About Master of Dental Surgery (MDS)

Master of Dental Surgery is a postgraduate degree in Dentistry. The duration of the Master of Dental Surgery is a three-years but there is a provision of two-years MDS course for candidates who have completed a Post Graduate Diploma course recognised by DCI.

MDS provides aspirants with training in different disciplines in dentistry. The main objective of the programme is to train students to become registered dental specialists. The MDS course prepares candidates to be both practitioners and advisory consultants in their chosen areas of specialisation.

The Master of Dental Surgery course further aims to develop research skills, advanced clinical skills and critical skills that are important for specialist registration. The MDS programme in India is supervised by the Dental Council of India (DCI). It is a regulatory body in India for dental courses and institutions. The duration of the MDS course in India is three years and its career-oriented programme.

There are various dentistry specialisations that one can pursue in MDS course. Some of the popular MDS specializations include Periodontics, Orthodontics, Oral Medicine & Radiology and others.

Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) Eligiblity Criteria

Check out the eligibility criteria for the Master of Dental Surgery below:

Minimum Qualification: Candidate must have a bachelor’s degree Bachelors in Dental Surgery (BDS) or an equivalent qualification recognized by Dental Council of India.

Foreign Nationals seeking admission in MDS course must procure a temporary registration from Dental Council of India till the time they are pursuing postgraduate training.

Age Criteria: Candidate should be at least 21 years of age to apply for the AICET entrance test for admission to MDS course offered by various Dental colleges in India.

Others: Candidates should be physically fit and should not suffer from any contagious disease when applying for MDS course.

Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) Admissions

Admission to the MDS course in dental institutes across the country is on the basis of entrance tests. Various colleges conduct different entrance examinations or follow the state or national level common entrance examination. Therefore candidates are advised to keep a track of the MDS entrance exams.

Some of the popular entrance exams for MDS course are as follows:

  • All India Post Graduate Dental Entrance Exam (AIPGDEE)
  • Kerala University MDS Entrance Exam
  • Manipal University MDS Entrance Exam

Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria can fill in the application form and appear in the entrance examination. Seat allotment is done on the basis of merit/cut off list which is released after the result is declared.

MDS Specialisations

Prosthodontics: It is that branch of dental surgery which is responsible for diagnosis, treatment planning and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance, and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth.

Orthodontics: It is one of the branches of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are not structured well. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease and can even lead to several headaches and other related problems.

Operative Dentistry: Operative dentistry is the area of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases or trauma to teeth.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is the branch that is responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of disorders affecting the facial complex and skeleton, including the jaws and oral cavity.

Conservative Dentistry: It is the branch of dentistry which is concerned with the conservation of teeth in the mouth.

Periodontics: Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants.

Oral Medicine and Radiology: It is that branch in dentistry that deals with diseases of oral and surrounding structures.

Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) Syllabus

Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) course includes various specialisations that one can choose as per their acumen and career interest. The syllabus of MDS course varies as per the specialisation. The branch-wise syllabus for MDS course in dental colleges/institutes recognised by Dental Council of India is given below:

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Orthodontics Periodontics Conservative Dentistry
Applied Basic Sciences Applied Basic Sciences Applied Basic Sciences Conservative Dentistry including preventing dentistry
Maxillofacial Surgery BioMechanics & Various Tissue Changes in Techniques and Treatments in Orthodontics Diagnosis, Treatment and Preventive in Periodontology and Implantology Dentistry Material
Minor Oral Surgery and Trauma Basic in Orthodontics, Diagnosis and Radiology Recent Advances in Periodontics Endodontics
Recent Advances in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Recent Advances in Orthodontics Recent Advances in Conservative Dentistry

Note: The syllabus for some of the branches of dentistry will be updated soon.

Career Options and Job Prospects

The demand for professionals in Dental Surgery in the country is growing day by day, as government and private healthcare units are trying their best to provide oral healthcare services to the citizens of India. Dental care is an important aspect to maintain good health. After completing a Masters in Dental Surgery can find employment in the following areas –

  • Dental Colleges and Research Institutes
  • Dental Research Labs
  • Private Hospitals
  • Dental Clinics
  • Military Services

Check out some of the important job roles that a professional with MDS degree can take up in the field of Dental Healthcare/ Surgery:

  • Dental Surgeon
  • Orthodontist
  • Periodontist
  • Dentist
  • Professor/ Researcher
  • Prosthodontist
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Private Practitioners

The average starting salary of a dental surgeon ranges between Rs. 6 lakh to Rs.10 lakh. With experience in the profession, the salary of a dental surgeon can be between Rs.15 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. Dental surgeons working with private hospitals and those who are private practitioners tend to earn way higher than those employed in government dental units or hospitals.


The Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) degree provides graduate training in different disciplines in dentistry. The aim of each discipline programme is to prepare graduate students to become registered dental specialists. The programmes foster development of critical analysis, research skills, and advanced clinical skills that will be recognised for specialist registration. The programmes prepare students to be both practitioners and advisory consultants in their chosen areas of specialisation. Within each programme, papers on research methods and practice, advanced clinical science, and advanced clinical practice are included.

Because of the different training requirements for registration in each area of specialisation, the programme entry requirements and lengths vary.

The programme of study shall consist of papers and a research dissertation as specified for one of the following endorsements:

  • Biomaterials Science
  • General Practice

Regulations for the Degree of Master of Dental Surgery (MDS)

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) on the advice of the Faculty of Dentistry.
    2. Every applicant shall have fulfilled one of the following conditions:
      1. have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Dental Surgery of a university in New Zealand;
      2. have been admitted with the status of one who is entitled to proceed to the degree.

        Admission to the Programme

    1. The programme of study shall consist of papers and a research dissertation as specified for one of the following endorsements:
      • Biomaterials Science (BISC 801, 802, 803, 830, 880)
      • General Practice (GDPR 801, 802, 803, 830, 880)
    2. The programme of study shall consist of appropriate papers, which normally will include clinical practice, together with a dissertation embodying the results of supervised research relating to the field of study.
    3. The candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the dissertation, secure the approval of the Head of the Department concerned and the Faculty for the topic chosen, the supervisor(s) and the proposed course of the investigation.
    4. All requirements for an endorsement must be passed for the degree to be awarded.

      Structure of the Programme

    1. A full-time candidate should normally satisfy the requirements of the degree within two years.
    2. A part-time candidate should normally satisfy the requirements of the degree within four years.

      Duration of the Programme

    1. Examinations for papers other than the dissertation shall be taken at times appropriate to the structure of the programme.

A candidate who fails an examination in 4(a) may, on the recommendation of the examiners, be permitted by the Faculty to be re-examined at another time.


    1. The Dean of Dentistry (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners to oversee each dissertation examination.
    2. The dissertation shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
    3. The candidate’s supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
    4. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the dissertation and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the dissertation as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options specified in clause (e) below.
    5. The examiners may recommend that a dissertation:
      1. be accepted without amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to amendments made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction, of the Convener of Examiners;
      3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
      4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
    6. Amendments (regulation 4(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 4(e)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners, in accordance with established procedures.
    7. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a dissertation for examination once only.
    8. If a revised and resubmitted dissertation is finally accepted, the result shall be either ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.

Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners shall engage in established mediation procedures, and if unresolvable, so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting an independent referee who should normally be external to the University.

Examination of the Dissertation

  1. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  2. Variations

    On the recommendation of the Faculty, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

    (i) The programme leading to the MDS degree in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery or in Oral Medicine may be taken in conjunction with the programme for the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. For further information and details of the integrated programme requirements contact the Faculty Operations Manager.
    (ii) The due date for applications for first enrolment in the programme is 31 May in the year preceding that in which the applicant wishes to commence the programme.
    (iii) Before being admitted, overseas applicants will normally be required to undertake and satisfactorily complete at the School of Dentistry such work as the Faculty may require.
    (iv) The thesis or report shall normally be submitted by 15 October of the candidate’s last year of study for the degree.
    (v) All applicants who have not gained their Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of New Zealand or the University of Otago will have to fulfil an English language requiremen


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