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There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an associate dentist. In fact, with the dentistry industry showing a healthy growth trend year on year, it could prove a very profitable profession. Most dentists in the UK work as general dental practitioners offering dental services to the public, and are self-employed associates within a dental practice. In other words, working as an associate dentist in the UK means paying the owner of the practice in exchange for use of their facilities and equipment.
The Associate Dentist’s job involves delivering dental procedures, oral hygiene and care in endodontics, surgical extractions as well as cosmetic dentistry. The role includes, developing suitable treatment plans for patients, keeping record of all appointments, diagnoses, and treatments. You should also be able to oversee the work of the technical and administrative staff.
To be successful as an associate dentist, you should be using all dental instruments and equipment without injuring patients effectively. Ultimately, in this role you should demonstrate excellent communication skills and ensure that health and safety regulations are adhered to at all times.
For an associate dentist position, employers expect candidates to be fully qualified before applying for this job. In terms of work experience at this level, most dentist vacancies ask for a minimum of 2 years of General Dental Practitioner experience as well as a valid GDC Registration licence and a NHS Performer number.
Regarding personal qualities that candidates should demonstrate to be successful in this job, employers tend to look for professionals who can remain calm in stressful situations, work well in a team and have good hand-eye coordination. Moreover, excellent communication skills and being helpful and polite are also essential traits for a successful career.
Although newly qualified dentists can expect to earn around £30,000 an associate dentist’s salary starts rising after completion of foundation training with progression to an associate or partner post. After gaining experience you will have plenty of opportunities to become a partner in the practice, which could also involve taking some responsibility for managing it. As an alternative path you can even set up your own practice. In addition, you can consider working either for the NHS, work privately or even choose to do both.
The average salary for an experienced associate dentist is around 70K per annum in the United Kingdom whilst the typical tenure for this role is between one to three years.
When it comes to this job, there are many common dentist misconceptions as well as negative stereotypes due to the nature of this profession. On the downsides of this role there can be issues with difficult patients, complaints, overregulation, rising costs, stress, as well as the demand for continuous years of training.
On the other side, apart from helping people and building lifelong relationships with patients, associate dentist jobs certainly come with plenty of advantages too. Those include financial independence, the status, professional recognition as well as job security since the nature of the job may change but there will always be employment. Finally, this occupation offers career independence for those who enjoy the freedom of being self-employed as well as keeping control over how, where and when you wish to work.