BDS After 12th: Complete Course & Career Guide

BDS stands for Bachelor of Dental Surgery. It is a 5 years long undergraduate course. It is a job oriented medical course. 12th Science stream Biology group students are eligible to pursue this professional course after completing their 12th standard. In this article, you will be reading about BDS course details, eligibility criteria, admission process, course content, PG courses, career prospects, scope and job profiles available after graduation.




Bachelor of Dental Surgery: Introduction

BDS course focuses on the field of Dental Science. It is a popular undergraduate Dentistry course, which, on completion, leads to a BDS degree and title of a Doctor (Dr)!


In India, it is the second most popular medical course, trailing MBBS. BDS course trains students to become capable of carrying out dental practice independently/under supervision of hospital. Skills taught in this course are- prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting teeth, mouth, jaws and other associated tissues. Surgery is also an integral part of this course.


General medicine subjects are also a part of this course. Some such general medicine subjects are- anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, microbiology and general surgery. In short, this course is a mixture of general medicine, clinical dentistry and surgery.


Course details

Bachelor of Dental Surgery is a 5 years long undergraduate course. Academic program takes 4 years to complete. 1 year is dedicated towards internship.


Eligibility criteria

Science stream Biology Group (PCB subjects) students, who have passed 12th Science board examination from a recognized board are eligible to pursue this course. Candidate must also have scored a minimum score of 50% marks in PCB subjects (most institutes do have minimum marks criteria).


Admission process

Admission process follows the merit based system. If you want admission in a dental college operated by the Central Government, you must appear for All India level entrance test. Based on marks scored in this test and board examination, a merit list will be prepared. Admission will be given to deserving candidates on the basis of this rank/merit list.


There also exists state wise dental colleges in India. Such colleges may be operated by State Government/Private trusts. To secure admission in such institutes, you must take part in the state level entrance test. Based on marks scored in this test and board examination, a merit list will be prepared. Deserving candidates will be given admission based on this merit list.


In case of some Deemed Universities and reputed institutes, private entrance tests also do exist (other than National and State level tests). If you want to get admission in one such university/institute, you must appear for (and pass) the said entrance test and interview.


When it comes to admission process, reservations do exist (caste based, NRI quota, donation based etc). Interested and eligible candidates may make use of such reservations.


Course content

To get better idea about the course structure and syllabus, let us go through the main course content. The academic program is divided into four years. We will check out important subjects present in each academic year-


1st year subjects-

  • General Human Anatomy (including Embryology and Histology)
  • Human Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Nutrition and Diabetics
  • Dental Anatomy
  • Dental Embryology
  • Oral Histology
  • Dental Materials
  • Preclinical Conservative Dentistry
  • Preclinical Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge


2nd year subjects-

  • General Pathology and Microbiology
  • General Pharmacology
  • Dental Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Dental Materials
  • Preclinical Conservative Dentistry
  • Preclinical Orthodontics
  • Oral Pathology and Microbiology
  • Preclinical Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge


3rd year subjects-

  • General Surgery
  • General Medicine
  • Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics
  • Oral Pathology and Microbiology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Medicine and Radiology
  • Paediatric and Preventive Dentistry
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics
  • Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge
  • Periodontology
  • Public Health dentistry


4th year subjects-

  • Oral Medicine and Radiology
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics
  • Periodontology
  • Public Health Dentistry
  • Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge
  • Paediatric and Preventive Dentistry
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics


It is evident from the above lists that many subjects are recurring ones. It means that they appear in more than one academic year! Apart from theoretical sessions, many of the above mentioned subjects also consists of clinical as well as practical sessions.


Evaluation of BDS students will be based on their performances in written test, practical exam, clinical exam and viva voce!


Postgraduate courses

This is the age of specialization! No matter what the field of study is, to build a rewarding career, going through advanced PG courses has become a must!


The field of dentistry is no different! Specialization is the key to success in this field too! Gone are the days when just a BDS degree would help one earn well.


Thankfully, BDS graduates do have a handful of PG courses to choose from. The traditional and the most popular choice among graduates is MDS course. MDS stands for Master of Dental Surgery. It is a 3 years long Master’s course and will help one specialize in disciplines within the field of dentistry. Some of the most popular MDS courses (and areas of specializations) are-

  • Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge
  • Periodontology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics
  • Oral Pathology and Microbiology
  • Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
  • Oral Medicine and Radiology
  • Public Health Dentistry


If one is interested in doing PG course abroad, there exists some useful M.Sc. (Master of Science) dentistry courses out there! Some of the popular M.Sc. courses are-

  • M.Sc. in Primary Dental Care
  • M.Sc. in Paediatric Dentistry
  • M.Sc. in Restorative and Artistic Dentistry


Other than the above mentioned Degree PG courses, there also exists PG Diploma as well as PG certificate courses.


Management courses are also popular among BDS graduates. Pursuing a management course will help graduates acquire key management skills and help them take on administrative roles in industries associated with dentistry. MBA is the most ideal management course out there. It is 2 years long. Choosing specialization related to healthcare sector will be very beneficial.


Career prospects and job opportunities

After completing BDS course and internship, graduates are eligible to start practice as dentists in India. But it would be better to go for PG course, specialize and then start practice.


Qualified and skilled dentists are in huge demand these days. One may find work in Government hospitals/clinics or Community health centres. Private hospitals/clinics provide more job opportunities. One may also choose to start private practice.


Those who are interested in the field of teaching may take up the job of a lecturer. Doing PG course will be beneficial, if you are looking to build a career in the teaching sector. Pursuing advanced courses will also help one.


Companies manufacturing dental implants and material are also known to recruit BDS graduates. Some well known job profiles available in front of graduates are-

  • Dentist
  • Surgeon
  • Dental health consultant
  • Lecturer (Junior Lecturer)
  • Dental Assistants
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Lab Technicians
  • Paediatric Dentist
  • Community/Public Dental Health Specialist
  • Cosmetic/Aesthetic Dentistry Specialist


Some well know places/areas, where graduates may find a job are-

  • Government hospitals/clinics
  • Private hospitals/clinics
  • NGOs
  • International Welfare Organizations
  • Indian Armed Forces
  • Research Labs
  • Dental implants/materials manufacturing companies


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  1. soniya sunny May 17, 2016