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Study Guide: Dentistry in Malaysia

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be the hero of smiles in your own neighborhood? From providing gentle care to nervous patients, to performing intricate procedures with finesse, you are the trusted expert who brings comfort, confidence, and a beaming smile to everyone who walks through the clinic doors. So, if you've ever dreamt of joining the ranks of neighborhood dentists, studying dentistry opens the door to a world where you can make a real difference, one patient at a time. Get ready to step into the shoes of the local smile ambassador and embark on a rewarding journey that will leave your community beaming with gratitude.

Dentistry

Dentistry deals with identifying, managing, and preventing illnesses of the mouth. This area mostly focuses on restoring and maintaining a person's dental health. Dentistry is an important field to study because it deals with more than just repairing cavities and removing teeth. Sometimes, the condition of your dental hygiene can be a sign that something else is going on with your internal organs. 

The important work that dentists do goes far beyond just brushing our teeth. Although they are frequently regarded and treasured for their cosmetic benefits, such as straightening and whitening our teeth, the art of dentistry is more complex than that. Dentists are in charge of making sure that we maintain good dental hygiene to ward off disease, infection, and even cancer. 

Within the field of of Dentistry, there are several fields in which you can choose to specialise your career in.

  • Orthodontics: Orthodontists specialize in the alignment and straightening of teeth and jaws. They use braces, aligners, and other orthodontic appliances to correct misalignments, improve bite function, and enhance overall dental aesthetics.

  • Endodontics: Endodontists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dental pulp and root canal-related issues. They perform root canal therapy to treat infected or damaged tooth pulp, preserving natural teeth and alleviating pain.

  • Periodontics: Periodontists focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) diseases. They address gum inflammation, perform gum surgeries, and provide treatments like scaling and root planing to maintain gum health.

  • Prosthodontics: Prosthodontists specialize in the restoration and replacement of missing or damaged teeth. They design and place dental prostheses, such as dentures, dental implants, and dental bridges, to improve oral function and esthetics.

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Oral surgeons perform surgical procedures related to the mouth, jaws, face, and neck. They handle complex extractions, jaw realignment surgeries, facial trauma management, and placement of dental implants.

  • Pediatric Dentistry: Pediatric dentists specialize in providing dental care to children, infants, and adolescents. They focus on preventive measures, early detection of dental issues, and the management of children's unique dental needs in a child-friendly environment.

  • Oral Pathology: Oral pathologists study and diagnose diseases related to the oral and maxillofacial regions. They play a crucial role in the early detection of oral cancer and provide necessary treatment recommendations.

  • Dental Public Health: Dental public health professionals work on a community level, focusing on promoting oral health and preventing dental diseases through education, policy development, and community programs.

Entry Requirements to Study Dentistry

These are the general entry requirements to pursue a dentistry degree.  Entry requirements for some universities may be higher, so do make sure you check the details carefully.

SPM/O-Level

  • A pass with 5Bs including Biology; and Chemistry; and Physics; and Mathematics/ Additional Mathematics (applicable to foundation and pre-university qualification)

  • A pass withminimum 2 Bs in any 2 subjects in Biology/Chemistry/Physics and 3 credits in English, Mathematics/Additional Mathematics, and another subject (applicable to diploma qualification)

Pathway to Study Dentistry

This is the general pathway to study dentistry after completing your SPM or IGCSE.

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Step 1: Complete STPM/UEC/Pre-university programme for 1-2 years. You can also opt to be enrolled in Diploma in Dentistry for 3 years.

Step 2: Enrol in Degree in Dentistry that's typically 5 years long.

Step 3Undergo 1 year of housemanship, which is a compulsory internship for all aspiring dentists.

Step 4: Once you've completed your housemanship, you can apply for full registration as a dentist with MDC (Malaysian Dental Council)

Optional steps (to be a specialist)

Step 5: If you want to be a specialist (e.g. orthodontist, maxillofacial surgeon, and  pathologist), you will need to pursue postgraduate studies, which take about 4-5 years. You'll also need to undergo 2-4 years of supervised training as a specialist.

Step 6: Finally, once you’ve met the criteria to be a specialist, you can register yourself with MDC as a specialist.

force.

Note: Check if your medical degree is accepted by the Malaysian Dental Council. Otherwise, you may be banned from practising dentistry in Malaysia.

Subjects in A Dentistry Degree

In Malaysia, a dentistry degree takes at least 5 years long to complete and the total anticipated costs for a 5-year dentistry degree might range from RM120,000 to RM450,000. 

Generally, a dentistry course covers 2 main parts – namely pre-clinical training and clinical training. 

Part 1 consists of pre-clinical training that takes place in an academic setting and lasts for about 2 to 5 years. It requires you to master fundamental medical sciences like pathology, pharmacology, medical microbiology, oral biology, and anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology. You'll gain a solid foundation in dentistry as well as knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the human body through this.

The clinical training is covered in Part 2, which is made up of the remaining years of your degree. You will get training at teaching hospitals or clinical schools throughout the clinical training phase. By doing this, you will develop your expertise, have initial contact with patients, and conduct treatment steps.

Following that, you must serve one year of mandatory duty in either the private or public sector. As a result, before you can become a registered dentist and practise dentistry in Malaysia, you must first pass the Professional Qualifying Examination (PQE). Then, you will obtain clinical experience for two years before concentrating in areas such as orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, and periodontology. Specialisation typically takes four years.

 

In general, it takes roughly 7-8 years from SPM to become a fully registered dentist, and another 6 years to become a specialist.
 

Job Prospects with A Dentistry Degree

 

A dentistry degree is best for people who are prepared to devote a significant amount of time to becoming dentists. Most dentistry graduates who earn a degree will go on to complete the criteria to become dentists after they graduate. Even yet, if you have a dentistry degree, there are other career options besides being a doctor.

If you would like to be a specialist, you will need to pursue the relevant postgraduate qualifications. Here are some medical specialist careers:

  • Orthodontists

  • Periodontists

  • Endodontists

  • Prosthodontists

  • Maxillofacial surgeons

  • Pediatric dentists

  • Pathologists

  • Maxillofacial radiologists

If you prefer alternative career options in non-clinical fields, you can consider the following jobs:

  • Dental Product Developer

  • Dental Researcher

  • Lecturers

  • Dental Consultant

  • Dental Writer

Universities to Study Dentistry

universities
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SEGI University

Bachelor of Dental Surgery

Intakes: May & September
Total Fees: RM360,100
Duration: 5 years

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MAHSA University

Doctor of Dental Surgery
Master of Orofacial Sciences (Restorative/Perio/Ortho)
Doctor in Restorative Dentistry

Total Fees: RM410,550
Duration: 5 years

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Manipal University College Malaysia

Bachelor of Dental Surgery
Master of Science Dentistry

Intake: October
Total Fees: RM330,500
Duration: 5 years

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International Medical University (IMU)

Bachelor of Dental Surgery

Intake: February
Annual Fees: RM119,600
Duration: 5 years

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