How Does One Become a General Dentist

How Does One Become a General Dentist from Family Choice Dental in Albuquerque, NMA 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 Albuquerque, NM

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 Family Choice Dental at 505-634-5657 for an appointment in our Albuquerque office.

Recent Posts

The Benefits Of Having A General Dentist

A general dentist is the dental equivalent of a primary care physician. A general dental professional is the person dental patients can go to for routine preventative care and diagnosis of any oral health problems. There are multiple benefits to establishing a relationship with a general dentist.Maintaining oral health is important for both the health…

A General Dentist Discusses Essentials For Good Oral Health

Any general dentist knows that oral health is about more than just strong teeth. It is also a bellwether of overall physical health, which makes maintaining healthy teeth and gums a crucial part of any wellness routine. Showing up for cleanings twice a year is not enough to keep teeth and gums healthy. Patients should…

Ask A General Dentist: Is A Tooth Dead After A Root Canal

There is no need to fear if your general dentist has recommended root canal treatment. This dental procedure is performed on millions of patients every year and is similar to a routine filling. It is a beneficial procedure that saves a tooth that has become infected or damaged. Many patients wonder if the tooth is…

Recent Posts

When Is Tooth Pain A Dental Emergency?

When Is Tooth Pain A Dental Emergency?

Are you wondering whether your tooth pain can constitute a dental emergency? Tooth pain is a common experience for many people, especially those with cavities or dental diseases. If tooth pain is suddenly causing a disturbance, you may be torn between treating it as a dental emergency or just waiting for the pain to go…

The Benefits Of Having A General Dentist

The Benefits Of Having A General Dentist

A general dentist is the dental equivalent of a primary care physician. A general dental professional is the person dental patients can go to for routine preventative care and diagnosis of any oral health problems. There are multiple benefits to establishing a relationship with a general dentist.Maintaining oral health is important for both the health…