is on the job and the qualification is gained in the workplace or during day release at college.

Apprenticeships are open to all age groups, both adults and young learners (aged 16+ years). Apprenticeships can be used to train school leavers and young people new to your organisation or to  upskill your current workforce into a new role or gain skills and a qualification in a current role.

There are a number of apprenticeships suitable for dental practice settings.

Apprenticeships can be suitable for:

  • Dental Nurses
  • Administration roles
  • Management and leadership roles

Apprenticeship qualifications are a cost effective way of developing a flexible and skilled workforce fit for the future of dental practice.

The government currently provides funding for apprenticeship qualifications. The level of funding will vary on the age of the apprentice and the qualification being undertaken.

You will need to pay the apprenticeship wage for any new apprentices you are employing. This currently starts at £3.50 per hour. The government offers funding for smaller organisations.

To enquire about taking on an apprentice, please contact:

Conrad Newbold, Widening Participation Manager, Health Education England, working across the West Midlands.

Healthcare Apprenticeships

Please visit the website for more information on apprenticeships within healthcare.


Online Dental Careers Guidance

These careers pages contain information on Postgraduate Dental Training and General Dental Practice to support you to make informed decisions about your career development.

Dentistry Podcast

Careers in Dental Care

Welcome to the NHS

The NHS offers a huge range of exciting and challenging opportunities for people who are passionate about making a difference.

With more than 350 different careers on offer, there is a job for you no matter what your interests, skills or qualifications.  

To find out more about becoming a member of the NHS team, call 0345 60 60 655, email or visit

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