How much money does a dentist earn in Australia?

Let examine how to become a dentist and how much dentists earn.

Dentists are health care professionals who provide restorative and preventive treatments for problems affecting the mouth and teeth.

Overview of working as a dentist
  • Salary: $50,000 to $200,000 +
  • Qualifications: Post graduate, Undergraduate (CSU,UOA)
  • Intensity: Sitting
  • Demand: Stable
  • Travel: Low
  • Conditions: Indoor
  • Weekly hours: 40-50
Pros of working as a dentist
  • Helping people out
  • Improving someones smile
  • Excellent pay
  • Be your own boss if you have your own dental practice
Cons of working as a dentist
  • Physically demanding
  • High levels of responsibility and stress
  • People will always ask you why!
The bottom line on working as a dentist

If you have a real desire to help people and make a difference every day, then this could be a great career for you. The study is hard and courses can be difficult to get into (GAMSAT), but the long term rewards both financially and from a personal perspective are good.

Everything you need to know about working as dentist

This is an ideal career for a logical and analytical thinker.

Most dentists work with a receptionist, dental nurse, dental hygienist, dental therapist and dental technician. A dentist is typically responsible for educating patients on oral health care, examining teeth and diagnosing patients’ dental conditions.You also use X-rays, assess treatment options and agree treatment plans with patients.

You carry out agreed clinical treatments such as gum disease, restoring teeth affected by decay and more advanced treatments. You maintain patients’ dental records, manage budgets and keep abreast of new developments through structured continuing professional development and marketing services to potential clients.

Your day to day work as a dentist

Your day begins reviewing the day sheet of patients as you prepare myself for the first one. It is important to run your practice to time and ask patients to arrive punctually at their appointment times.

Generally you chat with the patients, telling them what you’re doing which often reassures them.You generally treat between 10 to 15 patients per day ranging from a general check up to more complex treatments. There are clinical notes to be written after the appointment is over and of course the dreaded administration of the practice.

Personalities that work well as a dentist

Generally self disciplined, socially outward and extrovert people make good dentists. You need to like people and like interacting with them, so your inter-personal skills need to be a strong point of your character.

You also need to be a perfectionist and have excellent manual dexterity. Close enough is not good enough and generally people don’t like it if you fumble around in their mouth. You also need to be able to concentrate on a single task for long periods. You must be a clear communicator and have a sharp eye for detail.

Best thing about working as a dentist

The rewards you get from helping people is very satisfying particularly if you have helped them overcome a ‘fear of dentists’.

The flexibility of running your own practice is great, you can make the rules and break them if you choose.

The pay is good too – a good graduate can earn $70,000 to $80,000 but in your own practice generally a surplus of 30% of revenue is usual.

Worst thing about being a dentist

Because you’re leaning over patients all day, you get aching back and neck muscles and if you are in private practice then no matter how tired you are the administration still has to be done.

Qualifications required to become a dentist

Dentists require the undergraduate Bachelor of Dental Surgery(B.D.S) from a university preferably with a good reputation for the profession. This is a 4 year degree for postgraduates and a 5 year degree for undergraduates. It is a very demanding course which combines both theory and practical application. You need to apply yourself.

Career progression as a dentist
Position Remuneration Experience Education
Start Position Graduate Dentist $50 to $70k Nil Bachelor of Dentistry
1st Promotion Employed Dentist $100k + 2 to 4 years Bachelor of Dentistry
2nd Promotion Employed Dentist $150k + 4 to 8 years Bachelor of Dentistry
3rd Promotion Self Employed – Private Practice $250k+ First 3 years Bachelor of Dentistry
4th Promotion Self Employed – Specialist $700k + 8 + years Post Graduate
5th Promotion Partnership $200k + 3 + years Bachelor of Dentistry

 

Improve Motivation For GAMSAT study

Whilst under the pressure of trying to get High Distinctions “HD’s” to maintain my high GPA in my Medical Science degree, I had to also make time to study for the GAMSAT. This included constantly revising all the sciences, reading widely and practicing my essay writing. I was spending hours a day at my desk, staring blankly at the wall and thinking…

”Is it all worth it?”

”I should I have just settled for an average 9-5 job, or even a trade? I could even become a science teacher – easy hours, long holidays and decent pay”.

I had this burning desire inside to become a Dentist, but I just needed the motivation to push myself to study consistently for both University and the GAMSAT. I needed motivation to remind me that these sacrifices I was making were worth it.

After reading an interesting article online I implemented a simple strategy.

I followed the article’s advice and began to stick pictures on the wall connected to my desk. I had pictures of a dentist, a picture of Will Smith with the quote ‘ Being Realistic is the most common path to mediocrity’ and the favorite of all was a picture of a man mining for diamonds (posted below).

It is amazing how this simple technique can give you that extra drive to push through a tough day of studying. It really helped me and gave me that extra strength when I would almost give up and tell myself ”thats enough study for the day Matty – you can rest now”.

 

Try it out and let me know if it works for you too!

GAMSAT motivation

 

Choosing a GAMSAT prep course?

GAMSAT course

Is a GAMSAT prep course actually necessary?
The answer is no. If you are able to be consistent in your study and have access to textbooks and sufficient study time, then you can quite capably ace the GAMSAT.

If you feel bewildered by all the content (many students from a non-science background fall into this area) then The Gamsat Bible is the way to go. This guide contains all the topics for Section III – Physics, Chemistry and Biology. You will be able to focus your study on the necessary topics and won’t waste your time learning irrelevant information.

GAMSAT prep courses do provide very valuable material and information, but at a heck of a price. If you already have great motivation and utilzie all resources provided in The Gamsat Bible then a GAMSAT course is not necessary. However, if you insist on taking a GAMSAT course, I would suggest do your research and draw up a table that includes cost:benefit ratio for different materials and courses and then make my decision.

Happy studying 🙂

 

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