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Twelve Crucial Steps For A Student To Become A Dentist After Completing School And College Education

Updated on November 26, 2015

There is no profession in this world where you don’t need to go through a few steps for becoming an expert. You will need to have a certain educational qualification, you will need to pass some specific courses, you will need to have a practitioner license etc. Without all these, you cannot even think of building up a career in that filed. Dentistry is no exception in this regard. There are different steps which you will go through and then you can become a dentist finally. According to experts, the number of steps can vary, but the ones we will discuss in this article are most common. Here are the 12 crucial steps on your way to become a dentist:

Best steps make you best dentist

1. Determination is very important

First of all, you will need to determine whether you have the characteristics for becoming a dentist or not. This is one of the most important steps in your whole journey. If you take this decision successfully, you can start the journey; otherwise not. If you possess a good scientific aptitude, good manual dexterity and excellent communication skills, you can decide to become a dentist.

2. Complete the necessary educational requirements

Once you have taken the decision, you will need to complete the necessary educational requirements. First you will need to pass high school and eventually college. In high school try to take relevant courses like biology, chemistry, mathematics, health, physics etc. This will prepare you for the college coursework. In college, you will get the chance to take dental precondition courses. Try to become a good student in the subjects you take. This will help you a lot in becoming a good student at dental school.

3. Be smart in choosing undergraduate courses

You must be smart in choosing your undergraduate courses. Though many wannabe dentists take science as major, it is not compulsory. Try to take anatomy courses in undergrad. This will highly prepare you for gross anatomy. To your delight, gross anatomy is a major course in dental school. Also try to take a few 2D/3D art classes. This will help you to become a domineering dentist.

4. Dental Admission Test

Now you will need to give the dental admission test (DAT). You will need to pay the test fee and schedule a test date.

5. Admission to dental school

Then apply for admission to dental school. For enhanced chances of getting admission, you can apply in various dental schools. Your grade points in undergrad, DAT score, recommendations and interview performance will be the key to your admission.

Be careful choosing the courses

6. Courses

If you get the chance, you will need to study for 4 years. So you will need to take useful courses that will pave the way to your successful career. You can take 2 types of courses:

a) Didactic courses: These include anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, psychology etc. You will study these courses theoretically and practically in classrooms and labs respectively.

b) Clinical courses: These include dental radiology, endodontics, fixed prosthodontics, oral diagnosis, oral surgery, pedodontics, periodontics, restorative dentistry, removal prosthodontics etc. With these courses you will also learn different methods of treating patients in the clinics.

7. Professional experience

Professional experience always counts. So it will be best if you can manage a temporary job of dental assistant in dental office. But for that you will need to manage your time very carefully. You may not work 10+ hours weekly but this will give you the much needed office experience which you will not get in the school.

8. Best day in dental career

Complete the graduation and get the degree. This will be probably the best day in your dental career.

9. Dentistry Practicing License

Take the board exams. Normally the dental school will arrange this test for you. Once you pass this exam you will get the dentistry practicing license. These clinical exams will require you to treat the patients. So you must have good practical knowledge for passing these exams.

10. Specialize in any one sector

You will need to specialize in any one sector. There are different renowned dental specialties including endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics etc. By specializing yourself in anyone of these sectors, you will increase the chances of a good dentistry career.

11. Post-graduation is the best option

For becoming a specialist, post-graduation is the best option. Also for becoming a specialist you must try your best to be in the top position in the dental school class. Along with that you must take part in research activities. Getting into the dental specialist program is of serious competition. Only the top students qualify for these programs.

12. Ready to start

The final step is to start your career as a dentist practitioner. Once you complete the graduation, pass the board exam and get the practitioner license, you are ready to start.

So if you are dreaming to build a successful dentistry career, you can start the proceedings and reach your goal by following these steps.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great tips.