Dentistry's a big career choice if committed

BECOMING a dentist is a long, hard journey according to the 10 fifth year students at the Griffith University's Warwick Dental Clinic.

The 10 students, from the Gold Coast and Brisbane, are working at the dental clinic on Locke Street as part of their fifth and final year of studying to become dentists.

Griffith University's dental degree is split into two parts- an undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Oral Health- Dental Science) and a postgraduate degree (Diploma of Dentistry).

To be accepted into the course, students were required to have an OP score of 1-3, plus pass a UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine Admission Test) and impress in an interview.

The full time course can be high stress, student James Carrigy said.

"Full time literally means full time," he said.

"It works out to more than 40 hours a week.

"3rd year particularly destroys you."

Speaking about the changing dental industry, student Alice Han said there had been more improvement in the system.

"It's been hard for us with Queensland Health cutting down," she said.

"There should be more of a focus on dentistry."

The Griffith University's Warwick Dental Clinic has been in operation since July and offers substantially cheaper private dental heath, all undertaken by supervised dental students.

With six chairs, the clinic regularly has spaces available and visiting patients can expect to save up to 20% on their normal private dental costs.

While the clinic doesn't accept the State Government's dental vouchers, it is open to anyone and has very competitive rates.

For residents keen on trying out the clinic, there is currently a special promotion for the month of February to encourage more people to see the students.

Until February 28, the clinic is offering free dental exams for kids and 50% off check ups for adults - with a basic adult check up starting at just $23.

Becoming A Dentist

  •  Requires OP 1-3
  •  Five year degree- split into two degrees
  •  Full time work load of more than 40 hours each week

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