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What type of education do i need to become a dentist?

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Marci’s Answer

Typically, you need a bachelors degree (4 years of college). While your major largely doesn't matter, you just need to make sure you have taken all of your science and other prerequisites. While I majored in Chemistry, I've known others to major in non-science subjects as well. Each dental school may have different requirements to apply/enroll, so a good idea is look at the dental school(s) of interest website to find out which courses you need. In general, you'll need chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and other general courses.


Some universities also have programs that after completing so many undergraduate credit hours, maintaining a cerain GPA, and performing well on the dental admissions test (DAT ), they will allow you to enroll into their dental school without actually graduating with an undergraduate degree.


Here's a link for the American Dental Association (https://www.ada.org/en/education-careers), which provides a plethora of information regarding careers in dentistry. Another helpful link is https://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/careers-in-dentistry/be-a-dentist.


Hope this helps

Marci recommends the following next steps:

Look into the ADA links above to find out more information on becoming a dentist and information on dental schools and their admissions requirements.
Find a dental office in your area where you can either work as a dental assistant a few hours a week or volunteer for an unpaid internship, where you can learn first hand about the dental field. If working is not an option, another suggestion is shadowing a dentist for a day. I'm certain if you personally reach out to a dentist, they will be more than happy to share with you their experience in the career.
Look for free $$$!!! Dental school is VERY expensive these days! Do due dilengence to try to find grants and scholarships. Also, always apply EARLY for admissions and also for finanacial aid with FAFSA.
Consider obtaining both your undergrad professional (DDS or DMD) degrees at in-state schools. While it's a wonderful and exciting experience to go to school in another state, you'll avoid out-of-state tuition and fees, thus saving money.
Study for the dental admissions test (DAT) either independently by ordering a study book or consider taking a class.
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Estelle’s Answer

In the US, to apply to dental school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.
Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for dental school. You then need to study for and take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). Be sure to study for this using a prep course book or online service.
In college, your major is not as important as your undergraduate grades, your DAT score, your letters of reference, and your personal statements on your dental school application. For now, just focus on finding a college that fits you and your budget and a major that really interests you in college so that you will make great grades and get strong letters of recommendation from professors that recognize your potential.
Good luck!
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