There are many reasons to choose Dentistry as a career. Dentistry offers an opportunity to make a difference in your patients’ health and well-being. It is a career that allows you a chance to be your own boss and own a dental practice. New exciting scientific breakthroughs in gene therapy and biotechnology offer dentists an opportunity to preserve their patients’ smiles and self-esteem.
Here are 10 great reasons for considering a career as a dentist.
There are more than 60 Dental Schools in the United States accredited by the ADA’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Each program is rigorously evaluated for its content and quality. Typically, DDS/DMD programs take four years to complete with additional years for dental specialties like Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry.
Admission to dental school is highly competitive, but the application process has never been easier. Most U.S. dental schools accept a single online application through the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS).
Specific courses to help prepare students for applying to dental school are: General Chemistry (1 yr), Organic Chemistry (1 yr), General Biology (1 yr), Physics (1 yr), Biochemistry, Physiology, and Microbiology. Additional recommended courses are Genetics, Physiology, Immunology, and Anatomy. View the Course Planning Guide for Pre-Med (there are similar requirements for Pre-Dental).
Generally, you can choose whatever major you wish and then add in other required courses you will need. If you choose to major in the sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry), the majority of the prerequisite courses are included in the major.
Most dental schools require applicants to have an undergraduate degree completed before beginning dental school. Below is a brief summary of the process. (See Dr. Branan for more information.)
Take specific prerequisite courses (Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, etc.), shadow physicians, participate on mission trips, volunteer, etc.
Take the DAT (Dental Admissions Test); request letters of recommendation from professors; fill out application to dental schools (AADSAS online applications); send copies of all college transcripts.
Interviews with dental schools; receive acceptance(s); complete all Foundations requirements and electives needed for undergraduate degree.
Contact Dr. Bruce Branan, Asbury’s Advisor for the Health Professions, for more information and help in preparing for a career in Dentistry.