Cosmetic dentistry Volunteer

Cosmetic dentistry is a rapidly developing industry, and one in which you need to get your foot in the door as soon as possible. Some of the tasks carried out by cosmetic dentists can be carried out by traditional dentists, but for the most part, this is a specialist branch, and one requiring a great level of skill and technique. A degree in dentistry is an obvious requirement, but what can really boost your credentials is voluntary work experience. This can be acquired through local dentistry and cosmetic agencies, and can demonstrate early on that you have the desire to work hard. If you want to set yourself apart from the crowd then there is no point waiting for an opportunity to fall on your lap. You need to make the effort if you want to succeed.

Duties include

Typical work activities you would need to carry out as a cosmetic dentist include:

  • Ensuring that you keep up-to-date with any improvements in cosmetic dentistry.
  • Handling and analysing patient records sent by GPs and dentists.
  • Ensuring tools are sterilised and prepped for surgery.
  • Working with a team of nurses and doctors, as well as offering your advice to students.
  • Working under stressful conditions.
  • Working on patients from a variety of backgrounds and ages.
  • Explaining the details of cosmetic surgery to place the patient at ease.
  • Ensuring after-care is made available for patients.
  • Making sure your skill level remains at a high level.
  • Removing diseased tissue using surgical apparatus, removing teeth and dealing with trauma cases.

Skills and education required

In order to enter the profession of cosmetic dentistry you will need to hold or be working toward a degree in dentistry, typically lasting for five years, but if possible, you should choose a degree specialising in cosmetic dentistry. Degrees are typically theory and practical based. You will need to have an excellent standard of GCSE and A Level results, or other relative educational qualifications, particularly in the sciences. Skills required include being able to make quick decisions, critical thinking and excellent hand skills.

Gaining hands on experience during your degree is not enough if you want to stand out from the crowd. Even before your degree begins you should try to gain an insight into the profession, whether it is by visiting your local hospital’s cosmetic dentist surgery, or a traditional dentist. This will enable you to see whether this career choice is for you, but can also help to give you an insight as to whether you can achieve the strong level of professionalism required by surgeons. During your degree you should try to make contacts in the industry and work to find out what voluntary opportunities are available. Websites of interest include the British Dentist Journal - Jobs, DERWeb Recruitment and NHS Careers.