One of the most noble ways that you can serve your fellow man is to become a dentist. Dentists help people feel better every day. Without good oral health, people can’t get the nutrition they need to stay alive. Many little kids dream of becoming a dentist, but few hold on to that dream all the way to fruition. If you are one of the dedicated individuals who wants to become a dentist, here are the steps you need to take to make your dream a reality.
1. Go to College
Before you can go to dental school, you have to graduate from a four-year college or university. Dental schools require you to take a number of science classes before you are admitted, including two semester of general chemistry, two semesters of organic chemistry, two semesters of physics, one semester of biochemistry and three semester of biology and one semester of statistics. You also should think about taking some business classes while you are at university if you are planning on opening up your own practice. Getting good grades is also necessary. Students accepted into dental school have an average undergraduate GPA around 3.5.
2. Take the Dental Admissions Test
As well as graduating from college and fulfilling the prerequisite course requirements, you will also have to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) to get into dental school. The DAT is a challenging test that measures the knowledge you have gained in the prerequisite courses you are required to take to get into dental school. You will need to get a good mark on this exam to get into dental school.
3. Apply to Dental School
You want to apply to several dental schools to increase the likelihood that you are accepted to at least one school. Apply to a few that you think you are a lock at as well as a few that are dream schools you would love to attend.
4. Make It Through Dental School
Once you are accepted to dental school, the real hard work begins. It takes four years to complete dental school, and the curriculum is very demanding.
5. Take the National Board Dental Examinations
Most states accept the national board exam, but some states require a state-specific or regional board exam to practice dentistry. You will need to have your doctorate in dentistry and pass the state’s required board exam to be licensed to practice.
6. Think About Specialization
There are lots of specializations you can pursue after you become a dentist, including things like orthodontics and pediatric dentistry. It can take two to six years to be certified in a dental specialty.
Once you have completed these steps, you will be ready to practice as a dentist. You can either set up your own practice or join an existing practice.