Bachelor of Dental Surgery [BDS] - Course Overview




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    BDS Full Form, Course, Admission, Colleges, Jobs, Salary 2020-2021

    BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) is the only approved and recognized professional dental course in India. It is an undergraduate degree of 5 years which trains students to enter the noble profession of dental science and surgery.

    It is considered one of the most popular and pursued courses after MBBS in India. The minimum percentage required is 50% in Class XII with NEET qualification is necessary for BDS admission.

    National Testing Agency (NTA) has decided to postpone the NEET exam amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Check NEET Exam Dates to know more.

    Currently, there are more than 300 dental colleges in India with around 26,000 seats, in both government and private universities. The average annual fees to pursue BDS is around INR 1 Lakh to 8 Lakhs

    Following are considered the top BDS colleges in India according to India Today ranking:

    India Today RankingName of the CollegeLocationAdmission ProcessAverage Total FeesAverage Salary
    1Maulana Azad Institute of Dental SciencesNew DelhiNEETINR 1 LakhINR 6-7 LPA
    2Faculty of Dental Sciences King George's Medical UniversityLucknowNEETINR 1.6- 1.7 LakhsINR 8-9 LPA
    4Faculty of Dental Sciences IMS BHU VaranasiVaranasiNEETUnder 1 LakhINR 5-6 LPA
    5Manipal College of Dental ScienceManipalNEETINR 26-28 LakhsINR 4-8 LPA
    6Nair Hospital Dental CollegeMumbaiNEETINR 3.5 LakhsINR 3-6 LPA

    BDS course fees in private colleges can be upto INR 30-35 Lakhs, and BDS course fees in government colleges is around INR 1-5 Lakhs.

    During the internship period, the average monthly stipend can be from INR 15,000-INR 40,000 depending upon the college. After getting good experience, the average BDS salary is around INR 4-10 LPA as a dentist in government and private hospitals, or by opening their own clinic. 

    Dental Council of India regulates BDS course, therefore it is important to register yourself to be able to practice after completion of your study.

    There are several specializations that students can choose after completing BDS course, like Community Dentistry, Oral Medicine and Radiology, Oral Pathology, Orthodontics, Periodontics, etc while pursuing MDS course, afterward BDS course completion. 

    BDS Admission Process

    BDS Admission Process

    BDS Admission takes place through NEET exam. It has been made compulsory from 2016 onwards for successful admission into MBBS, BDS and other medical courses. 

    BDS Course Eligibility:

    Students should have secured at least 50% in their Class XII with Physics, Chemistry and Biology as compulsory subjects. 

    BDS Entrance exams

    There are not many BDS entrance exams, as admission is usually done on the basis of NEET result. Apart from this, Rama University takes admission in BDS course through the RUET exam. 

    • NEET 2020- National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is a national level exam for admission in undergraduate medical courses like MBBS, BDS, BHMS and BAMS. BDS admission is done through NEET only, even in recognized/approved private dental colleges. Therefore, it is very important to give the NEET exam for BDS admission.

    NEET seats

    How to prepare for better NEET result?

    NEET qualification is important for BDS admission into approved and recognized dental colleges in India. Every year more than 10 lakhs students appear for NEET. Therefore, it can be said that it is one of the most competitive exams in India, and hence, it requires ample preparation of that level.

    Following tips should be followed for better result in NEET 2020 :

    • Study Plan: By making a study plan, you can learn in a much efficient way by knowing what all topics to cover, what you have done and what all is left. All the syllabus can be easily covered by making a study plan and following it.
    • Time Table: You should make a timetable and strictly follow it. It has been proven that preparing for any entrance exams while following a timetable helps to complete the full syllabus on time with less to no stress.
    • Best preparatory books and materials: Since NEET is a national level exam, and the competition is high. Therefore it is important that you have the best study material with you, apart from NCERT books.
    • Make charts, tables, figures: After studying any topic, you should write down that information in the form of points, figures, flow charts, diagrams, etc. so that later on you can revise easily from those notes.
    • Cover the difficult topics first: It is a possibility that you may be good in some subjects and average in others. Most of the biology students are weak in Physics. If this is the case with you, then you should give extra time and effort to Physics or any other subject/topic in which you are weak or average. More focus should be given to Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Botany and Inorganic Chemistry as the majority of questions comes from these areas, as compared to other topics.
    • Sample Papers and Mock Tests: You should have practiced from the last 10-12 years sample papers and mock tests available. By this, you can have a fair idea of what to expect in the exam. There are so many books available in the market which have the last 25 years of medical entrance question papers. 
    • Health and Sleep: Yes, you should work hard to prepare for NEET, but don’t compromise on your health. Eat and sleep properly, so that you can function properly the next day. Give time to sports or reading, if you like. Don’t overstress yourself. Study, but prioritize your mental and physical health as well. 

    How to get admission in BDS?

    • Class XII scores should be above 85% since these scores are also considered at the time of admission in a dental college.
    • Advanced subject knowledge should be there, especially in science domain so that you can easily score well in the NEET exam.
    • You should clear thecut-off set by various top colleges so that you can go forward with your admission process in your selected college through counseling.
    • In NEET counselling session, a total of three rounds will be there so you should be prepared for these rounds.

    Quick Links:

    NEET Preparation TipsNEET Admit CardNEET Practice PapersNEET CounsellingNEET Cut Off
    BDS: What is it About?

    BDS: What is it About?

    • BDS is an undergraduate dental course, compulsory for students who want to become a professional dentist in any government hospital, college or private sector.
    • It is one of the most popular pursued course after MBBS, by Biology students.
    • 1 year of paid internship which is compulsory and a part of the curriculum, is done on a rotational basis, which means the students will be required to take 2-3 rotations in different departments.
    • Students study subjects like Dental Histology, Oral Pathology, Oral Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Public Health Dentistry, etc. and gain skills and training to practice dentistry.
    • After BDS course, students mostly follow the traditional option of becoming a general dentist in a hospital or a clinic or study MDS (Master of Dental Surgery) for better career opportunities. 
    • Other than this, there are diverse employment and higher education options after doing BDS which is discussed in the career section.

    BDS Course Highlights

    Full FormBachelor of Dental Surgery
    Course LevelUndergraduate
    Duration5 years (4 years with 1 year of paid internship/training)
    EligibilityClass XII with minimum 50% with Physics, Chemistry, Biology
    Admission ProcessThrough NEET
    Course FeeINR 1 to 6 Lakhs Per Annum
    Average Starting SalaryINR 3-4 LPA
    Recruiting SectorsHospitals, Dental Clinics, Dental Research Institutes, etc.
    Common Job PositionsDentist, Lecturer, Tutor, Dental Research Scientist, etc.
    Why pursue BDS course?

    Why pursue BDS?

    • In the past few decades, there has been a solid increase in the number of dental patients in India; thanks to the awareness about the need for oral hygiene. Since BDS is the only professional dental surgery course, therefore, you can practice dentistry in India only after completing your BDS degree.
    • Currently, there are over 2.7 lakhs dentists registered with the Dental Council of India (DCI), and the current population is around 133 crores, which means that there is one dentist for 5000 people. Over the years, the government is planning to increase the employment opportunities in government and private sectors for better job opportunities for dentists. Therefore, in coming future, you can expect increased job posts across India.
    • During internship, BDS students earn between INR 15,000 to INR 35,000, which increases after permanent employment and with experience.
    • There are chances of going to developed countries like US and Canada after clearing exams like NBDE, NDEB, etc. and practice there to earn 3-4 times more than in India. Many job agents hire Indian dentists for gulf countries like Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, etc. and they can earn around INR 80,000 to 1.5 Lakhs monthly there. 
    • BDS course is perfect for students who are genuinely interested to pursue dentistry as their career option. If the subjects like Oral Surgery, Dental Histology, Oral Pathology interests you, then BDS is a perfect course for you. 

    See More:  Best BDS Colleges in India

    Course Comparison

    BDS vs MBBS
    • BDS vs MBBS: MBBS is a professional doctorate degree in modern medicine and surgery, and BDS course is to make a career in dentistry and dental science. Following table shows major differences between MBBS and BDS.
    QualificationBachelor of Dental SurgeryBachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
    Duration5 years5.5 years
    DisciplineDental ScienceModern Medicine and Surgery
    Annual Course FeesINR 1-5 LakhsINR 1-8 Lakhs
    Higher education optionsMDS specializations in Community Dentistry, Oral Medicine and Radiology, Oral Pathology, Orthodontics, Periodontics, etc. MBA in Public Health, Hospital Management, Healthcare Management, etc. MD specializations in Anesthesia, General Medicine, Family Medicine, Dermatology, Nuclear Medicine, Geriatrics, etc. Master specializations in ENT, General Surgery, Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology, etc. Diploma in Health Education, Clinical Pathology, ENT, etc.
    Career OptionsDentist in government hospitals, private hospitals, railways, etc., Dental Officer, Territorial Army Officer, etc. Physician, Surgeon, Dietician, etc.
    Average SalaryINR 4-8 LPAINR 4-12 LPA
    BDS vs BAMS
    • BDS vs BAMS: BDS is Bachelor of Dental Surgery and BAMS is Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery. Both these degrees result in different career options. Following are major differences between them:
    QualificationBachelor of Dental SurgeryBachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery
    Duration5 years5.5 years
    DisciplineDental ScienceAyurvedic Medicine 
    Average FeesINR 1-6 LakhsINR 25,000- 3.5 Lakhs
    Career OptionsDentist, Lecturer, Dental Research, etc.Ayurvedic Doctor, Ayurveda Research, etc.
    Higher EducationMDS, MBA in Healthcare Management, Master in Public Health, Master in Health Administration etc. Master in Ayurveda, Master in Health Administration, etc.
    BDS Colleges

    BDS Colleges

    More than 800 medical colleges are there in India, out of which  around 300 dental colleges are there providing BDS course, but the following are considered the top BDS colleges according to Indiatoday:

    RankingName of CollegeLocationAverage Total FeesAverage Salary
    1Maulana Azad Institute of Dental SciencesNew DelhiINR 1 LakhINR 6-7 LPA
    2Faculty of Dental Sciences King George's Medical UniversityLucknowINR 1.6- 1.7 LakhsINR 8-9 LPA
    4Faculty of Dental Sciences IMS BHU VaranasiVaranasiUnder INR 1 LakhINR 5-6 LPA
    5Manipal College of Dental ScienceManipalINR 26-28 LakhsINR 4-8 LPA
    6Nair Hospital Dental CollegeMumbaiINR 3.5 LakhsINR 3-6 LPA
    7Government Dental College and HospitalMumbaiINR 2.2-2.5 LakhsINR 3-8 LPA
    8Christian Dental College and HospitalLudhianaINR 8-9 LakhsINR 2-6 LPA
    9Manipal College of Dental ScienceMangaluruINR 26-28LakhsINR 4-8 LPA
    10Government Dental College & HospitalNagpurINR 2.2-2.5 LakhsINR 3-8 LPA
    11Dr. R. Ahmed Dental College and HospitalKolkataUnder 1 LakhINR 3-6 LPA
    12Faculty of Dental Sciences Ramaiah University of Applied SciencesBengaluruINR 25 LakhsINR 2-6 LPA

    Dental Colleges

    BDS course fees in private colleges can be upto INR 30-35 Lakhs, and BDS course fees in government colleges is around INR 1-5 Lakhs. It is a lot lesser in government colleges. Therefore, students prepare well for NEET exam and try to get into good government college because of the less fees, and more credibility. 

    BDS College Comparison

    ParametersMaulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, New DelhiManipal Institute of Dental Sciences, ManipalSharda University
    OverviewThis is one of the oldest and reputed medical and dental institutions situated in New Delhi, India. It is also known as MCODS, and offers courses like BDS and MDS. Sharda University is a private university established in 2009 in Greater Noida. It has a separate School of Dental Science which offers BDS and MDS courses, apart from Diploma courses in dentistry.
    Average FeesINR 1 LakhINR 26-28 LakhsINR 18.25 Lakhs
    Average Salary INR 6-7 LPAINR 4-8 LPAINR 2-6 LPA
    PlacementOttobock, Endolite, etc.Government hospitals (internship)Max Hospital, Apollo, Jaypee Hospitals, Medanta, Columbia Asia, Fortis Health Care, Action Balaji, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital
    BDS Syllabus & Course Curriculum

    BDS Syllabus

    Year 1Year 2
    Anatomy Pathology 
    Physiology Microbiology 
    Biochemistry Pharmacology 
    Dental Histology Dental Materials 
    Dental Materials Preclin Prosthodontics 
    Preclin Prosthodontics Preclin Conservative 
    Law for Dental ProfessionOral Pathology 
    Year 3Year 4
    Gen MedicineOral Medicine 
    Gen SurgeryPedodontics 
    Oral PathologyPublic Health Dent. 
    Oral Medicine Orthodontics  
    Pedodontics Oral Surgery
    Public Health Periodontics 
    Oral SurgeryConservative Dentistry
    PeriodonticsPractice Observership 
    Conservative Dentistry
    Patient Safety Curriculum 
    Community orientation Program 
    Group Project/Research
    Year 5
    Oral Medicine, Diagnosis and Radiology 
    Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry
    Prosthodontics incl. Crown and Bridge
    Public Health Dentistry
    Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics
    Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
    Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
    Oral Pathology & Microbiology
    Accident & Emergency Medicine
    Comprehensive Oral Health Care

    Recommended BDS Course Books:

    Name of bookAuthor
    Cunningham's Manual of Practical Anatomy (Vol 3) 15Th EditionG . J . Romanes
    Essentials of Physiology for Dental Students 2nd Edition 2016Sembulingam
    Orbans Oral Histology and Embryology 14th Edition 2015G S Kumar
    Functional Histology, Ed. 2, Churchill LivingstoneWheater, Burkitt & Daniels
    Human Physiology For Bds Students, 1st EditionA.K. Jain
    Phillips Science Of Dental Materials: 10th Edn.Kenneth J. Anusavice
    BDS Jobs & Career Options

    BDS Job Prospects and Career Options

    BDS course is the only approved course in India to practice dentistry. Most of the students either find employment or pursue higher studies after their 1 year compulsory internship.

    Employment opportunities are in the following job sectors:

    • Government sector jobs are there as Army Dental Corp, as a Territorial Officer in Indian Army/Navy and AirForce, Dentist in Railways, Dental Officer in Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, and state government jobs as a Dental Surgeon. Students can find employment in these posts basis eligibility, experience, vacancy, etc.
    • Students can work in any private hospital or institution or even open their own clinic to practice the profession.
    • Dentist in Gulf countries: Many students target gulf countries to practice dentistry after BDS because there are lots of recruiters and it is easy and affordable as compared to other countries. The salary range can be around INR 80,000 to INR.1.5 lakhs monthly.
    • Dentistry Research: Some students also do research in the dental science field because of their interest and passion.
    Job ProfileDescriptionAverage Salary
    Dentist (in a hospital)Dentists in hospitals are required to check patients’ oral health and remove tooth decay, fill cavities, and repair fractured teeth.INR 3.5 LPA
    Dentist (own clinic)Job description is same as above, but with private practice after registration in Dental Council of India.INR 4.5 LPA
    ResearcherThere are many dental institutes where a BDS graduate can perform and contribute in advanced dental research.INR 3 LPA
    LecturerAlthough, MDS students are mostly preferred for this job. But students with high skills and experience can get a job as a lecturer in many government and private dental institutions.INR 5 LPA
    Dental Officer in Indian Army/ Navy/AirforceBasic eligibility for this is: A candidate must be a Registered Dental Practitioner with any State Dental Council within India to be eligible for this job.INR 9 LPA
    Territorial Army OfficerThis is also one of the government job options which students can pursue after BDS course.INR 10 LPA
    Dentist in Indian RailwaysStudents can join Indian railways as a dentist after they post a vacancy online for full time, part time and contract basis employment.INR 7.2 LPA

    Quick Link:  BDS Jobs with Salary & Career Options

    Salary Trend Graph of major job profiles after doing BDS course:

    BDS Salary

    BDS Future Scope

    BDS Future Scope

    According to WHO Health Index, only 1 dentist is required for every 7500 people. But in India, the ratio is 1:5000 which means that there are more dentists in India than the required number.

    But the problem is, most of them are situated or practice in urban areas rather than rural areas. If dentists are advised or sent to rural areas, then this problem can be resolved. There can be an equal distribution across India.

    This will also result in more job opportunities and there will be an equal distribution of employment in the government sector as well. Hopefully, there will be a better employment rate in the dentist community in the coming years.

    Because of this, the majority of students prefer going to gulf countries because of the huge requirement and the salary range is quite higher there for dentists as compared to India. So, they practice there for a few years and after saving money they come to India and open their clinic. Some also settle down there permanently.

    US and Canada provide one of the highest salaries to dentists in the world, therefore many students prepare for exams like NBDE, NDEB, etc. which is very tough and become a licensed dentist there.

    Many students go for higher education in different healthcare fields. Major courses are mentioned below.

    Courses after BDS:

    Master of Dental Surgery (MDS)Master of Public Health (MPH)MBA in Healthcare Management
    Master in Health AdministrationMBA in Hospitality Management

    Popular Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) Specializations: 

    MDS in Community DentistryMDS in Oral Medicine and RadiologyMDS in Pedodontics
    MDS in ProsthodonticsMDS in Oral PathologyMDS in Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology
    BDS: FAQs

    BDS: FAQs

    Ques. Is BDS a doctor?

    Ans. Yes, after the BDS course you are given the title of a doctor. Since this degree is in Dental Surgery, therefore you become eligible to practice as a dentist.

    Ques. Is BDS better than MBBS?

    Ans. Both these degrees are one of the most respected and sought out courses for biology students. They both are professional degrees and have their own qualifications and advantages. In India, not a lot of people pursue BDS because of interest,  but they could clear the MBBS cut-off. Although there are huge opportunities in BDS career wise and higher education wise, still people consider MBBS to be better. However, this is not true. Both are for different fields and provide different career outcomes.

    Read More:  All About MBBS

    Ques. Is BDS possible without NEET?

    Ans. BDS admission process is done through NEET only from 2016 onwards. However, there are exams like RUET for BDS admission into Rama University, Kanpur.  

    Ques. What is the eligibility for BDS?

    Ans. Minimum 50% in Class XII is required, apart from NEET qualification.

    Ques. What is the fees for BDS?

    Ans. BDS fees are different for government and private institutions. It ranges from 1 lakh to 30 lakhs depending upon the college. 

    Ques. What is the difference between BDS and DDS?

    Ans. BDS is Bachelor of Dental Surgery and DDS is Doctor of Dental Surgery. Both are equivalent. BDS is pursued in countries like India, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, etc. and DDS is pursued in countries like Canada and US. 

    Ques. What is the average salary after BDS?

    Ans. The starting salary of a dentist may be INR 15,000 to INR 35,000 per month during the time of their internship. But after getting experience and good hands on in this field, students can earn a handsome salary of around INR 4 to 8 LPA.

    Ques. Is BDS easier than MBBS?

    Ans. No, I don't think so. Both are considered one of the most respectful degrees in India, and to get admission students need to qualify NEET exam whose syllabus is the same. Few of the subjects like biochemistry and other basic science subjects are the same. But since they both belong to different disciplines, therefore, core subjects taught and the practicals are different.

    Ques. Who is the richest dentist in the world?

    Ans. Richard Malouf is considered the richest dentist in the world. He is the founder of All Smiles Dental Clinics in the USA.

    Bachelor of Dental Surgery [BDS] Fee Structure in India

    9.1 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES86.2 L (Maximum Fee)
    13.29 L (Average Fee)
    36.63 K (Minimum Fee)PRIVATE COLLEGES35.24 L (Maximum Fee)
    13.03 L (Average Fee)

    Bachelor of Dental Surgery [BDS] Fee Structure by State


    15.44 LPUBLIC COLLEGES27.7 L
    20.92 L
    14.39 L

    Tamil Nadu

    15.25 L
    14.21 L


    15.18 L
    15.57 L

    Delhi NCR

    6.12 L
    13.24 L


    1.25 LPUBLIC COLLEGES26.21 L
    10.75 L
    14.79 L


    1.42 LPUBLIC COLLEGES18.27 L
    8.62 L
    13.76 L


    4.4 L
    11.87 L


    5.19 L
    14.61 L

    Madhya Pradesh

    6.47 L
    9.83 L


    25.43 K
    14.34 L


    27.55 LPUBLIC COLLEGES28.25 L
    27.9 L
    15.63 L


    1.09 L
    8.45 L


    21.59 KPUBLIC COLLEGES21.59 K
    21.59 K
    16.94 L

    Himachal Pradesh

    1.93 L
    13.92 L

    West Bengal

    48.2 K
    2.5 L



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