We have impressed upon you how important your dental health is and how important going to the dentist is. Of course, that means it is important that your dentist is well knowledgeable and can properly take care of your teeth. There is a lot to know, a lot that it takes to keep your teeth healthy. And we imagine you want to be sure that the doctor with the hand in your mouth knows what they are talking about.
Every dentist goes through undergraduate school and gets their 4-year degree. They typically major in something like biology that will help them in their later coursework. The main goal is to gain the knowledge that they need as a dentist and need in their doctoral program. So, sometimes a university will provide a pre-dental undergraduate program. These ensure that their curriculum will satisfy admission requirements to their desired dental school.
In a few exceptions, dental students will go through an accelerated program. Here, they can get all their schooling done, doctoral and all, a year or so early. They do not receive an undergrad degree, though. Instead, they spend time working on this coursework simultaneously.
To become a dentist, one needs either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Either one of these makes a dentist, and neither one is any less than the other. The American Dental Association (ADA) refers to the two as the same degree.
Comparable to an SAT or MCAT, every pre-dental student needs to take their DAT or Dental Admissions Test. It is based on Undergraduate coursework, GPAs, and DAT scores, that Dental school admissions are decided. These schools are highly competitive. Seeing as how dentistry is one of the fastest-growing professions, you can imagine how rigorously these students study for this exam. And, in the end, only the best of the best get in.
Dental school takes another four-year full-time degree. The first two years are typically dedicated to learning general and practical dental science in both the classroom and laboratory settings. Courses include oral anatomy, histology, and pathology. In the last years, dental school consists of clinical practicums and hands-on experience.
Postdoctoral Training and Licensure Training
After getting a doctorate degree, a dentist still cannot practice dentistry. Only licensed dentists can practice in their state. They have to pass the nationwide written portion and state-run practical exam.
If a dentist chooses to specialize in a specific field of dentistry, they must go for another two to four years of school, totaling in a grand total of ten to twelve. So, if you go to an orthodontist or pediatric dentist, that is the level of dedication they have put into their craft.
Call your Houston Copperfield Gentle Dental Care location at (281) 855-1100. We will set you an appointment with one of our many licensed dentists today.