What Education is Needed to Become a Dentist?

The Steps On A Career To Dentistry

Dentists are one of the most practically important doctors in America, providing routine service to millions of Americans year after year, throughout all stages of life. Beyond the basic level of dentistry, there are numerous industry specializations. Every one of these dentists needs to maintain a strong attention to detail, and to possess good communication skills to diagnose conditions afflicting the oral health of their patients. Dedicated book work and good manual skills are essential, even in basic check ups.

Before this point can be reached, though, years of rigorous study are required; First, it is necessary to obtain a four year Bachelors Degree from an accredited institution, and to attend a four year professional dental school program even after having completed that. All this is done to obtain either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a DMD (Doctor of Medical Dentistry) degree, at which point one is ready to take a licensing exam and to become a dentist.

If your aim is to get your undergraduate degree for the purpose of practicing dentistry, then you should have spent ample time observing a practicing dental professional, to see if the career really is right for you. It’s advised to spend about 100 hours on the line, seeing what real dentristry work is like. Additionally, you should have or adopt a manual hobby, something that demonstrates and develops the necessary dexterity, strength and precision you possess when working with your hands.

Prior to heading onward to the specialized dental school, there are a number of prerequisite courses to take at university across the subjects of biology, physics, chemistry, social science, and the humanities. Attending a 10 week pre-med seminar and a course in art that exercises dexterity and precision of the hands is advised, such as ceramics or crafting jewelry, but both of these are essentially optional.

The exact courses and hours required differ from dental school to dental school, but the greatest emphasis is most often placed on Biology courses such as General Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology. Recommended Chemistry courses could be Organic With Lab, Inorganic With Lab, and Biochemistry, while General Physics and Communications would be enough to round out the other required classes depending on the dental school you intend to apply to, but many recommend courses such as Business Management, Statistics, Spanish, Interpersonal Communication, and a myriad of others that are undoubtedly useful in the career of an American dentist.

Upon meeting all the necessary prequisites and obtaining a bachelors degree, the last step to enter the world of dentistry is to apply for the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) and enter into Dental School after successful completion of the test. The DAT is a standardized online exam, taken about 15 months before beginning dental school, which will assess whether you’re prepared for admission.