There is a lot of interest in what dentists do, how much they earn and how to become one. This is why we have carefully researched and written this article to answer some of the likely questions you may have about Dentists. Dentists are doctors who treat diseases of the oral cavity and its related structures. Dentists are also rated like their counterparts who studied medicine and surgery are entitled to and are paid based on the same salary scale except for specialists who earn special allowances depending on the field. So what is the average salary of a dentist in Nigeria?
SALARY OF DENTIST IN NIGERIA
So how much is a dentist’s salary in Nigeria? On average, a dentist in Nigeria earns a monthly salary of 250,000 Naira. Note that some may receive far more than this amount while others may earn less depending on the organization they work with and the years of experience.
So what do dentists do, are they specializations in this field too? Find out more below.
- What Dentists Do
As I pointed out above, dentists work on the oral cavity, and as such, they diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and other related parts of the mouth. It is their job to provide advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and also on diet choices that affect oral health. Typical duties of dentists are outlined below.
- Duties of Dentists
Typically, dentists do the following:
- Help Treat and Remove decay from teeth and fill the teeth cavities
- they help Repair cracked in the teeth or fractured in the teeth also they help remove affected teeth
- Place sealants or whitening agents on teeth
- Administer anesthetics to prevent pains in the process of treating the teeth.
- Recommend medications and antibiotics.
- Examine x rays of teeth, the jaw, gums, and close areas to diagnose problems
- Make models and measurements for dental appliances like dentures, to fit patients
- Teach their patients about diets, flossing, use of fluoride, and other aspects of dental care
- Dentists make use of a variety of equipment, including x-ray machines, drills, mouth mirrors, probes, forceps, brushes, and scalpels. Also, they use lasers, digital scanners, and other computer technologies.
- Also, dentists in private practice oversee a variety of administrative tasks, such as bookkeeping and equipment purchase and supplies. They also employ and supervise other professionals such as dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental laboratory technicians, as well as receptionists.
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Quite frankly, most dentists are general practitioners and handle a variety of dental needs. Others practice in 1 of 9 specialties of Dentistry areas.
- Specializations in Dentistry
- Dental public health specialists: They promote good dental health and also the prevention of dental diseases in specific communities.
- Endodontists: They perform root-canal therapy, which involves removing the nerves and blood supply from injured or infected teeth.
- Oral and maxillofacial radiologists: They diagnose diseases in the head and neck by using imaging technologies.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: They carry out a surgical operation on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck, and head. They perform procedures such as surgically repairing a cleft lip and palate or removing impacted teeth.
- Oral pathologists: They diagnose conditions in the mouth, such as bumps or ulcers, and also oral diseases like cancer.
- Orthodontists: Orthodontists straighten teeth by applying pressure to it with braces or other appliances.
- Pediatric dentists: They focus on dentistry for kids and special-needs patients.
- Periodontists: They treat the gums and bones that support the teeth.
- Prosthodontists: They replace missing teeth with permanent fixtures like crowns and bridges, or in other cases with removable fixtures like dentures.
Also, some dentists teach or carry out research.
- Job Prospects For Dentists
Dentists are specialist who works on the oral cavity and as such, areas where they can work are clear. They work in offices of dentists, can be self-employed, work with the government, work in offices of physicians, and outpatient care centers. Some also go into teaching and research.
How to Become a Dentist In Nigeria 2019
Becoming a dentist in Nigeria is quite easy. After completing your senior secondary school education, you will proceed to a university that is accredited to teach Dentistry. To be eligible for admission, first, you have to pass your O’level exam with credit passes in Math, English, Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Also, you will be required to sit for and pass UTME very well, achieving a score far above the minimum pass mark of 180. This is because the course is quite competitive and as a result, you have to score very high marks to ensure you are admitted. The UTME subject combination for Dentistry is Use of English, Math, Chemistry, and Physics. Some schools will require you to sit for and pass another exam known as Post-utme that is set by the school. Once you are admitted, you are in your way to becoming a dentist. Some may seek to acquire further knowledge by taking postgraduate degree courses. All you, however, need to become a Dentist is a bachelor’s degree. Typically, a dental school program includes coursework in subjects such as anesthesia, anatomy, periodontics (the study of oral disease and health), and radiology. Students also gain clinical experience by working directly with patients under the supervision of a licensed dentist. To become a specialist dentist, you will have to complete additional training before practicing that specialty. Usually, this training is a 2- to 4-year residency in a program related to the hobby. Those who practice general dentistry do not need further training after dental school. Those who aspire to go into teaching or research full time will need to spend an additional 2 to 5 years in advanced dental training. Many practicing dentists also devote time to education on a part-time basis, including supervising students in dental school clinics. To practice as a dentist in Nigeria, you will need to be licensed by the relevant body.
- List Of School Where You Can Study Dentistry In Nigeria
The following schools offer dentistry as a course in Nigeria:
- Bayero University, Kano
- University Of Benin, Benin City
- University Of Ibadan, Ibadan
- University Of Maiduguri
- University Of Nigeria Nsukka
- University Of Calabar, Calabar
- University Of Lagos
- Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
- University Of Port-Harcourt
- Ogun State College Of Health Technology, Ilese-Ijebu
- Federal School Of Dental Technology And Therapy, Enugu
- Health Sciences And Technology in Makarfi (Shehu Idris College)
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- Important Qualities for Dentists
Let’s discuss some essential qualities that dentists need to be able to carry out their duties effectively.
- Communication skills: Dentists must be effective communicators to ensure they communicate well with patients, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and receptionists.
- Detail oriented: They have to pay attention to the shape and color of teeth and also to the space between them. For example, a dentist may need to closely match a false tooth with a patient’s other teeth.
- Dexterity: A dentist must be very good at working with their hands as they must work carefully with tools in a small space and at the same time, ensure the safety of their patients.
- Leadership skills: Leadership skills is a must as most dentists manage and lead staff in their dental practices.
- Organizational skills: This is equally important as accurate record keeping of patient’s care is critical in both medical and business settings.
- Patience: Dentists may work for more extended periods with patients who need special attention, and so they must be extremely patient in these situations. Patient and Children with a fear of dental work may require a lot of patience to work with.
- Physical stamina: Due to the nature of their work, dentists typically bend over patients for long periods.
- Problem-solving skills: Dentists have to evaluate patients’ symptoms and then choose the appropriate treatments.
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Conclusion On Salary Of Dentist In Nigeria
Dentistry is a highly lucrative course, and dentists measure up to their counterparts who studied medicine and surgery. They are placed on a similar salary scale due to the similarity in the level and type of training they receive. Dentists work on the oral cavity which includes the mouth, teeth, gum and other body parts close to these. They carry out a whole lot of duties to ensure their patients stay healthy in their oral cavity. Their job in working in small confined space and as such requires a practitioner to be patient and highly skilled to prevent injury to patient during the process of carrying out a procedure. If you have ever dreamed of becoming a dentist, this article has shed light on what you need to do to become one and also the expected remuneration after your graduation. To be clear the average dentist salary in Nigeria is about a quarter of a million naira monthly (#250,000)
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