How to Become a Dentist

Thinking of becoming a dentist? Entering into the field of dentistry offers a rewarding career. Beyond helping people maintain a healthy smile they can feel proud to show off, as a dentist, you will also be able to enjoy flexibility in your schedule, have the potential to open your own clinic, and have the option to pursue careers in various sectors of this profession. Let’s take a look at how to become a dentist.

Complete Bachelor’s Degree Program

Similar to the other medical professions, dentists must complete a certain amount of schooling, starting with a bachelor’s degree program, which usually takes four years or more to complete, depending on the program. This does not have to be specifically tailored to any major, but will usually include biology or other science majors.

Admission Into Dental School

Once the bachelor’s degree has been completed, students must complete a dental admission test (DAT) to be accepted into a qualified school. The admission process will depend on success for exam scores, interviews, grade point averages, along with required letters of recommendation.

Complete Dental Degree

After being accepted, students must complete the program accredited by the Canadian Dental Association, which will usually last for four years on average, to obtain a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. The latter end of the program will include clinical practice, during which time students will gain hands-on experience for diagnosing patients and providing treatment while being supervised – again, similar to that of a medical degree program.

Obtain Licensure

To be able to practice dentistry, all dentists are required to obtain licensure. This will include examinations that must be passed to become licensed. The exam usually entails a written section and a practical section. It can also require background checks, interviews, and other prerequisites.

Select Specific Career Path

If you’d like to specialize in a certain area of dentistry, now is the time to make a decision. At this point, you will need to complete additional educational training, which can take 2 to 4 years to complete, along with residency for more clinical practice.

If you’re interested in this career path and wondering how to become a dentist, it’s important to understand that although it requires a good amount of training and dedication, it is a career that is well worth it.