December 3, 2020

How to become a dentist: Education and salary

You don’t wake up one morning seeing yourself as a Dentist. There are things to consider before you are made a Dentist or become one.

What is dentistry?

Dentistry is a branch of medicine that involves the study, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral cavity; including diseases of the teeth, gum, and others.

Who is a dentist and what do they do?

A dentist is a professional in the field of dentistry. They are concerned with the prevention and treatment of oral disease. Dentist gives advice on taking care of the teeth and gums, remove tooth decay, fill cavities, and repair fractured teeth. 

How to become a dentist

To become a dentist there are some steps to follow and some education to attain before you can be a dentist. They include:

1. Earn a Bachelor’s degree program

It is quite important to earn a Bachelor’s degree program in Dentistry, as dental schools generally require applicants to hold bachelor’s degrees before gaining admission. Some schools may admit students after 2 to 3 years of undergraduate study and allow them to earn bachelor’s degrees as part of the dental program. Although no specific pre-dental major is required, coursework in biology, physics, and chemistry can provide relevant preparation for dentistry school.

2. Take the Dental Admission Test

After earning a Bachelor’s degree as a dentist, students must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This accesses the academic capacity and scientific knowledge. A minimum score on this exam may be required to gain entrance to dental school.

Dental schools consider DAT scores, grade point averages, interviews, and letters of recommendation during the admission process. There is a lot to it, your goal is worth sacrificing for. So be prepared to take some risks.

3. Earn a Dental Degree

The dental school generally lasts four years and results in a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Programs may be accredited by the Nigerian Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation. During the first two years of dental school, students focus on classroom and laboratory studies in health and dental science.

Courses may include oral pathology, periodontics, dental anesthesia, orthodontics, radiology, and pharmacology. The last two years of dental school emphasize clinical practice, in which students diagnosis and treat patients under the supervision of dental instructors.

4. Obtain Licensure

All dentists must obtain state licensure to practice. Requirements vary by state; however, all states require passage of the National Board Dental Examinations. This 2-part written exam covers dental sciences, ethics, and clinical procedures.

Additionally, all candidates must pass a practical examination administered or approved by their state’s licensing board. States may also require prerequisites like first aid or certification, a background check, or an interview.

5. Consider a Specialization

While dentists typically serve as general dentistry practitioners, some choose to specialize in a field of dentistry. It is most of the time advisable to specialize in one field of dentistry. As you can earn all it takes to become a specialist in that field of dentistry.

Oral and maxillofacial pathology, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, dental public health, and pediatric dentistry are fields you can major on in becoming a dentist. Becoming a specialist entails 2 to 4 years of additional education.

How much do they earn and job outlook

You might be wondering how much I will earn if I start my career as a dentist. That is not an issue to worry about because dentist earn a lot of money. The median annual pay for a dentist is $175,840.

Job outlook for dentist is projected to grow nicely. According to bureau of labour statistics it expected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for any other occupations. As the population ages the demand for dental services increases.

Dentist salary in some states across the world
statesAverage salary per year
Los Angeles $176,840
New York$190,084 

Samuel Adekunle

The CEO of this blog

View all posts by Samuel Adekunle →

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