People today are becoming more aware of their oral health. They are getting teeth enhancements for aesthetic and health-related reasons. The branch of dentistry that deals with the repair of damaged teeth is called Prosthodontics. Putting smiles back together is what prosthodontists do best. This is one of the top reasons why many people prefer to go to a Prosthodontist over a traditional dentist. Prosthodontists are specialists in improving the look and appearance of teeth while also preventing any disease or decay. For individuals who resonate with this, prosthodontics may be the right field for them. Described below is a more detailed description of how to become a Prosthodontist.
What is Prosthodontics?
Prosthodontics replace missing or replaces teeth with prosthetics. Prosthetics here refer to crowns, bridges and dentures, and other forms of artificial implants. The goal is to improve the look but also ensure functionality and health. This service is typically offered by the traditional dentist too. However, the Prosthodontist has specialised in the field and has relevant work experience in it. Prosthodontics is a speciality field of Dentistry, is offered in both public and private dental colleges in Bhopal, and has more sub-specialties in it. Particularly, after a four-year bachelor’s degree, students can specialise in Fixed Prosthodontics, Removable Prosthodontics, Maxillofacial Prosthodontics, and Implant Prosthodontics.
Prosthodontics is one of the most popular specializations studied in dental school. The subject is taught in dental schools at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Mansarovar Dental from Bhopal is a leading private institution that provides this particular course. Students from across India take the NEET or a similar state-level entrance test to gain admission to a medical college.
How To Become a Prosthodontist?
- School-level: To become a prosthodontist, preparation starts at the school level. Students must take up Science as their stream. Additionally, to pursue Dentistry, compulsory subjects include Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and also Biology.
- Entrance examination: To enroll in the best dental college in Bhopal, an entrance test score is required. There are various options to enroll in a national level, state level, or university level test. However, most institutes accept the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET for short. The test is held annually for thousands of students. Once students achieve a rank in the test, they move on to the next step in the admissions process.
- Counseling and admission: After getting a rank in the chosen examination, the next step is to attend a counseling round. In the counseling session, students will pay a small fee and shortlist medical colleges where Prosthodontics is available. Counseling happens in rounds, as seats are filled up according to the student ranks. Once a seat is allotted in a shortlisted college, the student has to report to the college. Here the rest of the admission procedure will be done. Submission of documents and paying the admission fee with the first-semester tuition fee is to be done.
- Bachelors: With admission taken, the student must now attend classes at the college. The course is of four years and includes a mandatory internship period. To specialize in Prosthodontics, the student must first complete a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree and take up a higher education degree. For dentistry, a master’s degree and a doctorate degree must be completed in order to work as a Prosthodontist.
- Masters and Doctorate: Although students can start working immediately with a BDS degree, it is recommended to take up an MDS degree and a doctorate after that. There are several MDS colleges in MP that provide postgraduate degrees. Admissions to masters are also through the PG level NEET test but for the doctorate level degree, CSIR NET score is widely accepted. Similar to the bachelor’s level course, after securing a rank counseling round takes place for MDS and a personal interview for the doctorate degree. After admissions, choose Prosthodontics as a specialization in the second year for MDS.
- Employment: Dentistry students can start working at an entry-level position in a hospital after an MDS degree. It is advised that the individual must gain some work experience before enrolling on a doctorate degree if they wish to do so. MDS degree holders would require time to work up to higher positions in Prosthodontics. However, a Ph.D. degree holder would not have to wait as long for higher job ranks. Also, if one wishes to work in education, a Ph.D. degree is necessary.
Scope of Prosthodontists
Prosthodontics is a field that has had steady growth over the years. Jobs are readily available in private and Government-run hospitals. With more specializations being introduced every year in Dental schools, there are more services an average person can get done. Hospitals today offer a range of dental services. One can also choose to work for themselves and set up their own practice. Dentistry is a fast-paced field that requires candidates to be on their feet the entire day. Salary-wise, on average a Prosthodontist earns between INR 1,35,000 to INR 10,00,000 LPA. This range varies according to the hospital or clinic one is working in. Admittedly, candidates working in a Government hospital will get higher salaries and regular increments, and a more relaxed work setting.
The career progression graph for a Prosthodontist is as follows.
- Dental Assistant: The Dental Assistant position is taken up during the training period and lasts for over 2 years. The individual learns the ropes of the trade by assisting a Dentist or a Prosthodontist in this case.
- Prosthodontist: After the internship and graduation, the student can start working as a Prosthodontist. This would be a full-time position in a hospital. They would be actively working on treating patients.
- Prosthodontist Educator: Typically candidates who have a doctorate degree in Dental specializations, get to work as educators. Colleges seek out qualified and experienced individuals to fill up positions as professors in colleges.
- Researcher: As a researcher, a Prosthodontist would work in a laboratory setting. They would work towards finding solutions for dental problems, new medications, etc.
Dental practices have been growing in demand since more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of oral health. It is predicted that the demand for prosthodontists is likely to increase by 7% by the end of 2026. If a person enjoys being in healthcare, setting a career as a prosthodontist can be exciting as well as rewarding.