Looking to work with teeth? The training you must receive usually depends heavily on the dentistry specialization you choose. Studying to become a dentist typically means about eight years of education beyond high school. Dental hygienists and assistants undergo significantly less education while learning some of the same basic concepts in order to work under the supervision of a trained dentist.
Undergraduate coursework offers a base in chemistry, biology, and physics. Dental assistant programs are more focused on the tools and techniques of assisting a dentist in common clinical procedures such as teeth cleanings. Graduate work in dentistry traditionally includes coursework in restorative and preventative dental care, biology, and specializations including prosthodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and dental public health. The distance learning classroom can give you the chance to earn your degree without spending time in a traditional classroom. Many students use the opportunity to pursue a dental education on their own time without sacrificing their career or family obligations.
Dentistry is an important branch of medicine, and just like physicians dentists have to have a specialist degree in order to practice dentistry. There are a number of dental schools in the US, and there is also quite a rigorous selection procedure when it comes to getting a place at these dental schools. Dentistry can be a lucrative career not to mention one that enables you to use your people skills, and therefore it is a popular career choice for many. When applying to a dental school you should keep in mind that you need to have attended college for a minimum of two years in the United States, and if you have a Bachelor’s Degree you are likely to get preference when it comes to placements. Unlike many other countries, there is no undergraduate specialist qualification to gain entry into dental school other than the requirements outlined above.
You will need to be both committed and dedicated when working towards your dental degree, as you will be studying for a minimum of four years. A dental degree involves a combination of theory and practice, so that by the time you qualify at the end of the degree program you will already have hands on experience of dentistry. There are two degrees that you can achieve in dentistry, and these are Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Dental Medicine. As the competition is fierce for placements at dental schools, it is advisable to be prepared. If you decide from a fairly early age that you want to enter this profession, make sure you have your Bachelors Degree before you apply, as this could make the difference between you getting a place and someone else beating you to it. Before being accepted to a dental program you will probably have to take the dental admission test (DAT) which is required by most of the dental schools. This is a computer administered test, and there are a number of testing centers at which the DAT can be taken.