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Can I do work experience at the dentist?

15th March 2023

Can I do work experience at the dentist?

Over the years we have been approached many times to consider students for work experience placements. Sometimes it is local schools doing the asking on behalf of young people and other times it is the students themselves or even their parents. We have become quite picky in our selection due to many years of offering this experience for (predominantly) young people and learning as we go! We always prefer people to approach us directly and in this era of everything being done online, we also prefer a phone call at some point in the process! Dentistry is a profession of communication and you need to be able to be a good communicator to get the best out of our work experience.

We have had multiple work experience students who have gone on to study dentistry and others who have decided it is not for them after all. We have also had students who clearly are not interested in our work (often those who have had the placement suggested for them and not those who have approached us directly) which is difficult as no one wants a disinterested teenager sitting in on their treatment!! On the other hand, the majority of students we have accommodated have been a joy to meet and have really thrived. There is no such thing as a stupid question and we think the people who have asked lots of questions to the team have enjoyed their time the most and got the most out of it.

Essential traits of students who hope to go on to be a good dentist:

Excellent communication


Inquisitive and interested in the small stuff.

Good manual dexterity and a willingness to practise.

An artistic eye and pay attention to detail

An ability to work as part of a close knit team.

Academic enough to get accepted on the course and understand and pass it!!

We recently had one such student with us, Will. He was fabulous to have at the practice, a great communicator and clearly enjoys being around people (another must for a good dentist!). Whether he decides to study dentistry or not is by the by, but either way, we send him best wishes for his future which is sure to be bright. We asked Will for a short report about his experience with us and here’s what he had to say.

“Hi my name is Will and I did a week of work experience at Wollaton Dental Care and I can honestly say it was one of the most informative weeks of my life. The information they provided me with was invaluable, which has massively influenced my decisions going forward.

The staff were welcoming and friendly, settling me in and explaining how I would be spending my time with the whole team. I was able to see the ins and outs of how a general practice works, which was more than I expected. Although I was only there for 4 hours each day, every day was different and provided me with new experiences, which I loved and demonstrated the different aspects of the job.

It’s not very hands on work experience for obvious reasons but that did not matter to me as every time a patient had a problem Simon, Anna and Gemma explained to me how and why procedures were done which gave me a broader knowledge and understanding of what was going on. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity given to me.”

Posted in Practice News

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