Did you know that the average salary of a dentist is $188,000 a year? Not only is the pay generous, but each day, dentists make someone’s life better by protecting their teeth and gums.

With the demand for dentists increasing, there will never be a lack of work for those who become one. Becoming a dentist is doable for most people if they follow the steps and work through the challenges to become one.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to become a dentist. Are you ready to follow your dream? Then read on.

Complete a Bachelor’s Degree

Majoring in science-related fields like biology, chemistry, or physics is recommended. These fields provide a strong foundation in the basic sciences that underlie dentistry.

During this time, it’s also important to maintain a high GPA. Also, participate in extracurricular activities, such as volunteering or shadowing dentists.

Take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

The DAT is a standardized test that measures academic ability, scientific understanding, and perceptual ability. It consists of multiple-choice questions and a manual dexterity section.

Most dental schools require applicants to take the DAT before applying. A high DAT score can improve the chances of getting accepted into a dental program.

It’s recommended to prepare for the DAT by studying and taking practice tests. Consider other factors such as extracurricular activities, research, and personal statements in their admission decisions.

Attend Dental School

Dental school takes four years to complete. It involves a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training. Students learn about dental anatomy, pharmacology, oral pathology, and other related subjects during dental school. It’s also best for students to learn more about marketing for dental practices.

Aspiring dentists must be familiar with dental office procedures. They will learn marketing strategy, customer service, and customer preferences. They should also know how to measure data to track progress and success.

Establishing partnerships can help build a strong referral network. Word-of-mouth referrals, online reviews, and online presence can also help with marketing.

Complete a Residency Program

Dentists may choose to complete a residency program to gain additional experience and training. Residency programs typically last two to four years. It involves both classroom and clinical instruction.

During the program, dentists can work with experienced dental professionals. They will gain hands-on experience in their area of specialization.

Obtain a Dental License

Dentists must be licensed in the state where they plan to practice. Licensure requirements vary by state, but usually involve passing a written and practical exam. It ensures that dentists have met the education and training requirements necessary. 

Continuing Education

Continuing education allows dentists to stay current with the latest techniques, technologies, and advancements in dentistry. These courses can be taken in person or online.

Many states need dentists to complete a certain number of continuing education hours each year. It is to maintain one’s license and cover new treatment options, practice management, and patient communication.

Choose to Become a Dentist Today

Becoming a dentist takes hard work, dedication and education. Earning a degree in dental science, passing the necessary licensure exams, and completing a residency program are necessary to become a dentist.

Dentists can have a long and fulfilling career with the right commitment and good practice. If you think being a dentist is right for you, start your journey today!

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