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How to Make a Career as a Dentist

Dentists are the most important part in the field of medicine. Dentists ensure that patients receive professional health care and oral hygiene. Everyone needs a dentist at some point in their life and a well-qualified dentist goes a long way in putting a perfect smile on everyone’s face. As per a recent survey conducted, there were more than 200,000 dentists practicing in the United States alone. With many job opportunities opening up around the world, there are a number of courses and tools that can help you enjoy a successful career as a dentist.

Role of a Dentist

Dentists are responsible for delivering oral care to patients. They diagnose and provide various treatments to help people maintain oral hygiene and prevent serious oral health issues. Dentists need to complete four years of training and an undergraduate course that makes them highly skilled in this field. There are various fields in the world of dentistry. They are:

  • Orthodontics
  • Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Endodontics
  • Periodontics

Dentists can either choose to work with a team of dentists or practice in a private clinic.

Rigorous Training

Dentists are required to complete rigorous courses and live up to the high standards that people set for dentists. Dentists need to get trained on various aspects of their job that require them to remove cavities from teeth, administering anesthesia, reviewing x-rays, and fitting prosthetics on patients. As per the latest statistics, a dentist earns approximately $150,000 annually with the potential to earn more after gaining substantial experience.

How to Become a Dentist

Here are the basic steps to becoming a dentist.

  • Securing a Bachelor’s Degree: One of the first steps towards becoming a dentist is gaining a bachelor’s degree. Many dental schools require students to complete a minimum of 90 hours of an undergraduate program, however, many schools now demand a full bachelor’s degree. Some students also choose a science related major or a pre-dentistry major to get ahead of the pack as these are critical prerequisite requirements.
  • Dental Acceptance Test: The Dental Acceptance Test is a major part of any dental school application. This five-hour test comprises of over 250 questions related to the field of natural sciences, quantitative reasoning, and reading comprehension. Students are required to score maximum points to get entrance into medical school.
  • Register for License: It is mandatory for dentists to obtain a license to practice dentistry. Dentists need to complete a course at any accredited institution and pass two examinations.
  • Complete Doctor’s Degree: After a dentist has procured his license, there are two programs that are offered – Doctor of Dental Medicine and Doctor of Dental Surgery. These courses offer four-year programs and offer nine different specialties. These are:
    • Endodontics
    • Dental Public Health
    • Pediatric Dentistry
    • Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
    • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
    • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
    • Periodontics
    • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
    • Prosthodontics

Dental School Courses

One of the best ways to determine if you have what it takes to become a dentist, you should take a career test. This will help analyze your strengths and gives you a complete analysis of your skills. If you have decided to become a dentist, you need to know the various courses offered by dental schools. Some of these courses are:

  • Microbiology & Oral Health Promotion
  • Dental Development & Anatomy
  • Oral Health & Nutrition
  • Anesthesia & Pain Management
  • Oral Surgery

Skills for a Successful Dentist

There are various skills needed to become a successful dentist. Here are some of the top skills needed:

  • Problem Solving
  • Compassion
  • Time Management
  • Leadership

Dentists also use various advanced technologies that help them become successful. These tools include:

  • Dycal Instruments
  • Chemical Sterilizers
  • Dental Matrix Bands
  • Impression Trays
  • Composite Placement Instruments
  • Laboratory Devices
  • Dental Bite Blockers
  • Dental Drills And Bits

Written By

Sankar is an academician as well as a content developer. He loves framing engaging write-ups for parents, students and the teachers alike and offers clear as well as practical ideas to make learning fun. In his free time, He loves reading and traveling.He suggest LearnPick Blog for more educational information.



  1. Keith Morgan

    July 9, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Compassion is an underrated skill – it’s vital for a dentist in this day and age to be able to get along with their patients otherwise they simply won’t come back. Building a good dentist-patient relationship is key to a successful dentistry.

  2. Morgan

    July 12, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Wow, this was really helpful! Thanks for packing in so much information! Dentistry is a great profession to pursue!

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