1 answer

What are the steps to become a Dentist?

Asked Chicago, Illinois

I am currently going to Hygiene School. However, my dream is to become a Pediatric Dentist. Due to lack monetary struggles, my first step was hygiene school. I plan to apply for Dental School but I don't know what steps to take.
#dentistry #dds #pediatric-dentistry #teeth #dental-school

1 answer

Rohit’s Answer

Updated Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Dentist

  • Take the pre-requisite courses in college (check the websites of dental schools for specifics). These are usually just science classes, although some schools require a writing course. It's nothing beyond what a science major would take in college.
  • Take the DAT (Dental Admission Test) http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx. There are Kaplan Courses to help you study.
  • Apply to a dental school. They should have information on their website about the forms you need to fill out. Here is a list of schools: http://www.ada.org/267.aspx
  • Interview well
  • Almost all dental schools are 4 years (University of the Pacific is 3 years, but you have less time off)
  • Graduating dental school makes you a dentist and allows you to do most everything specialists can do under state law if you want.

Orthodontist

  • Become a dentist by completing dental school (Good marks will help)
  • During dental school you will take two Board Exams, do well on them.
  • Some Orthodontic programs require you take the GRE, so take it just in case.
  • Apply to Orthodontic programs and interview well. Many of the orthodontic residencies participate in a standardized application process called MATCH.
  • Orthodontic Residency is 2-3 years long depending on where you go. Most places do not pay you during your residency.

Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon

  • The application process is roughly the same as orthodontics
  • Some programs offer an MD (and are longer), so you may need to take the USMLE before you residency.
  • OMFS residencies pay you and are 4-6 years long

Periodontist, Endodontist, Prosthodontist and other Specialties

  • Roughly the same application process
  • These residencies are about 2 years long, and some residencies pay.


If you want to specialize, it is easiest to submit the applications during dental school (you need to get a lot of materials together). Orthodontics and Oral Surgery are arguably the most competitive, so if those interest you study hard.