HW Careers

South African woman in a scrub suit symbolizing health and welfare careers

Additional information

body or mind



Medical Field

Boss or Team

Own Boss


Good Communicator

Work With


Math & Science

Maths & Science

Study Length

Prepared to Study for Years


Either Alone or In a Busy Environment


Dentists are medical practitioners who specialise in all things mouth and gum-related. They’re the people responsible for keeping our teeth and gums healthy and in tip-top shape! 

Dentists also do a lot of dental education, by encouraging people from when they’re very young about dental and oral hygiene. As a dentist, you will be responsible for treating your patients by filling in cavities and perhaps removing teeth when necessary.

Dentists can specialise in oral surgery too if you take your studies further.

Dentists often refer their patients to specialists like oral surgeons or orthodontists where necessary. 

How to be a Dentist in South Africa

Get the Required Qualifications

To become a dentist in South Africa, you will need the following qualifications:

  1. Certificate (NSC/NC(V) (Entry into programmes subject to the specific requirements of the educational institution)
  2. Bachelor’s Degree (Bachelor of Dentistry (BDS) or a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BChD) depending on your university of choice)
  3. Internship (12-month internship)

Demonstrate Competence in the Required Subjects

Different educational institutions may have different admission requirements; however, you will typically be required to demonstrate competency in the following subjects:

Accumulate Years of Relevant Study and Experience

Dentists in South Africa typically study for 5 years and render community service for 1 year.

Find Relevant Employment Opportunities

Once qualified, you will have to register with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in order to work.

Dentists in South Africa often work in government or private hospitals and clinics. Many dentists go into private practise.

Find More Information from Relevant Regulatory Bodies

To find more information about dentists, contact The Health Professionals Council of South Africa or South African Dental Council


Dentist Related Careers

Related University Degrees

Universities Offering Programs Needed to be a Dentist in South Africa


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