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 become qualified in this field (learning path):

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

Level of Schooling & School Subjects:

  • NSC/NC(V) 
  • English
  • Maths
  • Physical and Life Sciences

Duration of study

5 Years

1 Year Community Service


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

Dentists can be employed in government or private hospitals and clinics. Many dentists go into private practise.

Further Information:

The Health Professionals Council of South Africa

South African Dental Council

Educational Institutions offering this qualification:

Wits University:

University of Pretoria:

University of the Western Cape:

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University:

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