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What Education is Needed to Become a Dentist?

A dentist is a person who provides oral care to adults and children. You have general practitioners and specialist such as Orthodontics. Most dentist obtain a four-year undergraduate degree but some students do not get a four-year degree but instead they take all the needed science courses such as, biology, anatomy, chemistry, and microbiology. Once all the sciences are completed or undergraduate degree is maintained the potential student has to take the Dental Admissions Test. The candidate has to score at least 18 or better in each section of the Dental Admissions Test to be considered for admission into an accredited dental school. When the candidate is applying to dental school they must submit the Dental Admission Test results with the application. The governing body who accredits dental schools is the American Dental Association. Dental schools offer two degrees and they are a Doctor of Dental Surgery or a Doctor of Dental Medicine.

These are the qualifications a candidate should have before applying for dental school. The individual should have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Other qualifications include undergraduate research experience, leadership capabilities, teamwork, and communication skills. It would also be beneficial to have some strong positive letters of recommendation. Once an individual starts the dental program the curriculum includes in class, pre-clinical, and clinical instructions. Some of the coursework included is pathology, dental diagnosis, and dental treatment techniques. These courses are usually taken during the first two years. The next two years consists of a dentist rotation externship in dental clinics under the supervision of actual dentist. Once the four-year program is complete the individual has the option to get an advance or specialty degree. Some of the Specialties are maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, or pediatric dentistry. Depending on the specialty that is chosen it can take up to an additional two to six years to complete with a residency included.

The job of a dentist is to promote dental health by informing clients about the preventive care and treatment. The dentist has to be diverse and have good communication skills because they have to treat people of all ages and possibly all racial backgrounds. The dentist will restore and replace any teeth that are diseased or are damaged. Dentist can help improve a client’s appearance, sleep patterns, speech, chewing, and digestion of food. The dentist also has advanced technology available to help diagnose diseases such as radiographic and computer-generated imaging. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 18% increase in employment between 2014 and 2024. This rise in employment is because of the aging population increasing need for dental care. The salary is also very good for a general practitioner the median is 152,700 a year and specialty salaries surpass this.

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Dr. Mark Braasch
Meadow Hills Dental Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
5001 S. Parker Road,
Suite 106

Aurora, CO 80015
Office Number: 303.625.6757
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