Are you considering becoming a dentist? There are some things you should consider and know prior to making a commitment to being a dentist. This article outlines information you will find helpful in your pursuit.

 Graduation from high school is a must. Good grades are okay but having great grades is where you want to be. The higher your grade point averages the better your chances of financial assistance in addition to assisting you with entering dental school.  

 While attending high school, you should take classes related to biology, health and math. All four years of high school attempt to take classes for these three interests. Health is typically an elective so capture classes that are related to health if you don’t have the option to take health classes all four years. Knowing biology and math is vital for dentists.

Visit with your high school guidance counselor. Your counselor should be able to advise you which colleges have a two year pre- dental programs available that emphasize the sciences. Make a pledge to obtain high grades while attending college for your pre-dental degree, especially in your science programs and classes. Many pre-dental students finish with a bachelor’s degree before attending dental school.

The American Dental Association has a listing for four-year colleges for a dental program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Make certain that you will meet all of the admission requirements prior to applying to your four year dental college. You must be accepted to dental college in order to attend. They take into account your overall grades including high school classes.

There is a dental admissions test that must be passed, the DAT (dental admissions test). The scores received on the test, your overall grade point average and your recommendations will all be considered in the decision as to whether or not you will be accepted to dental school.  

If you are admitted to dental school, the first couple of years are spent in the classroom and taking laboratory courses. Your remaining two years are completed in clinics supervised by licensed dentists actually performing dental work on patients.

 The test to become licensed consists of a written portion of testing and a practical state examination after your graduation from the four year dental college.

Know your state’s licensing requirements extremely well in order to pass the licensing test and obtain your license to practice as a dentist. If you are considering becoming a specialized dentist such as orthodontist or periodontics, an additional two to five years of study is required and additional testing to earn your degree in specialized dentistry.