Options galore for dentists
SERENA JOSEPHINE M.
With nine specialised areas at the postgraduate level, career prospects for students of dentistry are bright
— Photo: M. Moorthy
Healthy look: There is greater awareness about dental care nowadays.
For senior academicians in the field, dental sciences have grown by “leaps and bounds,” while for others opportunities in dentistry have witnessed an “incomparable” expansion over the years. Dental sciences, with a number of specialities, offer enormous opportunities, and have been gaining popularity with increasing awareness about dental care.
“In the last one decade, there has been tremendous development in the field of dentistry. The options available for dental students are plenty,” pointed out a senior authority at Mahatma Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Dental Sciences (MGPGI), a Puducherry government institute.
The institute, started in 1990 as Pondicherry Dental College, went on to be upgraded as MGPGI of Dental Sciences in 2005. It offers 40 seats in BDS, of which 29 are for students of the Union Territory, five for non-resident Indians and six under the all-India quota.
With an array of specialities in dentistry, there seems to be no shortage of opportunities for students in this field. “At present, there are nine specialities at the postgraduate level for dentistry in the country. They are prosthodontics, oral surgery, conservative dentistry, oral pathology, oral medicine, paediatric dentistry, orthodontics, community dentistry and periodontics,” the official said.
At MGPGI, five specialities are offered — prosthodontics, oral surgery, oral pathology, oral medicine and paediatric dentistry. “Two more specialities — conservative dentistry and periodontics — will be introduced shortly at the institute. There are two seats for each of the specialities and 50 per cent seats are allotted for the all-India quota, the rest for the Union Territory. One extra seat is allotted to defence doctors.”
On completion of the five-year course (BDS), which includes four years of academics and one year of compulsory internship, students could choose between postgraduate studies, practice or private and government jobs, a senior professor said.
“Opportunities are available in State services, Central government sciences, army dental corps, public undertakings, government and private dental institutions, private practice and consultation and higher studies too,” he said.
Now, efforts are being made to bring in Diploma of National Board (DNB) courses in various specialities. Apart from this, there are efforts to get superspecialities for branches in dentistry with postgraduate diplomas.
According to D.R. Gunasekaran, Dean of Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, which also has a dental college, the field of dental sciences has evolved over the years.
“Earlier, there were not many opportunities but the field is gaining popularity now due to the cosmetics aspect. Like medicine, dentistry has a lot of specialities and the opportunities are equally good,” he said.
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