Studying to Become a Dentist

Without overemphasis, a career in dentistry should be an excellent choice that one can ever make. It even becomes more exciting for people genuinely interested in and having a passion for alleviating pain, practicing preventive and curative as well as just giving people a bright smile on their faces. 

Taking on a career in dentistry

Each year, ambitious students cross over from developing countries to study in prestigious universities abroad on scholarship or self sponsorship. You will probably realise that most of them have a penchant for IT, medicine, engineering, business, and other social sciences with only a negligible number taking to dentistry. Now that you are reading this and maybe know someone trying to check out a course abroad, let them explore dentistry and see what will come of their life afterwards.

A well trained dentist well in action checking a patient

If you have a passion for seeing people smile and solving their oral health problems, dentistry would be a good fit . Whether you have an interest in pursuing a career in dentistry or just curious about its educational background, getting the know on what it takes to become one is very easy.  You must deliberately cut yourself out for science or keep improving each day. In short, you have to be diligent, analytical and inquisitive. Generally, courses that touch on human health, especially a sensitive one like handling teeth and dental structure. Mark you, the teeth are very sensitive because they have nerve endings-maybe this should be preserved for a neurology class…aha!

Basically, to pursue dentistry in some countries may seem a waste of good time but things may look pretty a contrast in Europe, the UK, Canada, USA, India, Australia and others. In these countries, oral care ranks among the high health priorities. In Denmark for example, dental procedures are very expensive and dentists are sought after like a whole life depends on them. 

Studying to be a dentist

Requirements for you to become a dentist can be very high.  It is a must that you not only meet the minimum  academic achievement but also really have passion for it. As a starting point, you need a background in science, especially health related training so that by the time you attend to a first patient, you have not only honed enough practical skills but can also relate each case to your background knowledge.  

You already know that professional fields like law and medicine will require many years of schooling after attainment of the undergraduate degree. An aspiring dentist must as a common requirement attend an extra four-year school program to become a fully qualified professional. The way this works may vary across countries anyway. 

Getting a job as a dentist 

Most people often worry more about the possibility of getting a good job after completing whichever study programs they choose to take. My guess is as good as yours that someone settling for dentistry equally worries about job opportunities out there. 

Your career in dentistry would have you well placed in your dream job. Dentistry actually ranks among the top ten in the 100 best jobs globally. As an expat this is a career that would have you very well placed in the country of your destination without a doubt. Your future is completely bright the day you decide to step a foot into dentistry class.

Professionally trained and well groomed dentist at work

Other than your inherent satisfaction maintaining your patients’ oral health, the average salaries for the dental profession will always keep a practitioner smiling all the way to the bank each month. Maybe you will never even need to take a payday loan if you practice dentistry. Let’s have a look into some of the ways one can become a dentist.

How To Start your Dentistry Career

If you interested in becoming a dentist, you importantly have a rough idea of what you are going into. This rolls particularly with what to expect in terms of employment field and growth as well as the potential salary. However, you must already know that becoming a dentist needs you to invest greatly on your education. This comes from the fact that a wide variety of dental schools have a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree to make your application. A minimal section of the medical schools in dentistry offers an accelerated admission after just a few years of your undergraduate qualifications.

One thing worth noting is that unlike medical schools, dental schools do not necessarily require a specific major to have you enrolled. The most important aspect though, is to complete your dental school requirements including specified courses especially in science subjects. In the USA for example, you will be required to complete your Dental Admission Test (DAT) score. Furtehr to that, avail your letters of recommendations as well as your relevant extracurricular specifics. Also, your dental school personal statement will be a necessary need.

We must give a disclaimer here that the specific procedure for scaling the professional ladder in dentistry may vary depending on the country. But, the fact remains that before getting to the level of a high ranking dentist or becoming a full blown consultant, you go through a couple of phases. So,  just like in other professions, dentistry is no exception. The particular process we have detailed above largely reflects the path that dentists in the US need to take. The case varies slightly in the Nordics and other parts of the world too. 

Building a professional profile in Dentistry 

Becoming a dentist appears very simple but in one way or another it is often a very complex procedure based on various scopes. One is evident when you look at the duration one has to take while studying, the competitive dental school application procedure and the schooling cost. Later on, you may be interested in serving your community at a personal or individual level which means you have to set up a dental practice which can be very expensive. 

Getting a chance of qualifying for a position at any dental school globally is very tough due to competition based on the fact that about 45% of applicants fail to get enrolments every year. So, you will have to present a very high academic performance for you to get a chance. Ensuring that you work very hard especially in your science subjects and produce competitive results for this is the only way you will have a chance in a dental school. 

In recent times, the average pass grades for a successful dental school applicant stands with a college DAT and GPA score at 20 and 3.5 respectively. To be able to get a chance at any prestigious dental school, you must perform even much better. If you have been for a long time what the journey to become a dentist looks like, then now you can clearly see the real picture of what it really takes. So, if you haven’t started, you had better start working hard. 

Duration of Study for you to Become a Dentist

Commonly, it will take you eight solid years altogether to become a dentist. You have roughly 4 years to earn your bachelor’s degree and an undergraduate course for another 4 years to earn either a DDS or DMD in dental school. By any chance you have any interest in specialising your dental profession, then you must be willing to complete a residency training