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The Most Frequently Asked Questions about Dentistry in Malaysia

Published by Afterschool.my on Apr 09, 2020, 05:09 pm

Have you always been fascinated with oral health and its relation to your overall health and wellbeing? Are you always scoring As in your science subjects, like biology and chemistry? If so, you are the right person to pursuing a degree in Dentistry!

But while Dentistry is a rewarding career path, many students have unrealistic perceptions of being a dentist, thinking that it’s a much easier path than being a doctor. In reality, dental school is a rigorous FIVE years of intensive education.

Before you commit yourself to a degree in Dentistry, these FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) will explain everything about studying a Dentistry course in Malaysia. This will give you a good idea of what is in store for you in order to get through dental school.

Who is a Dentist?

A dentist is a physician that tends to our mouth, teeth, gums, and other related areas. They help maintain our oral health, which is vital because our oral health is essential to the general health of our body.  So their main task is to ensure patients practice proper oral care by giving advice and administrating care to help prevent future problems.

What are all the responsibilities of a Dentist?

A dentist is responsible to carry out cleaning and check-ups. Check-ups are especially important because they can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Other tasks of a dentist include removing tooth decay, fill cavities, examine x rays, straighten teeth, and repair fractured teeth. 

Oh, dentists also perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones to treat gum diseases.

What skills do you need to become a Dentist?

Basically, you need the following skills:

  • Detail-oriented: Attention to detail is an important dentist skill to have. Routinely, you’ll be looking at patient’s teeth which requires that you look at the small details of the teeth and gums. If you’re unable to focus on small details, you could miss something during treatments which is a big yikes!
  • Communication: Dentists work with patients on a daily basis, making communication skills crucial. Learning about a patient’s history, discussing proper oral care routines and explaining treatments are all a part of being a dentist, but it must be done in a way that is welcoming and comforting to the patient.
  • Hands-on: Being able to work well with your hands is an essential dentist skill. Every day you’ll be working with your hands and moving a lot, it is important that this is comfortable and natural to you.

 What is the average salary in Malaysia for dentist?

Dentist salaries in Malaysia range from RM8,920 (minimum salary) to RM28,400  (maximum salary) per mont! 

That means, annually, a dentist in Malaysia can make around RM300,000!

The pros and cons of being a Dentist

Pros #1: A good salary

As mentioned, being a dentist means making a more than decent income. But don’t be fooled… it does come with a price.  It is an extremely challenging job with a lot of responsibility.  So, are you willing to work your booty off to earn that income?  If not, this is the wrong career.

Cons #1: A monotonous routine

As a dental hygienist, you will be mostly performing the same tasks every day. Which, yeah okay, it's bound to be a little boring.

Pros #2: High demand

Dentists are paid well because they’re in high demand, and they’re in high demand because dental services are needed as the population increases! Plus, as people live longer the demand for dentists will only increase in the future resulting in more jobs available and a very stable profession.

Cons #2: Costly education

However, the pathway to become a dentist can be pretty costly. In Malaysia, for instance, the average course of a bachelor’s degree in dentistry is RM200,000.

Pros #3: Working with people

Like most healthcare-related careers, you will need to work very closely with people as a dentist. These people include not only the patients but your teammates as well. If you like to work with people, you’ll certainly get a lot of people time. It is a very caring profession, and the relationships are the best part of it.  Unlike some other businesses, it ISN’T all about the money.

Cons #3: Dealing with people

People, of course, can be difficult. Either challenging patients or colleagues you simply don’t get along with, being a dentist means putting on a big smile and deal with them anyway.

Is dentistry course difficult?

Well, the average study duration for a dentistry course is FIVE years so yes, it will be difficult. Like medical and healthcare courses, you will need to have in-depth knowledge of the human health and medicine. Essentially, you are learning medicine and dental surgery at the same time.

Is becoming a dentist harder than becoming a doctor?

Both are difficult career pathway to embark on. However, while both are competitive, dentistry is a slightly less difficult choice because you’re only learning a specific area of study instead of the whole human anatomy.

What is the starting salary of dentist?

An early career dentist with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of RM18,000!

Are dentists rich?

Certainly. Dentists, in general, are paid extremely well for their work.

Which country pays dentists the most?

  • Norway, Average Annual Salary: $180,000
  • Spain, Average Annual Salary: $176,000
  • Switzerland, Average Annual Salary: $96,800
  • USA, Average Annual Salary: $74,000
  • New Zealand, Average Annual Salary: $73,700
  • Australia, Average Annual Salary: $73,600
  • Japan, Average Annual Salary: $71,500

How much is it to study dentistry? 

In Malaysia, the average cost of a dentistry course is RM200,000.

What Career Options Do You Have with a Dentistry Degree?

Employment opportunities for graduates in Dentistry include:

  • Government Hospitals
  • Private Oral Health Clinics
  • Government Health Services or Community Health Centres
  • Dental Colleges and Universities


Pathways, entry requirements and study duration

What are the pathways and qualifications to be a dentist?


For post SPM or O-Level students, you can either opt for a pre-university programme (A-Level, STPM etc) for a year, or pursue a Foundation programme. You can also pursue a Diploma first before continuing with a bachelor’s degree in Dentistry at your chosen institution.

After that, you can choose to specialise in fields such as orthodontics, paediatric dentistry and periodontology. The process of specialisation is usually an additional 3 years.

What is the basic entry requirements to enter a dentistry programme?

Level of StudyMinimum Requirements
SPM or O-LevelMinimum 5 credits Mathematics and 2 Science subjects and two other subjects or equivalent
STPM or A-LevelMinimum of BBB / ABC / AAC in:Biology + Chemistry + Physics or Mathematics
Matrikulasi or Foundation in ScienceMinimum CGPA 3.0 (out of 4.0) in:Biology + Chemistry + Physics or Mathematics

You can also check with our counsellors right HERE whether you’re qualified or not!

What SPM subjects are needed for dentist? 

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biology

How many years do you have to study to be a dentist in Malaysia?

Typically, it takes between 4 to 5 years

Which country is best for dentistry?

  • Spain
  • USA
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Sweden
  • Ireland

Where can you study dentist in Malaysia?

There are private and public universities you can learn dentistry in Malaysia, including:

  • Penang International Dental College (PIDC)
  • AIMST University
  • University of Malaya (UM)
  • Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare College
  • MAHSA University
  • International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)

How to choose the right institution to study dentistry?

In order to find the right institution to study dentistry, you need to find an institution that is a specialist and fully committed to produce the best dentists in the country.

At Penang International Dental College (PIDC), they are committed to continuous quality improvement of its core business process of teaching and learning for oral health care professionals. Their curriculum is delivered by well-qualified staffs and PIDC offers affordable fees for their courses!

Don’t miss this chance by applying to Penang International Dental College (PIDC). You can check their course details and entry requirements right HERE.

What else are you waiting for? Apply to PIDC with this link HERE or talk to our counselors HERE for FREE advice!

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