- Becoming a dentist is expensive. Even, cost of education at a government college is no less than 10–20 lakhs INR.
- One has to do five years BDS course to become a dentist. Then MDS can be done to get specialization.
- The salaries are not very high, especially in comparison to that of a physician or surgeon.
- There is great work-life balance unlike that of other doctors. Dental problems can wait and there is no risk associated with the life of the patient.
- The increasing number of pseudo-dentists has become a great challenge in the profession. Pseudo-dentists receive very poor education and are hard to trace as they often open private clinics.
- The profession is facing a challenge as good vacancies and good dentists are few. There are a number of unemployed dentists who are sitting home due to lack of vacancies.
- A person who gets satisfaction in being able to relieve the pain of others would be happy in the profession.
Name – Deependra Verma
Profession – Dentist at Dr. Verma’s Dental Clinic and Naveen Hospital
Age – 31
Gender – Male
Industry – Healthcare
City – Dadri
Where have you been born and raised?
I was born and raised in Dadri. I did my schooling from Vivekananda and Anshu College. My further education was completed from Ghaziabad. My father is a businessman and my mother is a homemaker. I have a brother and a sister. I belong to an upper-middle-class background.
Who had the most influence on you and how?
Both my parents inspired me. However, it was my father who encouraged me to become a doctor and thereafter supported my BDS education.
Please give a summary of your career.
I’ve been practicing for the last 10 years in Naveen Hospital. In between, I worked as an assistant to a number of senior dentists in private clinics.
Only 6 months ago, in collaboration with my wife who is also a dentist, I opened my own clinic.
Which institutes are best for the training/education of this profession?
My own alma mater, Institute of Dental Studies & Technologies (IDST), Modinagar is worth mentioning. While generally, King George’s Medical College (KGMC) in Lucknow is the oldest and the best one.
What are the costs associated with the training/education of this profession?
The training of a doctor is expensive. Thus, even if you do it from a subsidized government college, it won’t cost you less than 10–20 lakhs INR in total. However, there are scholarships available for bright students.
What are the typical entry-level jobs in this profession?
You need to study PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) in 12th grade. After that, you’ve to prepare for the NEET which is highly competitive.
If you clear the exam, you are called for counseling where you are assigned a college of your preference. Then, there is a five years Bachelors of Dental Service (BDS) course, where 4 years of the theory is taught followed by a year of internship.
One can do Masters in Dental Service (MDS) after BDS, which earns you a specialization in any of the nine branches of dental care.
What is the range of remuneration one can expect in your line of career & industry?
It differs from area to area and the hospital you work for.
I’d mention my own range of remuneration
Starting out — 3,60,000 INR per annum
5 years’ experience — 5,00,000 INR per annum
10 years’ experience — 8,00,000 INR per annum
15 years’ experience — 10,00,000 INR per annum
20+ years’ experience — 14,00,000 INR per annum
Please describe your work as a dentist.
My work comprises of patient’s dental examination, diagnosis of oral health, treatment of dental issues, advising people on how to maintain proper dental care, teaching juniors, creating awareness of oral health among people and other treatments like scaling, management of jaw fracture, painless extraction of the infected tooth, braces etc.
Basically, my work revolves around treating and taking care of the patient’s teeth.
I work for 11 hours a day. I see patients on Sundays and keep my Wednesday off.
However, established dentists in big cities work from 10am-1pm and then from 5 pm-8 pm.
What are some of the positives which would encourage someone to consider dentist as a career?
- The biggest job satisfaction is when you are able to relieve the pain of your patients. Then, you would feel a different level of happiness.
- You create awareness about something which is often neglected and yet so crucial. Giving patients beneficial advice and creating awareness on dental care helps improve the patients’ overall well-being.
- There is good work-life balance too. The profession won’t intrude in your personal life. It’s not a 24-hour emergency work which involves life and death situations. Dental problems can wait and there is no risk associated with the life of the patient.
- Even though the pay is comparatively less than a professional doctor, it’s still enough to easily provide for a healthy lifestyle.
What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?
- The study and training are costly but the income is not that good. This is because there is little scope in both the private and government sectors. It’s a kind of unorganized sector where even trained BDS students aren’t getting proper employment. There are a number of unemployed dentists who are sitting at home due to lack of vacancies.
- There is an increasing number of pseudo-dentists. They are unqualified and often complicate the patient’s condition. This leads to dentists dealing with issues that could have been easily controlled if tackled earlier. Preventing patients from approaching them is a real challenge.
- Pseudo-dentists receive very poor education and are hard to trace as they often open private clinics. They lack skills and eventually degrade the overall quality of the practice.
- This profession is going through a severe challenge, where on one hand, there is a severe shortage of skilled dentist and on the other hand untalented youth are entering the system, who have the money to buy the degree.
What are the relevant skills/technologies/trends that are commanding a premium in your job profile?
One must have the knowledge of a number of technologies used in the profession. These are Dental chair, compressor, ultrasonic scaler, x-ray machines, aerator, and dental instruments.
Skills like trained eyesight, attention to details, good provisional skills and the ability to communicate in the local language of people are also required.
What kind of a person would be happy in your career?
A person who works for job satisfaction doesn’t take shortcuts, follows the ethics, can derive meaning out of the compliments given by patients would be really happy as a dentist. S/he must be empathic to be an ideal dentist.
Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?
I wanted to join our family business, which is jewelry. However, my father encouraged me to become a dentist, as it was his dream to see me become a doctor.
Now, I love my profession and don’t plan to do anything else in the future.
What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path like yours?
Don’t take shortcuts and gain real knowledge of the profession you’re entering. You must have the ability to combine the technical knowledge given in the books and the reality you’re going to face while practicing in the profession.
If you like this article, you may also like to check our conversation with Dr. Sanjay Nagar who runs his own clinic in Dadri, UP.