Want to study dentistry in Singapore? We share some good-to-know information as well as where you can head to study! (Hint: did you know that there’s a new dental college here?)
Dentistry in Singapore
According to data from the Singapore Government, a total of 2,225 dentists were active in 2017. This number has most likely grown over the years.
Singapore has also been working hard to improve dental care here.
One interesting way is a new treatment process developed by researchers from the National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS), involving an enhanced 3D-printed dental plug that promotes bone growth in the jaw.
A new national dental centre (the National University Centre for Oral Health) was also opened in 2019 to the tune of 370 million. It houses the NUS Faculty of Dentistry, training facilities with innovative learning tools, research facilities, as well as wheelchair-accessible treatment facilities.
(A tiny note of caution: As one of our contributors would advise, don’t choose a profession in dentistry just for the perceived high salary or ‘prestige’.)
Based on a few accounts, an entry-level dentist earns an average starting pay ranging 5-7k. This is after serving the government bond, during which fresh grads will receive a salary of approximately 4k.
Bond? Wait, what bond?
This applies to candidates who have secured a place at the National University of Singapore to study dentistry. Singaporeans will have to serve a 4-year bond to the Government of Singapore. Non Singaporeans and Permanent Residents will have to serve a 5-year bond.
*All course fees are accurate as of Oct 2019 and are subject to changes depending on the school/centre. All fees are in SGD unless otherwise stated. This is neither an exhaustive list nor an endorsement of the courses listed; please do conduct sufficient research to make sure a course fits your needs!
- National University of Singapore – Bachelor of Dental Surgery
The National University of Singapore Faculty of Dentistry is the only public dental school in Singapore, with roots that stretch as far back as 1929. It takes in 60 undergraduates annually and is currently located within the new National University Centre for Oral Health.
The NUS BDS degree is recognised by the Singapore Dental Council and is graduates should be able to practice dentistry immediately after graduation. It employs a competency-based curriculum as well as Problem-Based Learning. Students can also visit other dental schools in Japan, Canada, Australia and the USA for international student exchanges.
For JC-level students interested in dentistry or the healthcare sector, they can register for a one-day Job Shadowing Programme conducted during February and August each year.
Curriculum: Anatomy, Behavioural Science, Biochemistry, Cariology, Dental Anatomy and Histology, Dental Materials, Dental Public Health, Endodontics, General Practice Management Course, Medicine, Microbiology, Operative Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Biology, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Orthodontics, Pathology, Pedodontics, Peridontology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Preventive Dentistry, Prosthodontics, Radiology, Surgery
Fees: 28,900 for Singaporeans, 40,450 for Permanent Residents, 61,850 for International students (per annum, with tuition grant)
Duration: 4 years
- National University of Singapore – Various Residency Training Programmes
The National University of Singapore offers six kinds of residency training in the fields of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentistry, Periodontology and lastly, Prosthodontics. The programmes will include a Clinical and Didactical component, a Research component, possible overseas attachments as well as examinations. Residents are also required to take courses in Clinical Photography, Research Methodology, Biostatistics, and a basic course in Dental Implantology. They will also need to undertake a research project and publish a dissertation.
Interested candidates must have at least two years of full-time clinical experience in general dentistry after graduation. The Faculty of Dentistry accepts 3 students per year for the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Periodontology, Prosthodontics and Paediatric Dentistry residency training programmes, 4 students for Endodontics residency programme and 6 students for Orthodontics residency programme.
Curriculum: Please refer to individual course brochures. All courses include a Basic Medical Sciences Course.
Fees: 23,900 (full-time) and 11,950 for Singaporeans, 56,750 (full-time) and 28,400 (part-time) for Permanent Residents, 93,700 (full-time) and 46,850 (part-time) for International Students per annum. These fees are applicable for all programmes except the Master of Dental Surgery (Prosthodontics). Do note that the Master of Dental Surgery (Paediatric Dentistry) does not offer part-time classes.
For the Master of Dental Surgery (Prosthodontics), annual tuition fees are chargeable at 26,550 for Singaporeans, 59,400 for Permanent Residents, and 96,350 for International students. The Prosthondontics programme is only offered full-time.
Duration: 3 years
- National University of Singapore – Graduate Degree by Research
There are 2 intakes per academic year for the Graduate Degree by Research.
Curriculum: Apart from the research project, coursework requirement for a Graduate Degree by Research includes a compulsory Statistics module, a compulsory Graduate Seminar Module, as well as any 2 elective modules.
Fees: 14,100 for Singaporeans, 19,750 for Permanent Residents, 63,250 for International Students and 30,150 for International Students with service obligations (per annum).
Duration: 1-3 years. Full-time and part-time students accepted.
- Q & M College of Dentistry – Graduate Diploma in Clinical Dentistry
Singapore has its first private dental college thanks to the Q&M Dental Group, which currently operates 74 dental clinics island wide. Located in City Square Mall, the dental college’s faculty includes 32 lecturers made up of more than 30 Lecturers of senior General Practitioners and Specialists. The college currently offers the Graduate Diploma in Clinical Dentistry, whose first intake commenced classes in October 2019.
Training facilities at the college include dental training simulators. The course includes lectures, hands-on instructions using study models, and the treating of patients under instructor supervision.
Curriculum: A total of 9 modules, covering CAD CAM & Digital Dentistry, Endodontics, Implant Dentistry, Laser Dentistry, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Patient Management and Ethics in Dentistry, Periodontics, as well as Prosthodontics/Restorative Dentistry.
Duration: 2 years
Accreditation: The Q & M College of Dentistry is registered with the Committee for Private Education (CPE).
Singapore is working toward increasing the number of locally trained dentists. As Singapore’s population graying population increases, there will be an increasing need for geriatric and special needs dentistry in particular. To achieve this, NUS plans to increase their annual dentistry undergraduate intake to around 80.
Will you be one of those answering the call? If yes, we wish you all the best in the fight for better dental health and oral hygiene!
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