So you want to become a dentist? Dentistry is an incredibly rewarding career that requires hard work, dedication, and a passion for helping others. Here is how you can succeed as a dentist.
Before you go to dental school, you’ll need to complete your bachelor’s degree. While dental schools may not require a pre-dental major, degrees in biology, physics, and chemistry may best prepare you for dental school. To apply to dental school, you also need to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) to assess your academic capacity and scientific knowledge.
Dental school typically lasts about four years and results in a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. In the first two years, you’ll spend time working in the classroom and laboratory, focusing on health and dental science in courses like periodontics, orthodontics, and pathology. In the last two years, you will work in clinical practice, diagnosing and treating patients under the supervision of your instructors. If you’re interested in specialization in areas like orthodontics and pediatric dentistry, you’ll need two to four more years of school and, in some cases, a residency of up to two years.
After school, you will take the National Board Dental Examinations, a two-part exam on dental science, ethics, and clinical procedures. You must also pass a practical exam administered or approved by your state’s licensing board. There may be other requirements, which vary by state, so be sure to find out what is needed to obtain a license in your state. Once these exams are passed, you are officially a dentist!
Our own Dr. Ruximar Linkous, DDS is a great example of the dedication and perseverance it takes to become a dentist.
Born and raised in Venezuela, Dr. Linkous graduated from the Central University of Venezuela with a degree in dentistry in 2001. After practicing for two years, Dr. Linkous made the decision to move to Marietta, Georgia to learn English so she could specialize in periodontics. While in Georgia, Dr. Linkous worked as a dental assistant while applying to dental school to complete her international studies. She was accepted at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and completed the dental program in May 2013, graduating with distinctions in cosmetic dentistry and for best clinician.
Dr. Linkous’ road to dentistry is a perfect example of the passion and dedication it takes to become a dentist. Her determination to become a dentist is exactly what you need to succeed in becoming a dentist.
If you are looking for a dentist who is passionate about helping patients and families, and providing them with the best dental care, call us to make an appointment with Dr. Linkous.Contact Us Today