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By Dr Diana Omar

The hidden costs of being a dentist

3 min
Dr Diana Omar

Newly qualified dentist, Dr Diana Omar, talks us through the hidden costs associated with completing dental training.

Having recently completed my foundation training, I can tell you that being a dentist isn’t always cheap. There are often hidden costs that you’re not told about during dental school, some of which I’ll be talking you through in this article.

General Dental Council (GDC) fees

The first cost I incurred as a dentist was the GDC fees. These are paid termly and amount to £680 per year. They start as soon as you begin your foundation year.

Examination fees

As a dentist, you can choose to sit the MDFS exam, which consists of two parts. Part one costs £535 and part two costs £672.

You also have to pay to keep your name on the list. This means that you’re able to add the letters MDFS to the end of your name, which is often required for specialty training.

Equipment costs


As a dentist, I think owning a pair of loupes is really beneficial. I bought mine during the final year of foundation training. They can vary in price depending on the magnification you choose and which company you buy from, but they usually range from £500 to £5000+.

I decided to invest in some Orascoptic loupes with multi-zoom capability, which means I have a magnification of X3, X4 and X5 – although I use my X3 most often (usually for root canals).

I would recommend buying a single magnification and, looking back, I think I would have chosen X3.5 and nothing lower than X3.

DLSR camera

Another item you may consider investing in is a DSLR camera. As a foundation dentist your educational supervisor is obliged to provide you with one, but it may not always be available as other associates will be using it. The cost of a camera can vary depending on the brand and quality you want to go for.

Dental tools

Other equipment I purchased included some composite brushes (around £20, depending on the brand) and a photo kit made up of intra-oral mirrors, dental photographer contractors and lip and cheek retractors. In total, this came to around £40.

Insurance costs

In addition, you can also take out dental indemnity insurance. During foundation year training the cost of this insurance is fairly low (around £10). When you reach the position of full-time associate the cost is more likely to be around £120, depending on who you indemnify with.

If you decide to go into DCT, it will cost you £20 per year.

Other additional costs

As a dentist, you may also incur uniform costs (such as scrubs or crocs) – although some practices will provide you with this.

Some dentists also choose to invest in a note-taking app with templates to help with writing notes and speeding up administrative processes.

Final thoughts

This may sound like a lot of money to spend, but often payments are taken in instalments which helps with managing finances.

Simply put, being a dentist is not cheap! However, think of these purchases as a future investment. Most of these costs (loupes, composite brushes and a DSLR camera) will help you to become a better dentist.

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