They say you are never fully dressed without a smile. The importance of your smile and the story that it tells needs to be protected and well taken care of for its vibrancy to last a lifetime. In this month’s post, the respective routes will provide you with careers you can pursue in Dentistry as well as some technical pathways that can be beneficial.

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Academic Routes

Technical Route

Academic Routes

Before you start an academic course, there are a few things that you should consider:

  • Entry requirements
  • Subjects you need for the career(s) you have in mind

Be sure to speak to us at Brain Food TCI, or any other career advisor you may have access to, if you need assistance where entry requirements are concerned.

Secondary and Post-secondary towards Higher Education

Most, if not all, high schools require you to do CXCs, GCSEs, or any other equivalent to be able to excel to Higher Education (college/university). In institutions in the Caribbean, such the University of the West Indies, you are required to have 5 CXC (CSEC & CAPE) OR iGCSE & GCE subjects, including Mathematics and English.

If an institution does not have any of these examination bodies listed when searching what is required, search for equivalencies through their admissions page or contact them directly for more information. Also, some courses may require you to have certain subjects other than Mathematics and English that are compulsory entering the course. Be sure to check the entry requirements to know exactly what is required.

Higher Education

As mentioned earlier, CXCs and/or other equivalents are required to proceed to this level. In higher education, you can obtain:

  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Master’s Degree
  • Ph. D.

Depending on your journey and your career choice, you can decide how far you need to go in terms of further education. You do not need to pursue a Master’s degree or Ph. D. unless it is required based on your career choice.

Dentistry Related Courses
University of the West Indies Dentistry Related Programmes

UWI is home to two suitable course provided at two campuses in the Dentistry Career:

  • DDS. Dentistry (St. Augustine)
  • DDS. Dental Surgery (Mona)

Read on for further information.

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University of the West Indies (St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago)

The department of Medical Sciences focuses on creating a environment for a clear direction into research, education, healthcare and service towards the health and wellbeing of the nation, region and international communities.

These courses are designed to cover areas such as:

  • Communication skills for Health Personnel 
  • Clinical Dental Sciences
  • Oral Surgery Procedures
Dental Auxiliary Programme

The objective of this programme is to give the students training on the professional and academic needs of dental nurses of the Ministry of Health, especially those wishing to pursue careers such as Dental Hygienists or Dental Therapists. The programme will help you to obtain a Certificate for dental assistant training. It will also be able to provide students the training that is needed to perform in areas such as completing basic laboratory procedures, Perform chair assisting and providing post-operative instructions.

For more programme information, click here. For admission requirements, click here .

Road to DDS. Dentistry Degree

The completion of this course requires you to go through three phases

  • Phase 1: Basic Health & Dental Sciences. This phase requires the student to complete foundation courses as well as gather the basic training in both sciences before moving to the next round. Click here for the full rundown.
  • Phase 2: Clinical Dental Sciences. In this phase students are introduced to clinical dental subjects in a phased approach for building knowledge and for clinical exposure. Click here for the full rundown.
  • Phase 3: Vocational Training. This phase provides the students with hands on clinical experience, giving trainees rotations through the disciplines of comprehensive adult patient care (polyclinic), oral surgery, child dental health, emergency dental treatment and an outreach community clinic. Click here for the full rundown.

For general information on this course, and further exploration click here. For admission requirements click here.

The University of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica)
DDS. Dental Surgery

This five year course is designed to prepare you to be equipped for your future career as a dental surgeon. The course flows in two stages, stage one consisting of years one to two and stage two consisting of the remainder of your time of study.

The course consist of training and learning in areas such as:

  • Health Care Concepts
  • Dental Epidemiology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Local Anaesthesia and Pain Management
  • Paediatric Dentistry

Entry Requirements are structured in three schemes that can be obtained for your entry.

Scheme A – Passes in tow units of Biology/Zoology, Chemistry, Physics or the GCE A’ Level equivalent. CXC General / GCE O’ Level Physics is required.

Scheme B – Passes in two units of Biology/Zoology, Chemistry, Mathematics or the GCE A’ Level equivalent. CXC General / GCE O’ Level Physics are required.

Scheme C – Passes in both units of Biology/Zoology, Chemistry or their GCE A’ Level equivalent and one other two-unit CAPE or GCE A’ Level subject. Passes in CXC General/GCE O’ Level Mathematics and Physics are required.

For general information on this course, and further exploration click here. For more information on admission requirements click here.

Northern Caribbean University (Jamaica)
ASc. Dental Hygiene

The associate of science programme in Dental Hygiene acts as a foundation or pre course to the Bachelor level. What this course provides is an introduction to furthering in this field with courses designed to make your transition to an upgrade substantial and efficient. The duration of this course lasts 2 years and covers topics such as:

  • Dental Radiology
  • Dental Nutrition
  • Oral Microbiology

To enter this programme you would be required to participate in a department interview, provide evidence of 100 hrs of supervisory attendance in a dental hygiene/dental facility. Along with this you are required to have CSEC (I, II or III) Or GCE O’ Level (A, B or C) passes including Math, English, Chemistry, Biology/Human & Social Biology and one other subject for ASc matriculation.

For general information on the course, click here. For more information on admission requirements, click here.

BSc. Dental Hygiene

This four year programme is designed to educate students on assessing oral health needs and the evaluation of health status planning for dental hygiene interventions. When students complete this programme, they would take a Dental Hygeine Board Examination for qualification to practise in any english speaking caribbean island.

Career Opportunities that can be obtained with this degree are:

  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Technician
  • Dental Assistant

The entry requirements are the same as the Associates Degree for this programme including subject requirements of Math, English, Chemistry, Biology and Physics for BSc matriculation. This means that it is possible to just apply for this Bachelors degree first off. However do be sure to enquire with the University for instruction on what would be best for you.

For more information on the course, click here. For admission requirements click here.

Technical Routes

Internships , Volunteering & Work Experience
Participate in local volunteering and international Business-related programs.

It is encouraged that you take local opportunities in dentistry. Even if it’s volunteering with departments that contribute to the cause, take the small opportunities right in front of you. In the dentistry field, there are careers such as Dental Nurse, Dental Surgeon and Dental Technician just to name a few. If these types of jobs interest you, read on to find out how you can get started.

Here is potential places to seek volunteering opportunities:

The technical routes in this field are quite similar but 100% practical. With the options above, you can obtain skills and experience that can lead you to a successful progression in the field and make it easier to get your foot in the door.

From the information provided, you can start right here in your region and at home. Feel free to embark on those opportunities. Always remember to embrace all opportunities near or far.


Below is a list of YouTube videos that will bring some insight to Dentistry and its functionality.

YouTube Links

Posted by:Charmony A. Hislop

One thought on “Dentistry in the Caribbean

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