Becoming a dentist can be a rewarding career. A dentist will help a person feel better about their smile and fix painful oral issues. There is a lot of educational requirements to become a dentist but many say it is well worth it.
Before enrolling in college a student should take some classes in biology and chemistry to see if they like this subject matter and if the dental field is right for them. A student will then move on to a 4 years bachelor’s degree program. They should major in a career such as biology or chemistry. Once this degree is completed a student will need to take the Dental Admissions Test to see if they qualify to move on to dental school.
If the student passes this exam they will then go on to take coursework to study for their Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or their Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. The school that they attend must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
After a student takes the DAT exam they way need to interview with the prospective dental school. They need to explain why they want to be a dentist and will go over all of the coursework and practical experience that is needed. When a student is in the dentistry program they will take coursework that is heavy in anatomy and periodontics. They will also need to complete many clinical experiences working under the direction of a licensed dentist.
A student has to complete their clinical experience as part of the dental school requirements. If the student wishes to further their studies with a specialization they will need to complete a postdoctoral program that is accredited by the CODA.
There is a general timeline in which students can complete their dental training. After college, a student takes two to four years to get a Master’s degree in their postdoctoral certificate in the field of dentistry. Students that are looking to perform oral surgery will be looking to earn a joint Medical Degree that they can work on during a four to six-year period.
Once a student has completed their training they will need to take the National Board Dental Examinations and earn a passing score on the state level. There is also a clinical part of this exam in which the student must pass. If a student is looking for a specialization they will also need to take the state test to become licensed in this area.
This training is necessary since the dentist will be educating their patients on proper oral care. They need to repair teeth that are damaged, fill cavities, and can even prescribe medication for oral issues. The average salary for a dentist is $175,000 a year so many students feel that their training pays off in the end. They are also able to help people that are in pain and restore their self-confidence by working on the mouth and the teeth.