Many dental students in India pursue dentistry as a second option when they don’t get admission to MBBS. Approximately 15,000 dental students graduate every year in India. But do all these 15000 students have opportunities in dentistry? Are all these graduates employed? How many of them are pursuing post-graduation?
Many students join the dental profession with the dream of becoming renowned dentists in the future. But after graduating, they will come to realize that the opportunities in this field are very limited in our country.
The majority of the dentists who graduated during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s had very successful careers because during these times the number of dental colleges was fewer, and hence the fewer number of dentists. But as years went by the number of private colleges increased tremendously which led to the production of a large number of dentists. As a result, the number of dental clinics also increased, which led to competition. This situation continues to this date and will remain like this for a long time.
Every dental graduate doesn't have the financial backup to open a dental clinic which makes them work in another clinic as assistant dentists with very low pay. This situation is making them consider a career switch. In the last 10 years, many dentists have already shifted to other health-related fields for a better career and salary. But is this career shift possible for everyone? For extremely passionate dentists, it would pose great difficulty to change their careers. But to get a successful dental career also has many factors like passion, skills, knowledge, and most importantly money.
To pursue post-graduation in India after BDS, one has to take the NEET MDS entrance examinations. In order to get a seat in a government college, one has to secure a very high rank, preferably below 500. Others have to take admission in a private college, which again will cost lakhs. And even after MDS, many dentists are unemployed.
Government jobs are also very less for dentists and hence its highly competitive. There are opportunities in dental colleges as tutors after BDS, but again, the salary is very low. The salary is comparatively better for the MDS graduates when they join a college as faculty, but it's highly competitive.
Another reason is a lack of awareness among people. The majority of the Indian population is unaware of the importance of oral health. Studies revealed that 85-90% of adults in India have dental caries, and almost 50% suffer from periodontitis or gum diseases. The most shocking fact is that 67% of Indians never visited a dentist in their life. Dental issues are often neglected by Indians and they don't consider it a big deal. Most people visit a dentist only if they suffer from unbearable pain. They are also unaware of the value of dental hygiene, which is the main cause of caries and gum diseases.
The number of unemployed dentists is increasing day by day in India. But they are not ready to give up and are therefore working in different fields for a better life. Many are moving abroad to continue their dentistry careers or to pursue non-clinical careers. However, dentists with great passion are continuing in dentistry and are already experiencing success.