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Hi i want to pursue orthodontics, which degree should I earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Science or Nursing Science.

#science #degree #teeth #mouth #hospital-and-health-care #hospital-and-health-care #hospital-and-health-care #hospital-and-health-care #hospital-and-health-care #hospital-and-health-care #hospital-and-health-care

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Subject: Career question for you


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Mary Jane’s Answer

I'm sorry to say this but depending on how the BS in Medical Science is structured, it's possible neither one of these degrees will be helpful in preparing you for dental school. The majority of dental schools require a year of each of the following:

Introductory Biology with lab
General Chemistry with lab
Organic Chemistry with lab
Introductory Physics with lab

Your in-state dental school also requires 2 quarters of biochemistry and 2 quarters of microbiology (see

Most BSN degrees will not include physics, organic chemistry, and biochemistry, so with that route, you are going to have a lot of classes to complete after graduating before you have the necessary prerequisites to apply to dental school. You would be in a better position to attend dental school if you major in something like biology, biochemistry, or chemistry rather than nursing. If the BS in Medical Science that you are considering is actually designed for people intent on applying to medical, dental, pharmacy, and vet school, then it probably would be the best track. Be careful though because some of these degrees are designed more for people who don't do well in the introductory chemistry classes so they are light on the sciences and focus more on public health, psychology, and sociology -- all of which are wonderful courses for pre-health students, but they aren't the prerequisite science courses you will need to apply to dental school.

Having said all that, most dental schools do not require you to major in the sciences, so you can actually major in anything you like as long as you complete the needed prerequisite courses. The BSN degree is going to have a huge number of classes dedicated to clinical training, so you are unlikely to have time to add things like physics and organic chemistry as electives. Nursing is not dentistry so I see no advantage to spending four years learning how to be a good nurse if that's not your career goal! If the Medical Science degree includes all the chemistry and biology, and you just need to add the physics (or the major includes physics), then it may make more sense to complete that major. However, if you love something like art or psychology, you should be able to major in one of those areas and add in the science classes needed for dental school by working closely with a prehealth advisor at your college.

Since you are specifically thinking about orthodontics, I encourage you to take some art classes . For one, the eye-hand coordination and visual perception that art classes train will be very good training for dental school. Understanding what features of artwork make things pleasing to the eye will aid you in crafting beautiful smiles as an orthodontist.

Bottom line: Focus less on the name of the major and more on what courses are required for the major. If they don't include all those core science courses that I listed, it's going to take extra effort and time on your part to make sure you have the classes you need to apply to dental school.

Mary Jane recommends the following next steps:

Check out the ADEA GoDental site for tons of information about getting ready for dental school:
Make contact with your college's prehealth advisor early in your undergrad program to make a 4-year plan and narrow down your options for a major.
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John’s Answer

How to Become a Dentist

Dentists must be licensed in all states; requirements vary by state.
Dentists must be licensed in the state in which they work. Licensure requirements vary by state, although candidates usually must have a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry/Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from an accredited dental program and pass written and clinical exams. Dentists who practice in a specialty area must complete postdoctoral training.

Dentists typically need a DDS or DMD degree from a dental program that has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Most programs require that applicants have at least a bachelor’s degree and have completed certain science courses, such as biology or chemistry. Although no specific undergraduate major is required, programs may prefer applicants who have a bachelor's degree in a science, such as biology.

Applicants to dental schools usually take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). Dental schools use this test along with other factors, such as grade point average, interviews, and recommendations, to admit students into their programs.

Dental school programs typically include coursework in subjects such as local anesthesia, anatomy, periodontics (the study of oral disease and health), and radiology. All programs at dental schools include clinical experience in which students work directly with patients under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

As early as high school, students interested in becoming dentists can take courses in subjects such as biology, chemistry, and math.

All dental specialties require dentists to complete additional training before practicing that specialty. This training is usually a 2- to 4-year residency in a CODA-accredited program related to the specialty, which often culminates in a postdoctoral certificate or master’s degree. Oral and maxillofacial surgery programs typically take 4 to 6 years and may result in candidates earning a joint Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree.

General dentists do not need additional training after dental school.

Dentists who want to teach or do research full time may need advanced dental training, such as in a postdoctoral program in general dentistry.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Dentists must be licensed in the state in which they work. All states require dentists to be licensed; requirements vary by state. Most states require a dentist to have a DDS or DMD degree from an accredited dental program, pass the written National Board Dental Examinations, and pass a state or regional clinical examination.

In addition, a dentist who wants to practice in a dental specialty must have a license in that specialty. Licensure requires the completion of a residency after dental school and, in some cases, the completion of a special state exam.

Important Qualities
Communication skills. Dentists must communicate effectively with patients, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and receptionists.

Detail oriented. Dentists must pay attention to the shape and color of teeth and to the space between them. For example, they may need to closely match a false tooth with a patient’s other teeth.

Dexterity. Dentists must be good with their hands. They must work carefully with tools in small spaces to ensure the safety of their patients.

Leadership skills. Dentists, especially those with their own practices, may need to manage staff or mentor other dentists.

Organizational skills. Keeping accurate records of patient care is critical in both medical and business settings.

Patience. Dentists may work for long periods with patients who need special attention, including children and those with a fear of dental work.

Problem-solving skills. Dentists must evaluate patients’ symptoms and choose the appropriate treatment.