How Much Schooling To Become A Dentist – How hard is it to be a dentist? What the Dental Career Path Looks Like, Plus Tips to Maximize Your Chances of Becoming a Dentist of Your Dream
A career in dentistry is a great option. U.S. News & World Report’s “100 Best Jobs” ranking 2021 ranked dentistry in the top 10 career choices and three dental specialties (oral and maxillofacial surgeon, orthodontist, and orthodontist) in the top 35.
How Much Schooling To Become A Dentist
In addition to the intrinsic satisfaction of helping patients improve their oral health, the average salaries of these dental professions are high, ranging from $150,000 to $210,000.
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In this guide, we’ll discuss how to become a dentist and give you tips on how to get started so you can maximize your chances of pursuing your dream career.
Becoming a dentist requires a significant investment in your education. The vast majority of dental schools require an undergraduate degree to apply, with only a few schools offering accelerated entry after two or three years of undergraduate study. Of the 68 dental schools currently accredited in the United States, all are four-year programs except the University of the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry, a three-year program in San Francisco.
Like medical school admission, dental schools do not require a specific major. However, you will need to meet dental school requirements, including certain courses (primarily in the sciences), a Dental Admission Test (DAT) score, letters of recommendation, a dental school personal statement, and relevant extracurriculars.
After graduating from dental school, a student will receive a DDS or DMD. These degrees are identical in all respects, with the same accrediting body and the same curriculum requirements.
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A quick history lesson explains the difference between the two. Baltimore Medical College was the first dental school in the United States, founded in 1840, to begin awarding the DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree. Shortly thereafter, Harvard established a dental school. Because all their degrees are in Latin, they chose DMD (
Or Doctor of Dentistry). Since then, universities choose which degree to award, with two-thirds currently offering the DDS.
Becoming a dentist is challenging in many ways, including the years of schooling required, the financial cost of education and setting up a dental practice, and the competitive dental school application process.
Because dental school acceptance rates currently hover around 55% nationally—that is, 45% of applicants each year don’t get in anywhere—to get into dental school, you’ll need to perform demonstrate strong academic standing. In recent years, the average college GPA and DAT score for dental school applicants has held steady at around 3.5 and 20, respectively, with the top schools having much higher numbers.
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It usually takes eight years to become a dentist: four years to earn a bachelor’s degree as an undergraduate and four years to earn a DDS or DMD in dental school. If you are interested in specializing, you will also need to do a dental residency (more on that below).
For high school students who give 100% to the field, there is another path to dentistry that can shorten the time required. BS/DDS programs, or “direct dental programs,” combine an undergraduate institution and a dental school, allowing students to be admitted to both directly after high school. These programs usually take seven or eight years to complete, although there are some that can be completed in six or even five years.
Dentistry is a multifaceted field. Career opportunities in dentistry include academia, private practice, public health, and more. A dentist may work in a variety of settings during their career, for example, starting in public health, moving to private practice, and ending in academia.
In addition to being a general or family dentist, dentistry also offers a number of specialties. The American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes 12 dental specialties in the field of:
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To enter a specialty, you will need to do a residency after dental school. Most residencies last between two and three years, while oral and masseter and facial surgery require four to six years. Some programs offer a stipend and students pay during the training, while other programs require students to pay tuition and it can be very expensive.
If you are a high school student interested in dentistry, there are several things you can do to set yourself up for success.
One of the best things you can do to research a career is to spend time with people who are already in that field. Often the best place to start is with your own family dentist. Talk to your friends and family to see if anyone knows a dentist and would be willing to introduce you. See if you can shadow a dentist’s office and increase your experience and understanding of the dental field.
The route to and through dental school will require courses in the sciences, from biology to chemistry to anatomy to pharmacology. Taking science classes in high school will help prepare you for college by providing a solid foundation.
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Additionally, high school science classes can help you decide if you like some of the material that will be covered in dental school. Don’t worry if biology isn’t your favorite subject – many dentists and dental students have gone on to major in the humanities, business or other fields. For some people, studying science is a way to become a dentist. Either way, make sure you understand the dental school prerequisites that await you.
If you decide to pursue a career in clinical dentistry, you will interact with and provide health care to patients every day. Many will come to you with painful dental problems. To develop the skills you’ll need to serve others, do meaningful extracurricular activities that give you experience working with the community. The activities you choose do not have to be directly related to dentistry.
The road to becoming a dentist is long. You can start your journey now by taking science classes and doing extracurricular activities that will prepare you for a career in dentistry. By the time you’re ready to apply to dental school, you’ll be armed with the skills and experiences you need to become a great dentist. Study a dental course from recognized universities in Malaysia. Easily see the entry requirements, the study path and the scholarships available with this guide.
Do you enjoy working with your hands and do you have a passion for helping people? Have you always been interested in oral health and how it relates to your overall health and well-being? Do you always score in science subjects like biology and chemistry?
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But although dentistry is a rewarding career, many students have an unrealistic view of becoming a dentist, believing it to be a much easier path than becoming a doctor. In reality, dental school is an intense FIVE years of education.
Before you commit to a dental degree, this comprehensive guide will explain everything you need to know about studying a dental course in Malaysia. This will give you a good idea of what’s in store for you going through dental school.
Dentistry refers to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of oral diseases and conditions. The practice of dentistry helps restore and maintain a person’s oral health.
Oral health is more than cavity prevention and healthy gums. In fact, it can give you many clues about your overall health as well as influence your overall well-being. You may not know this, but persistent inflammation in the mouth can lead to inflammation in other parts of the body, such as the heart!
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From performing dental surgery and straightening teeth to administering anesthetics and prescribing medications, dentists play a vital role in the healthcare industry.
A general practitioner (GP) is a general dentist who provides services related to the general maintenance of oral hygiene and oral health.
On the other hand, dental specialists have in-depth knowledge in a particular area of dentistry. Here are some of the main areas of specialization in Malaysia:
These are the minimum academic qualifications required to obtain a dental degree as set by the Malaysian Dental Council.
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After that, you will have to do one year of compulsory service in the private or government sector. You will then need to pass the Professional Qualification Examination (PQE) before you can become a registered dentist and practice dentistry in Malaysia.
After that, you will get clinical practice for 2 years before specializing in areas such as orthodontics, pediatric dentistry and periodontics. The specialization process usually takes 4 years.
In summary, it usually takes around 7 years to become a fully registered dentist from the SPM followed by a further 6 years to become a specialist.
Part 1, which is approximately 2 to 2.5 years, involves pre-clinical training set in an academic environment. It is necessary to learn basic medical sciences such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, oral biology, medical microbiology, pathology and pharmacology. This will give you a good foundation in dentistry as well as structure and function
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