How Does One Become a General Dentist

How Does One Become a General Dentist from Burtonsville Dental Suite in Burtonsville, MDA general dentist is a professional in a position of enormous trust. A dentist's duties include diagnosing and sometimes treating conditions of the mouth to relieve oral pain, as well as performing prophylactic treatment to prevent dental conditions. Becoming a dentist involves meeting requirements set by the state to obtain a dental license. To get to that point, a person wishing to become a dentist must undergo extensive education and training to receive an advanced degree.

General dentist requirements

It is illegal to practice dentistry without a license issued by the state in which one works. While each state has its own individual licensing requirements, there are some steps that are essentially universal.

Education

To be eligible for a license to practice dentistry, a person must receive either a Doctor Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Apart from the names, the two degrees are identical. Each program typically lasts four years and involves clinical practice under the supervision of a licensed dentist during the latter half. The first half of the program is devoted to classroom and laboratory studies:

  • Oral pathology
  • Radiology
  • Orthodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Pharmacology

Some states require that a person earn the DDS or DMD degree from a program with the accreditation of the American Dental Association.

Many dental schools require a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite for admission. Others allow a person to finish the bachelor's degree concomitantly with dental school courses. In either case, the individual does not need to major in a specific pre-dental field. However, coursework in sciences such as chemistry and biology may be helpful.

Assessments

After completing the required undergraduate work, a person must pass the Dental Admission Test as part of the application to dental school. The DAT assesses scientific knowledge and academic capacity. Dental schools may set a minimum score that students must attain to be eligible for admittance.

Upon completing one's DMD or DDS, students must pass the National Board Dental Examinations to be eligible for licensure. The written exam assesses knowledge of clinical procedures, dental sciences, and ethics. It is taken in two parts.

Preparatory opportunities

Some aspiring dental students may have the opportunity to enroll in programs that provide additional training and mentoring. For example, selected college and university campuses host a six-week dental school preparation program during the summer. Students get a firsthand look at dental work in the setting of a clinic. They also gain academic enrichment, financial advice, and career development. The American Student Dental Association offers a mentoring program that provides guidance through the process of gaining admission to dental school.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp:
General Dentist in Burtonsville, MD

Conclusion

Becoming a dentist is a long process starting with undergraduate coursework, which may or may not focus on the sciences, before gaining admittance to a dental school. Upon completion of a four-year DDS or DMD program, dental students must pass national board exams and meet other requirements set by the state to become eligible for a dental license to practice as a general dentist.

Request an appointment or call Burtonsville Dental Suite at 301-259-5016 for an appointment in our Burtonsville office.

Related Posts

When To Bring Your Child To See A General Dentist

Regular visits to the general dentistry office are essential for both adults and children alike. As a parent, you may have a lot of questions regarding dental appointments for your child. Knowing when to take your child to their first general dentistry appointment and what to expect from that appointment can help you prepare adequately.If…

Teeth Whitening Treatments Performed By A General Dentist

General dentistry involves preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental treatments like teeth whitening. Teeth are constantly bombarded by substances that cause stains and discoloration, affecting the way that they look.The most common type of teeth whitening treatment performed by dentists involves using bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide to remove stains from the outer surfaces and deep…

Ask A General Dentist: What Happens To Your Tooth After Extraction

Tooth extraction frequently occurs in the office of a general dentist for a variety of reasons, including:Bacterial decayAccidental breakageOvercrowdingImpactionMost patients are more concerned about the gap the tooth leaves behind than its fate outside their mouths. An extracted tooth usually takes one of the following paths, depending on whether the dentist or the patient claims…