What they do
Dentists take care of patients' teeth and gums by diagnosing and treating injuries, problems and abnormalities. Their wide range of duties includes repairing or removing broken and decayed teeth, treating infections and diseases of the roots or nerves, and cleaning teeth. Other tasks may include the design and fitting of dental crowns, bridges or dentures.
Dentists work mainly in public or private dental clinics. Hours can vary according to the opening times of the clinic in which dentists are employed. Some dentists may be on-call 24 hours a day to attend to emergency dental work. Demand for dentists in Western Australia is high, with some being required to help in remote areas when necessary. A dentist’s work environment needs to be highly sterile to prevent infection to clients and themselves.
Tools and technologies
Dentists work with a large range of dental tools and equipment, such as drills, mouth mirrors, retractors, syringes and x-ray machines. Such equipment must always be clean and sterile to prevent the incidence or spread of infection.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a dentist, you need to study a bachelor degree in any discipline, followed by a postgraduate degree in dentistry.
All universities in Western Australia offer relevant undergraduate courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
The University of Western Australia offers a four-year Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). This is the only postgraduate degree in dental medicine in Western Australia. Contact the university for more information.
Required registration and licensing
To work as a dentist in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration with the Dental Board of Australia.
You will also have to obtain a National Police Certificate and may need to obtain a current Working with Children Check issued by the Department of Communities.