If you pride yourself on being a twice-a-day brusher with a lot of care and dedication toward your oral health, then have you thought about learning how to become a dentist? Here are the five major steps to getting started.
1. Bachelor’s Degree Program
The first step is to enroll in a Bachelor’s Degree program. Most dental schools require you to hold a degree before admission. You may also like to focus on physics, biology, and chemistry coursework to prepare you for dentistry school.
2. Dental Admission Test
Think you have enough scientific knowledge and academic capabilities? Then, take the dental admission test to be sure. This score, coupled with your grade point averages, interviews, and letters of recommendation all play a part in your acceptance.
3. Dental Degree
Once you are in, you can earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine degree, with or without American Dental Association accreditation. The first two years involve classwork and health and dental lab studies, while the last two years include clinical practice. There can also be sections on pharmacology, orthodontics, radiology, and more.
4. State License
Once you become a dentist, you then need a state license to practice. The requirements for this can vary, depending on where you are, but involve a written and practical exam.
Want to branch out from general dentistry? Consider a specialty. By doing so, you may need to carry out around four more years of study in the field of orthopedics, pediatric, or others.
Choosing to become a dentist is not a decision to take lightly. It includes several years of study, a strict testing process, and comes at a significant cost. However, it can also be a gratifying career with many areas to grow.