Million Dollar Smiles


Dentistry has imbibed a wider career scope. Jasmine Chabria tells you more about career options in dentistry

In India, training in dentistry is through a five-year BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) course, which includes four years of study and one year in a compulsory internship. Postgraduate training is for three years in the concerned speciality.

Specialising in Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentistry

This involves the addition of dental materials to teeth or gums, gum grafts or removal of tooth structures; bleaching; straightening of teeth and other techniques to enhance one aesthetically. Dr Rashika Vijan, a Cosmetic and Aesthetic dentist, says once a person is successfully out of dental school, it is necessary to work with a good dentist to gain an inevitable tool – experience. The dental materials used in dental school differ from the materials used in real
practice. Dr Rashika too worked for a year under a dentist, and then with another reputed dentist for a year and a half.


While an intern, one manages to cover only travelling expenses. After gaining
experience one can draw `50,000-`2 lakhs monthly. Depending on the clientele one is looking at and experience gained, figures vary. Ayesha Takia, Vivek Oberoi, Kunal Kohli and Hemant Trivedi are some of Dr Rashika’s clients.

Scope and Prospects

Aesthetic dentistry in India is lucrative. A massive NRI clientele prefers getting treated in India. Nowadays all age groups want perfect white teeth. Dr Rashika has several grandchild-grandmum jodis undergoing dental treatments.

Life as an ‘Aesthetic Dentist’

Dr Rashika says it is a balanced life. Speaking of a typical day at work, her schedule from Mondays to Fridays is hectic and jam-packed with appointments. She is occupied by the two loves of her life – her two-year-old son and her clinic
practice. On weekends, she manages to incorporate ‘me & family time’.

Treating Patients Hear from the Connoisseur’s Mouth

Dr Rashika says never to waste the patients’ time. The patients are Gods for any dentist. It is extremely significant to understand a patient, talk to them and convey to them the situation and procedures to be undertaken. Also, if you
aren’t experienced in a particular technique, you should refer them to the right dentist.

Imbibe Those Precious Gems in the Teeth

With the rise in tooth jewels and piercings, Dr Rashika too got such a request to embed diamonds in the posterior tooth of a jeweller. She feels the trend of teeth tattoos hasn’t picked up much in India yet. In India,  people prefer to have the ‘white smile’.

Dealing with Funny Requests

Once a child who didn’t need braces, adamantly insisted Dr Rashika to install braces on his teeth just because ‘all his friends had braces’. Dr Rashika managed to convince him by telling him that he didn’t need braces for the moment, but he could come for regular visits every 6 months.

Specialising in Orthodontics

“Invisible braces for the perfect smile” Orthodontics is a super specialised subject of dentistry which includes correction of facial aesthetics, straightening crooked, protruding teeth with the help of braces, and cosmetic facial surgery. It also aids one to grow in a normal manner. Dr Pravin Shetty, M.D.S  (orthodontics) says there are types involved – fixed (straight wire technique), lingual/invisible braces and invisible aligners technique.

Course Structure

Orthodontics is a full-time course. It involves three years in a postgraduate
institute recognised by the Dental Council of India. The course imbibes theory and patient management, along with treatment of different cases.


Dr Pravin Shetty says that the initial salary ranges between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 1,25,000 per month. In private practice, there is no limit.

Scope and Prospects

Dr Pravin Shetty says that it is a highly skilled job. Not all orthodontists are good orthodontists. The scope is better abroad, but then one needs to graduate from their universities. Upgrading one’s skills is essential. After his M.D.S, he also pursued Cert. Lingual Orthodontist (Germany, Korea) and Cert. Clear-Aligner
Orthodontist (France).

Life as an ‘Orthodontist’

Dr Pravin Shetty says life as an orthodontist is good, not monotonous. Technology in this field has evolved rapidly, and several new procedures for the betterment of all can be implemented.

Dealing with Strange Requests

Once Dr Pravin Shetty got a request from a model to make her teeth ‘irregular’ so that her teeth look natural.

Expert Skill to Deal with Complexities

As an orthodontist, you will receive several complex cases. Among several
complex cases Dr Shetty has dealt with, one of them had irregular teeth with a facial deformity, which was corrected with braces and a surgery of the nose and chin.

Periodontics and Paedodontics

Periodontics involves gum care and treating diseases afflicting them.  Paedodontics deals with the care and treatment of teeth of children from birth to adolescence. Maintenance of primary teeth that aid in chewing and nutrition and speech development, and permanent teeth are addressed.


In Indian states, 15% of seats in state-run dental colleges are filled with a national examination. Selection to postgraduate courses is through national/state entrance examinations.

Course Canvas

  • Dental Institute at King’s College, London
  • NYU College of Dentistry, New York
  •  State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Inderprastha Dental College, Delhi
  • A.J. Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore
  • D.A. Pandu Memorial R.V. Dental College, Bangalore
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth Dental College, Maharashtra


Volume 2 Issue 4



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