Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in India is regulated by Dental Council of India (DCI) and is the designated degree for dental doctors. This is the only professional course for dental surgery in India.  BDS is one of the most popular undergraduate courses among the students and parents who have craving passion for medical education and is mostly the second most preferred choice after MBBS.

Similar to MBBS, students are exposed to theoretical and practical knowledge for clinical procedures in this course but limited to dental problems, surgery, and denture. As the demand for MBBS Admission seats increases year on year, simultaneously the demand for BDS seats are also increasing.

The course duration of the BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) undergraduate program is 5 years which includes 4 years of theory and 1 year of practical internship. The 1-year internship is mandatory for all students to complete the course. This internship is carried out on a rotational basis wherein every student works in different departments for 2-3 months.

BDS is a mandatory degree for any professional who wants to practice as a dentist in the government or private sector. After the successful completion of the course students receive their ‘Bachelor of Dental Surgery’ degree.

Eligibility criteria for BDS admission

  • Must pass 12th or equivalent qualification with science subjects – Physics, Chemistry and Biology with English.
  • Must have an aggregate score of 50% in the 12th qualification exam.
  • Age to be between 17-25 years at the time of admission process.
  • Should have cleared NEET 2020 with the qualifying score.

National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Exam

Every candidate has to clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) conducted by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and Government Authorities of India to get BDS admission.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) is the conducting body of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The mode of examination is offline with language options of English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya, Kannada and Urdu. The duration of examination is 3 hours for a total mark of 720 and the total number of questions in NEET is 180. The exam does have negative marking and the subjects that candidates are tested on are Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

Every year lakhs of students apply for NEET and compete for the limited number of seats available. For BDS there are around 292 colleges in India with around 27,000 seats on the whole. This makes NEET one of the most difficult and competitive entrance exams in India. The admission processes for all medical courses including BDS direct admission commence once the NEET results are declared.

Application Procedure

To enroll for the NEET 2020 entrance exam, online application form had to be submitted through online with complete student details before the last date of registration. During the time of submission, non-refundable application fee has to be paid to complete the application submission process. The fee amount varies with the candidates’ category which as mentioned in the table below.

NEET 2020 application fee:

CategoryApplication fee (In Rs)
General EWS/ OBC1400
SC/ ST/ PWD800
neet fee

NEET 2020 Result

The NEET 2020 result is expected to be announced soon. The results will be declared online. The candidates can check the results by logging in to their official registered accounts. After the declaration of result, the qualified candidates’ list and the merit list will be released. Based on the merit list, the candidates will be participating in the counseling process and BDS management quota seats will be filled through direct admissions.

Whether a candidate has been qualified in the examination or not is determined by the cut-off for the respective category. The candidate has to clear the cut-off for his/her particular category.

Previous years’ NEET cut off for MBBS

CategoryMinimum Qualifying PercentileCut off marks for 2019Cutoff marks for 2018
UR – PWD45120107
SC/ ST/ OBC/ PWD4010796

*UR- Unreserved category, PWD- Persons with disability, SC- Scheduled Caste, ST- Scheduled Tribe, OBC-Other Backward Classes

BDS fee structure

Compared to MBBS, BDS is quite affordable. The average tuition fee for BDS ranges from INR 50,000 to INR 35 Lakhs based on the institution. BDS course fees in government colleges range from INR 50,000 to INR 5 Lakhs, but the tuition fee of private colleges can range up to 35 Lakhs.

However, all candidates need to have cleared the entrance exam to gain admission into Bachelor of Dental Surgery with all reputed universities.

BDS Syllabus

  • Dental Histology
  • Oral Pathology
  • Oral Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Public Health Dentistry
  • practice dentistry

Other course subjects in BDS are,

General PathologyDental Anatomy
General and Dental PharmacologyDental Materials
Dental TherapeuticsPreclinical Prosthodontics
Preclinical Conservative DentistryCrown and Bridge
Oral MicrobiologyGeneral Medicine
General Human AnatomyGeneral Surgery
Embryology Conservative Dentistry And Endodontics
PeriodontologyOral And Maxillofacial Surgery
General Human PhysiologyOral Medicine And Radiology
BiochemistryOrthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics
NutritionPediatric & Preventive Dentistry
DieteticsOrthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics

In India, there are a number of dental colleges imparting quality education. As per latest reports there are around 292 colleges in India that offer BDS course. Listed below are the top ranked BDS colleges in India as per various reports.

Top BDS Colleges

1Maulana Azad Institute of Dental SciencesNew Delhi
2Faculty of Dental Sciences King George’s Medical UniversityLucknow
3Faculty of Dental Sciences IMS BHUVaranasi
4Manipal College of Dental ScienceManipal
5Nair Hospital Dental CollegeMumbai
6Government Dental College and HospitalMumbai
7Christian Dental College and HospitalLudhiana
8Manipal College of Dental ScienceMangalore
9Government Dental College & HospitalNagpur
10Dr. R. Ahmed Dental College and HospitalKolkata
11Faculty of Dental Sciences Ramaiah University of Applied SciencesBengaluru

Scope after BDS

1.Higher studies:

After completion of undergraduate degree most students prefer to study post graduate courses for better career opportunities and growth.

Advance Courses after BDSSpecialized Masters
M.Sc. in Primary Dental CareMDS (Community Dentistry)
M.Sc. in Paediatric DentistryMDS (Conservative Dentistry)
M.Sc. in Restorative and Artistic DentistryMDS (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery)
MSD (Master of Dental Surgery)MDS (Oral Medicine & Radiology)
 MDS (Oral Medicine)
Post Graduate Diploma Courses SpecializationsMDS (Oral Pathology)
ProsthodonticsMDS (Oral Surgery)
OrthodonticsMDS (Orthodontics)
PeriodonticsMDS (Paedodontics)
Oral SurgeryMDS (Periodontics)
Oral MedicineMDS (Prosthodontics & Crown & Bridge)
Conservative DentistryMDS (Prosthodontics)
Dental Materials 

Certificate Courses after BDS

Post-Graduate Certificate in Oral Implantlogy (PGCOI) – IGNOU

2.Employment opportunities

BDS is a professional job oriented degree with numerous opportunities from local hospitals to high end corporate companies that manufacture medical devices.

After course completion, students prefer to explore the diverse employment options available for them such as general dentist in a clinic or hospital or to a high-end government job. Some of the prospective employment areas for students after graduating from BDS degree are listed below,

  • Dental Clinics
  • Government hospitals
  • Dental Institutions
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Dental Products Manufactures
  • Private Practice

Some of the government dental jobs opportunities include,

  • Army Dental Corps 
  • Territorial Officer in Indian Army 
  • Railways 
  • Indian Navy or Indian Air force as a Dental Officer 
  • State Government Jobs as Dental Surgeon etc 

The Job Profiles for the BDS graduates include,

  • Dentist
  • Dental Surgeon
  • Endodontic
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Pedodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics