Becoming a Dentist: A Step-by-Step Guide
Becoming a dentist is a long and complex process that requires several years of education and training. However, for those who are dedicated to their craft, becoming a dentist can be a rewarding and successful career choice. This guide outlines the steps necessary to become a dentist, from college to certification.
Step 1: Undergraduate Education
The first step to becoming a dentist is to obtain an undergraduate degree. Most dental schools require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field. Common majors include biology, chemistry, and biochemistry. Taking additional courses in physics, mathematics, and anatomy can also help prepare students for the rigorous dental school curriculum.
Step 2: Dental School Admission
Once an undergraduate degree is obtained, applicants must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This test is used to assess the knowledge and skills of prospective dental students. After passing the DAT, applicants must apply to dental school and complete the required coursework.
Step 3: Clinical Training
During dental school, students will complete a variety of clinical rotations. These rotations provide students with hands-on experience in dentistry, as well as the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and skills.
Step 4: Dental Licensure
Once dental school is complete, applicants must pass the National Dental Examining Board (NDEB) exam. This exam is used to assess the competence of dentists in the United States and Canada. After passing the NDEB exam, applicants must obtain a dental license from their state or provincial government in order to practice dentistry.
Step 5: Certification
In some cases, dentists may choose to become certified in a specialty field of dentistry. This requires additional training and education in the specific field. Common specialty fields include orthodontics, oral surgery, and pediatric dentistry.
Becoming a dentist is a long and challenging process. However, with hard work and dedication, individuals can become successful and well-respected dentists. By following the steps outlined in this guide, individuals can begin their journey towards becoming a dentist.