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Curious about Dental Hygiene and Dentistry.

I am a senior in high school and I'm close to applying to schools. But I want to become a dentist in the long run. but as of now that isn't until i finish my pre reqs to get into a dental school. So what I'm hoping for is that, wouldn't it be better if i went in for a dental hygiene major/ program got my AS and BS (I'm aiming for a BS so i can get the degree and the pre reqs for dental school) and started working after i graduate and then apply to dental school.

AND before even that happens, where do I start? What school should I go to, which schools have a dental program or major that i can go straight into? What schools did you go into and how was the process? would it be better if i got the pre reqs before going into a dental hygiene program too? #medicine #dentistry #dentist #dental-hygienist #dental #family-dentistry #dental-practice #cosmetic-dentistry

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From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Sara’s Answer

Prerequisites for dental hygiene are not always equivalent to pre-requisites to dental school. I thought much the way you did when I was beginning college, however I was discouraged from doing dental hygiene as these programs are often competitive and want graduates who plan to stay in the profession of dental hygiene. In other words, they did not want to accept students into dental hygiene degree programs that did not intend to continue in the profession of dental hygiene. A BS in dental hygiene will not fulfill requirements for dental school.
Pre-requisites for dental school are similar to prerequisites for medical school. Lots of science, biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, physics, microbiology, biochemistry, and often courses that prepare you for dental school entrance exams. As for the school you choose, dental school is expensive, state schools tend to be more economical and you should look into these options. Dental school is very competitive and it's important to apply to multiple schools to increase your chances of acceptance. If you are sure that dental school is the goal, many students begin applying their junior year of college for acceptance after 4 years of college.

I had to work for most of my undergraduate education, but when in dental school, I had little time to hold even a part time job. Although dental hygiene skills would be valuable in your dental school experience, it may delay your entrance into dental school. I would advise that you observe both positions to determine which is the best fit for the lifestyle you choose. Dentistry has many benefits, I have fulfilled both positions, dental hygiene and dentist, I prefer dentist, but it comes with a great deal of responsibility and liability that not everyone is comfortable with at times.

Being a dentist has immense rewards, but the profession has a fitting responsibility that justifies those rewards.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much!! And right now at the moment, I'm conflicted of either being a hygienist or dentist. Being a dental hygienist was my first option and I do want to know more about it, but out of curiosity, how did you start? what did you major in? and what school did you attend? Thank you again! Nancy
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