BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)

Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by Vishnu Nambiar

BDS stands for Bachelor of Dental Surgery. It is a 5 years long undergraduate course. It is a job oriented medical course. 12th Science stream Biology group students are eligible to pursue this professional course after completing their 12th standard. In this article, you will be reading about BDS course details, eligibility criteria, admission process, course content, PG courses, career prospects, scope and job profiles available after graduation.

Here is a quick overview of BDS course –

Name of the course BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)
Type of course Bachelor’s Degree
Field Dentistry
Duration 5 years
Eligibility Completed 12th standard with PCB subjects


Bachelor of Dental Surgery: Basic Details

BDS course focuses on the field of Dental Science. It is a popular undergraduate Dentistry course, which, on completion, leads to a BDS degree and title of a Doctor (Dr)!


In India, it is the second most popular medical course, trailing MBBS. BDS course trains students to become capable of carrying out dental practice independently/under supervision of hospital. Skills taught in this course are- prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting teeth, mouth, jaws and other associated tissues. Surgery is also an integral part of this course.


General medicine subjects are also a part of this course. Some such general medicine subjects are- anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, microbiology and general surgery. In short, this course is a mixture of general medicine, clinical dentistry and surgery.


What is dentistry all about, you may ask. Here is everything you need to know about this domain –


Dentistry is a branch of medicine that deals with the study, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity. This branch of medicine is also known as dental and oral medicine.


Generally speaking, dentistry is said to be related to care of teeth. In reality, this branch of medicine also deals with adjacent tissues, nervous system, anatomical structures and adjacent structures (such as jaw and facial area).


A dentist is a professional who specializes in dentistry. He/she is capable of diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases and conditions of the oral cavity. A dentist is also known as a dental surgeon.


Some of the common tasks performed by a dentist are – surgical removal of teeth, extraction of teeth, prescribing oral medicine, scaling, root canal treatment, aesthetic dental treatment, restoration of teeth etc.


Dentistry is a broad field. This branch of medicine can further be classified into various sub-disciplines. Some such sub-disciplines include – endodontics, oral radiology, oral pathology, oral implantology, oral medicine, pediatric dentistry etc. MDS (Master of Dental Surgery) program will help you specialize in these sub-branches of dentistry.


A typical dental care team consists of a dentist, dental technicians, dental hygienists and dental therapists. Technicians, therapists and hygienists are allied healthcare workers. Depending upon the work setup (example – a small clinic), a dentist may also function alone!


How to become a dentist in India, you may ask. In order to become a dentist, one must possess a minimum academic qualification and degree! BDS is the minimum educational qualification required to become a dentist in India. After obtaining this degree and registering with relevant authoritative body, one may start his/her dentistry practice!


Let us talk about the course format and academic level now. BDS is a Bachelor’s Degree course. The course belongs to UG academic level. UG stands for undergraduate level.


Course details


Type of course

BDS is a Bachelor’s Degree course.



Bachelor of Dental Surgery is a 5 years long undergraduate course. Academic program takes 4 years to complete. 1 year is dedicated towards internship.


Eligibility criteria

Science stream Biology Group (PCB subjects) students, who have passed 12th Science board examination from a recognized board are eligible to pursue this course. Candidate must also have scored a minimum score of 50% marks in PCB subjects (most institutes do have minimum marks criteria).



Dental colleges and medical colleges across India are known to offer BDS course. Colleges offering BDS course can be classified into two main types – Govt dental colleges and private dental colleges.


Classification of dental colleges has been carried out on the basis of the entity that owns/operates the college. For example – Govt dental colleges are operated by relevant department of the State or Central Government. Private dental colleges are operated by private charitable or educational trusts. Private dental colleges are also known as self-financing colleges.


Here’s the list of popular dental colleges in India

  • Government Dental College, Alappuzha, Kerala
  • Government Dental College, Kozhikode, Kerala
  • Government Dental College, Kottayam, Kerala
  • Government Dental College, Thrissur, Kerala
  • Government Dental College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
  • Tamil Nadu Government Dental College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • Government Dental College and Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • AMC Dental College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Sanand, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • College of Dental Sciences and Research, Bhavnagar, Gujarat
  • Government Dental College, Jamnagar, Gujarat
  • Burdwan Dental College and Hospital, Burdwan, West Bengal
  • West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata, West Bengal
  • North Bengal Dental College, Sushrutnagar, West Bengal
  • Haldia Institute of Dental Science and Research, Haldia, West Bengal
  • Government Dental College and Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Government Dental College and Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Government Dental College and Hospital, Nagpur, Maharashtra
  • Rural Medical College, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Dental College and Hospital, Sangli, Maharashtra
  • Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik, Maharashtra
  • Regional Dental College, Guwahati, Assam
  • Government College of Dentistry, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
  • Madhya Pradesh Medical Science University, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh
  • College of Dental Science and Hospital, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
  • Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan University, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
  • AIIMS, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
  • Government Dental College and Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  • Jodhpur Dental College and General Hospital, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
  • Jaipur Dental College, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  • Rajasthan Dental College and Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  • Rajasthan University of Health Sciences, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  • Jodhpur National University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
  • Government Medical College, Patiala, Punjab
  • Punjab Government Dental College and Hospital, Amritsar, Punjab
  • Government Dental College and Hospital, Patiala, Punjab


In the recent past, numerous new dental colleges have popped up across India. This has resulted in saturation of the dental job market. Due to increase in the number of dental colleges, number of dental graduates (passing from these colleges each year) has also increased! This is how the job market saturation levels have gone up. Still, skilled dentists are in huge demand these days! You may also check – B.Sc. Nursing course.



Admission process

Admission process follows the merit based system. If you want admission in a dental college operated by the Central Government, you must appear for All India level entrance test. Based on marks scored in this test and board examination, a merit list will be prepared. Admission will be given to deserving candidates on the basis of this rank/merit list. Here’s a relevant entrance test – NEET UG.


There also exists state wise dental colleges in India. Such colleges may be operated by State Government/Private trusts. To secure admission in such institutes, you must take part in the state level entrance test. Based on marks scored in this test and board examination, a merit list will be prepared. Deserving candidates will be given admission based on this merit list.


In case of some Deemed Universities and reputed institutes, private entrance tests also do exist (other than National and State level tests). If you want to get admission in one such university/institute, you must appear for (and pass) the said entrance test and interview.


When it comes to admission process, reservations do exist (caste based, NRI quota, donation based etc). Interested and eligible candidates may make use of such reservations.


BDS applicants prefer Govt dental colleges over private ones. Do you know why? It is due to the fact that Govt colleges provide subsidized education to its students! Yes, Govt dental colleges are known to charge relatively lower tuition fees. On the other hand, private dental colleges are known to charge relatively higher tuition fees. This is the main reason why BDS applicants prefer Govt colleges over self-financing institutes.



Tuition fees depends upon the following factors – type of college (Government or self-financing), scholarship status of the student, rating of the college etc. On an average, tuition fees could be anywhere between 90-200K INR per year.



To get better idea about the course structure and syllabus, let us go through the main course content. The academic program is divided into four years. We will check out important subjects present in each academic year-


1st year subjects-

  • General Human Anatomy (including Embryology and Histology)
  • Human Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Nutrition and Diabetics
  • Dental Anatomy
  • Dental Embryology
  • Oral Histology
  • Dental Materials
  • Preclinical Conservative Dentistry
  • Preclinical Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge


2nd year subjects-

  • General Pathology and Microbiology
  • General Pharmacology
  • Dental Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Dental Materials
  • Preclinical Conservative Dentistry
  • Preclinical Orthodontics
  • Oral Pathology and Microbiology
  • Preclinical Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge


3rd year subjects-

  • General Surgery
  • General Medicine
  • Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics
  • Oral Pathology and Microbiology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Medicine and Radiology
  • Paediatric and Preventive Dentistry
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics
  • Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge
  • Periodontology
  • Public Health dentistry


4th year subjects-

  • Oral Medicine and Radiology
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics
  • Periodontology
  • Public Health Dentistry
  • Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge
  • Paediatric and Preventive Dentistry
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics


It is evident from the above lists that many subjects are recurring ones. It means that they appear in more than one academic year! Apart from theoretical sessions, many of the above mentioned subjects also consists of clinical as well as practical sessions.


Evaluation of BDS students will be based on their performances in written test, practical exam, clinical exam and viva voce!


Postgraduate courses

This is the age of specialization! No matter what the field of study is, to build a rewarding career, going through advanced PG courses has become a must!


The field of dentistry is no different! Specialization is the key to success in this field too! Gone are the days when just a BDS degree would help one earn well.


Thankfully, BDS graduates do have a handful of PG courses to choose from. The traditional and the most popular choice among graduates is MDS course. MDS stands for Master of Dental Surgery. It is a 3 years long Master’s course and will help one specialize in disciplines within the field of dentistry. Some of the most popular MDS courses (and areas of specializations) are-

  • Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge
  • Periodontology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics
  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics
  • Oral Pathology and Microbiology
  • Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
  • Oral Medicine and Radiology
  • Public Health Dentistry


If one is interested in doing PG course abroad, there exists some useful M.Sc. (Master of Science) dentistry courses out there! Some of the popular M.Sc. courses are-

  • M.Sc. in Primary Dental Care
  • M.Sc. in Paediatric Dentistry
  • M.Sc. in Restorative and Artistic Dentistry


Other than the above mentioned Degree PG courses, there also exists PG Diploma as well as PG certificate courses.


Management courses are also popular among BDS graduates. Pursuing a management course will help graduates acquire key management skills and help them take on administrative roles in industries associated with dentistry. MBA is the most ideal management course out there. It is 2 years long. Choosing specialization related to healthcare sector will be very beneficial.


Career prospects and job opportunities

After completing BDS course and internship, graduates are eligible to start practice as dentists in India. But it would be better to go for PG course, specialize and then start practice.


You may also check –

Medical entrance tests

Paramedical courses

Psychology courses in India


Qualified and skilled dentists are in huge demand these days. One may find work in Government hospitals/clinics or Community health centres. Private hospitals/clinics provide more job opportunities. One may also choose to start private practice.


Those who are interested in the field of teaching may take up the job of a lecturer. Doing PG course will be beneficial, if you are looking to build a career in the teaching sector. Pursuing advanced courses will also help one.


Companies manufacturing dental implants and material are also known to recruit BDS graduates. Some well known job profiles available in front of graduates are-

  • Dentist
  • Surgeon
  • Dental health consultant
  • Lecturer (Junior Lecturer)
  • Dental Assistants
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Lab Technicians
  • Paediatric Dentist
  • Community/Public Dental Health Specialist
  • Cosmetic/Aesthetic Dentistry Specialist


Some well know places/areas, where graduates may find a job are-

  • Government hospitals/clinics
  • Private hospitals/clinics
  • NGOs
  • International Welfare Organizations
  • Indian Armed Forces
  • Research Labs
  • Dental implants/materials manufacturing companies
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1 thought on “BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)”

  1. This website helped me to be more familiar with dentistry!! May I know the scope and job opportunities of dentistry abroad?


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