How to Become a Dentist

Like many other medical professionals, becoming a dentist is challenging and this is definitely not a career for everyone. If you value healthcare provision however, with the right determination it will be an easy journey. So, have you considered taking care of teeth and oral health as a way of making a living? Here is what you need to know about how to become a dentist.

Educational requirements

The very first step is gaining admission into dental school. For this to be possible, two or three years in undergraduate school are a must have. There is no particular major that one needs to pursue during this period so as to qualify for dental school admission but relevant subjects include biology, physics and chemistry. An undergraduate study is not all you will be required to present when seeking admission into a dental school. Grade point averages, recommendation letters, interviews and ultimately the dental admission test (DAT) will all be considered. Only those who attain the minimum set score in DAT get admission so it is best to ensure you revise your science notes prior to sitting for the test.

Once in dental school the course takes four years and with hard work and determination you graduate as a Doctor of Dental Medicine or a Doctor of Dental surgery says Jake from The first half of this period is spent in learning theoretical and laboratory practices involved in dentistry. In the final years, you get to the actual dental practice with clinical practice carried out under strict supervision.

Pete┬áSoleimani who is a successful dentist in Santa Clarita CA says “School is the easy part, building a business and client base is where the real work begins.”


Upon graduation from dental school, many countries will require one to sit for a board exam and get licensed in order to be able to practice. In the US for instance, the National Board Dental Examinations must be undertaken by all dentists. This tests clinical procedures, dental sciences and ethics. Other statutory licensing differ from one state to the other with some offering regional exams while others have their own exams after which they license the dentists to freely practice.

With the right education and appropriate licensing, you are now a qualified dentist and can begin your career. Through this whole process, you will have got to obtain skills like fine motor skills and others needed to become a fully capable dentist. You can now take care of the oral and maxillo-facial health of paying clients as a general dentist. With time however, you could opt to advance your career and major in a specific field. All you will be needed to do is to undertake post-graduate studies in any of the nine fields recognized in dentistry. These are periodontics, prosthodontics, paediatric dentistry, dental public health, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oral and maxillofacial radiology, dental and maxillofacial pathology and endodontics.