Everybody has a dream job or ideal way they want to make a living. If yours is helping people with oral hygiene, dentistry is the right field for you.
When you become a dentist, you choose an independent career. After you graduate from dental school, you can start your own practice working for yourself.
Dentistry also covers a wide range of career options. Graduates can choose clinical work, research, or academic research. All these transform people’s lives by restoring their oral health.
Do you want to live your dream of becoming a dentist? Learn how to become a dentist with this simple step-by-step guide.
1. A Bachelor’s Degree Is the First Step
Dentistry is dental medicine. Anything that has to do with the medical field requires schooling. If you’re wondering how to get into dental school, here’s how.
Your first step to becoming a dentist means getting a bachelor’s degree.
Requirements for becoming a dentist entail taking coursework in biology and physics. Chemistry is also a prerequisite. These courses prepare you for dental school as they provide relevant information for the field of dentistry.
While you’re in undergraduate studies, participate in a dental mentorship program. Mentorship programs prepare you for the dential field and offer career development benefits.
2. Apply to Dental School
After attaining your Bachelor’s, take the DAT—Dental Admission Test. You’re required to take the DAT before you can apply to dental school.
Most dental schools have a minimum score requirement for the DAT. Find out before you take the exam and apply yourself accordingly. You’ll also need a satisfactory undergraduate GPA and letters of recommendation.
Prepare to discuss these things in your entrance interviews.
3. Earn a Dental Degree
Earning a dental degree requires another four years of schooling. In dental school, you work towards a DDS or DMD degree. This is a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine.
Both degrees receive accreditation from the American Dental Association. The course load focuses on periodontics, oral pathology, orthodontics, and anesthesia and radiology.
Check with your state for approved programs for state licensure.
4. Get Licensed
You can’t practice dentistry in your state without a license. After you complete the education requirements, you must pass the National Dental Board Exam.
The examination is a two-part exam that covers clinical procedures, ethics, and dental sciences. Be prepared for an interview and background check. You may need to get CPR certification.
Your state’s licensing board may require additional testing.
5. Choose a Specialization
After obtaining a license, most new dentists work as general practitioners. They open offices and serve the public with dental products. Get them here if that’s the route you plan on.
You can, however, choose to specialize in an area. The ADA offers specializations for dentistry if you choose to go in that direction. Here are a few:
- Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
- Pediatric dentistry
Expect to take two or more years of education to become a specialist. These are minimal tips for becoming a dentist.
Follow These Tips on How to Become a Dentist
Don’t let your dream job become an afterthought. Use this simple step-by-step on how to become a dentist to start your new career.
Learn more about becoming an entrepreneur. Check out our lifestyle guides for ways to enhance your business and career.