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Dentistry is a field that requires continuous learning and staying updated with the latest advancements. After completing dental school, many dentists wonder if pursuing post-graduation is necessary for their career growth. In this blog post, we will address the elephant in the room and discuss whether you should stop at graduation or pursue post graduation in dentistry.

BDS vs MDS – Which Path Should You Choose?

The decision between pursuing BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) or MDS (Master of Dental Surgery) depends on individual career goals and aspirations :

BDS:

  • Suitable for those who want a general practice or wish to work as a general dentist.
  • Provides a solid foundation in all aspects of dentistry.
  • Allows for immediate entry into practice after completion.

MDS:

  • Ideal for those who want to specialize in a specific area of dentistry.
  • Offers in-depth knowledge and expertise in the chosen specialization.
  • Opens up opportunities for teaching, research, and advanced clinical practice.

Ultimately, the choice between BDS and MDS depends on personal preferences, career goals, and the desire to pursue further education.

Let us now explore different aspects to grow in this profession and understand how to make a wise choice. Please note that the comparisons here are between a freshly passed out graduate and a freshly passed out postgraduate.

Advancements in Dentistry

The field of dentistry is constantly evolving with new technologies, techniques, and treatment options being introduced regularly. Post-graduation programs provide an opportunity for dentists to specialize in specific areas such as orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, or prosthodontics. These specializations allow dentists to gain in-depth knowledge and expertise in their chosen area of interest. At the end of it, they get a degree which validates this expertise.

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Enhanced Skills and Knowledge

Undergraduate dental education is brief, where as post-graduation programs offer a more detailed curriculum in one particular niche subject. Dentists pursuing post-graduation have access to advanced training and hands-on experience under the guidance of experienced faculty members. This helps them develop enhanced clinical skills, critical thinking abilities, and a deeper understanding of complex dental procedures. A general dentist is expected to do this on his own.

Faster Earning

Dentists with a BDS degree can start practicing immediately after graduation, while those wanting to continue to an MDS degree need additional years of specialization, and may logically not be able to practice alongside. The stipend (sometimes) given during the post graduation course is meagre. Hence, dentists pursing post graduation may not be able to earn faster than their graduate colleagues.

Career Opportunities

Completing BDS gives you two career options – to be an associate dentist or a private practitioner. Completing MDS opens up a wider range of career opportunities for dentists in addition to the two career options mentioned above. Specializing in a particular field allows them to offer specialized treatments, which may result in them visiting multiple clinics as a consultant to offer these treatments. Academics is a field where the MDS dentists can venture into easily. They may also get into research opportunities.

Credibility and Trust

Patients often seek out specialists when it comes to complex dental issues. Having a post-graduate degree adds credibility to a dentist’s profile and instills trust among patients. It demonstrates their commitment towards continuous learning and staying at the forefront of advancements in the field.

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Networking Opportunities

Post-graduation programs provide an excellent platform for networking with fellow professionals from different specialties of the same field. Building connections with peers, mentors, and experts can be invaluable throughout one’s career journey. These networks can lead to collaborations, referrals, and sharing of knowledge, ultimately benefiting the dentist and their patients.

Are CDE Courses a shortcut for Post-graduation?

While short continuing dental education (CDE) courses can provide dentists with valuable knowledge and skills in specific areas, post-graduation programs offer a more comprehensive and specialized training.

Post-graduation allows dentists to delve deeper into their chosen field, gaining expertise that goes beyond what can be achieved through short courses alone. On the other hand, short CDE courses are beneficial for dentists who want to acquire specific skills or stay updated on new techniques without committing to a full post-graduate program. These courses can be completed alongside regular practice and provide targeted learning in specific areas of interest.

Ultimately, the choice between short CDE courses and post-graduation depends on individual career goals and aspirations. Dentists looking for specialization, enhanced clinical skills, and career advancement may find post-graduation programs more suitable. However, those seeking targeted learning or staying updated on specific topics may opt for short CDE courses.

Conclusion

While post-graduation is not compulsory in dentistry, it offers numerous advantages for dental professionals. From gaining specialized knowledge to expanding career opportunities and building credibility, pursuing post-graduation can significantly contribute to a dentist’s professional growth. It is definitely a personal choice that depends on individual aspirations and career goals. However, considering the dynamic nature of the field, investing in post-graduation education can be a wise decision for those looking to excel in their dental careers.

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Remember, dentistry is a lifelong learning process, and staying updated with the latest advancements is essential for providing the best possible care to patients. So, if you’re a dentist contemplating post-graduation, take some time to evaluate your goals and consider how specialization can benefit your career.

Author

  • Dr Nupur Shrirao is a consultant prosthodontist and a grammar Nazi! Besides dentistry, she enjoys giving stage performances and radio jockeying with All India Radio.

Dr Nupur Shrirao is a consultant prosthodontist and a grammar Nazi! Besides dentistry, she enjoys giving stage performances and radio jockeying with All India Radio.

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