MDS - Masters of Dental Surgery

MDS Admission: Eligibility, Duration, Admission Process, Specialization, Scope in India

MDS (Master of Dental Surgery) is a postgraduate program in dentistry that provides specialized knowledge and training in various dental fields. Pursuing an MDS degree opens up numerous opportunities for dentists to enhance their skills, gain expertise, and advance their careers. This article serves as a detailed resource for individuals interested in MDS admission in India, offering valuable insights into eligibility requirements, admission processes, specialization options, and the scope of MDS in the country.

Eligibility Criteria for Masters of Dental Surgery (MDS):

To be eligible for MDS admission in India, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Science: Aspiring candidates should have completed a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Science (BDS) from a recognized dental college or university.
  • Internship Completion: It is mandatory for candidates to have completed a one-year rotating internship program after the completion of their BDS degree. The internship should be recognized by the Dental Council of India (DCI).
  • Qualifying Entrance Exam: Candidates need to appear for and qualify in national or state-level entrance exams for MDS admission. The most common entrance exams include the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Postgraduates (NEET-PG) and the All India Post Graduate Dental Entrance Examination (AIPGDEE).
  • Minimum Percentage Requirement: Candidates must have secured a minimum aggregate percentage in their BDS degree to be eligible for MDS admission. The required percentage may vary from institution to institution and can range from 50% to 55% or higher.
  • Registration with Dental Council: It is essential for candidates to have valid registration with the State Dental Council or the Dental Council of India.

Duration & Course Work of MDS Program

The duration of the MDS course in India is typically three years, during which students gain in-depth knowledge and practical experience in their chosen specialization. The course is divided into six semesters, with each semester focusing on different aspects of dental surgery and research.

The MDS curriculum includes a combination of theory classes, practical training, clinical postings, and research work. Students are required to submit a thesis on their chosen topic during the final year of the course. The course structure may vary slightly among different universities, but the core subjects remain consistent across institutions.

The coursework includes both compulsory and elective subjects, allowing students to develop expertise in their preferred area of specialization. Some of the common specializations offered in MDS programs include:

  • Prosthodontics: This specialization focuses on the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and associated oral structures.
  • Orthodontics: Orthodontics deals with the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusion and misaligned teeth.
  • Periodontics: Periodontics focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: This specialization involves surgical procedures related to the mouth, jaws, face, and neck.
  • Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics: It focuses on the preservation and restoration of natural teeth through various dental procedures.
  • Oral Medicine and Radiology: This specialization deals with the diagnosis and management of oral diseases and interpretation of oral radiographs.
  • Oral Pathology: Oral pathology involves the study of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial region.
  • Public Health Dentistry: Public health dentistry focuses on oral health promotion, preventive dental care, and community-based dental programs.

Admission Process for Masters of Dental Surgery:

The admission process for MDS programs in India generally involves the following steps:

  • Entrance Exam Registration: Candidates need to register for the relevant entrance exam conducted at the national or state level. They should carefully check the exam dates, eligibility criteria, and application deadlines.
  • Entrance Exam Preparation: Candidates must thoroughly prepare for the entrance exam by studying the prescribed syllabus, solving practice papers, and revising important topics. Joining coaching classes or online test series can also be beneficial.
  • Appearing for the Entrance Exam: On the scheduled exam date, candidates need to appear for the entrance test at the designated exam center. The exams are usually conducted in multiple-choice question (MCQ) format and assess the candidate’s knowledge, aptitude, and problem-solving skills.
  • Exam Result and Merit List: After the exams are conducted, the respective authorities release the results and prepare a merit list based on the candidates’ performance. The merit list indicates the rank and score obtained by each candidate.
  • Counselling Process: Shortlisted candidates are called for counseling sessions, where they need to select their preferred colleges and specializations based on their rank in the merit list. The counseling process may include document verification and payment of admission fees.
  • Seat Allotment: Candidates are allotted seats in MDS programs based on their rank, category, and the availability of seats in different colleges.
  • Admission Confirmation: Once the seat is allotted, candidates need to report to the respective college within the stipulated time frame to complete the admission formalities, pay the remaining fees, and submit the necessary documents.

Specialization Options in MDS:

MDS offers a wide range of specializations for students to choose from, allowing them to focus on their area of interest and develop expertise in a specific field of dentistry. Let’s explore some popular MDS specializations in detail:

1. Prosthodontics

Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and related oral structures. It involves the design, fabrication, and fitting of dental prostheses such as dentures, crowns, bridges, and implants. Prosthodontists work closely with patients to improve their oral aesthetics, functionality, and overall quality of life.

2. Orthodontics

Orthodontics focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of malocclusion, commonly known as misaligned teeth or improper bite. Orthodontic treatments aim to straighten teeth, correct jaw alignment, and improve facial aesthetics. Orthodontists use braces, aligners, retainers, and other devices to gradually move teeth into their desired positions.

3. Periodontics

Periodontics is the specialization that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontists diagnose and manage conditions such as gingivitis, periodontitis, gum recession, and periodontal infections. They also perform surgical procedures like gum grafting and dental implant placements.

4. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgery involves surgical procedures related to the mouth, jaws, face, and neck. Oral surgeons perform complex surgeries such as wisdom tooth extraction, dental implants, jaw reconstruction, facial trauma management, and treatment of oral cancers. They play a crucial role in restoring oral function and enhancing facial aesthetics.

5. Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics

Conservative dentistry focuses on the preservation and restoration of natural teeth using various dental procedures. It involves treating dental caries (cavities), repairing fractured teeth, and performing root canal treatments. Conservative dentists aim to conserve the natural tooth structure while ensuring optimal oral health.

6. Oral Medicine and Radiology

Oral medicine and radiology specialize in the diagnosis and management of oral diseases and interpretation of oral radiographs. Oral medicine experts diagnose conditions like oral cancer, oral infections, and oral manifestations of systemic diseases. They also use imaging techniques such as X-rays and CBCT scans to analyze oral and maxillofacial structures.

Scope of MDS in India:

MDS offers a wide scope of career opportunities for dental professionals in India. Here are some reasons why pursuing an MDS degree can be advantageous:

  • Specialized Expertise: MDS provides specialized knowledge and expertise in a specific dental field, making individuals highly skilled professionals in their chosen area of specialization.
  • Career Advancement: With an MDS degree, dentists can expand their career prospects and explore higher positions in academia, research, healthcare institutions, or private practice.
  • Research and Innovation: MDS programs encourage research and innovation, allowing dentists to contribute to the advancement of dental science and technology.
  • Higher Earning Potential: MDS graduates often have better earning potential compared to BDS graduates, as their specialized skills are in demand and command higher salaries.
  • Teaching and Training: MDS degree holders can pursue teaching careers in dental colleges and contribute to the education and training of future dental professionals.
  • Specialized Clinical Practice: MDS graduates have the opportunity to establish their own specialized dental clinics and cater to patients seeking advanced dental treatments.


Q: What is the duration of the MDS course in India?

The MDS course in India typically has a duration of three years, divided into six semesters.

Q: Is it mandatory to complete an internship before MDS admission?

Yes, candidates need to complete a one-year rotating internship after their BDS degree to be eligible for MDS admission.

Q: Can I pursue MDS directly after completing my BDS degree?

No, candidates must complete their one-year internship before applying for MDS admission.

Q: How can I prepare for the MDS entrance exam?

To prepare for the MDS entrance exam, you can study the prescribed syllabus, solve practice papers, join coaching classes, and revise important topics.

Q: Are there any reservation quotas for MDS admission?

Yes, various reservation quotas such as SC, ST, OBC, and PWD categories are applicable for MDS admission, as per government regulations.

Q: What is the career scope after completing an MDS degree?

After completing an MDS degree, you can explore career opportunities in academia, research, healthcare institutions, private practice, teaching, and specialized clinical practice.


Pursuing an MDS degree in India opens up a world of opportunities for dental professionals. With its specialized curriculum, focused training, and wide range of specializations, MDS equips dentists with the skills and knowledge required to excel in their chosen field. This article has provided comprehensive insights into the eligibility criteria, duration, admission process, specialization options, and scope of MDS in India. Whether you aspire to become a prosthodontist, orthodontist, periodontist, oral surgeon, or pursue any other specialization, MDS offers the perfect platform to hone your dental skills and build a successful career in dentistry.

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