In order to become a dentist, there are a few things you will need to accomplish prior to getting the job. The first thing you will need to do is get your bachelor’s degree in some sort of science whether it be anatomy, chemistry, biology and then once they graduate they can choose a specialty. Once you chose your specialty you will need to attend dentistry school to get your education in that specific area. You can choose from Orthodontics, Pediatrics, Dentistry, or cosmetics.
Orthodontics is the specialty regarding braces and tooth structure, where pediatric deals with adolescents and early diagnosis that you are able to fix at earlier ages, and cosmetic is generally anything to improve the overall look of teeth, this can include whitening, caps, and venires so that people have more confidence in their smile. Usually, you will need to complete your residency before you are able to choose your specialty in this time you will get plenty of on-hands experience, unlike your undergrad. Residency is what happens after you complete your undergraduate, this way you can get a general feel of the field and get your feet in the door.
When you are completing your residency you will be able to participate in multiple fields of dentistry and see all the sides it has to offer. Many people chose their specialty during this time because they get a feel for what they enjoy most. Some people actually change their minds and realize what they thought they would enjoy and what they actually enjoy are two different things. This is why your residence is so important and really gives you a broad spectrum to make the right decision.
Once you chose your specialty you are officially on your way. You may want to pursue your doctoral degree that way you are able to have more doors open up for yourself. Many people also get their doctoral degrees so that they are able to open their own practice and have their own patients. You can also attend Dental School, which must be accredited by the American Dental Association so that you can receive proper certification in your field.
A Doctoral of Dental Medicine will offer 4 years of intensive practice of in-class, pre-clinical and clinical instruction. Postgraduate classes generally take anywhere from 2 to 6 years to complete. Once completed students will take an internship which will result in an externship in the field of their choice and begin work. Dentists are always able to switch their specialty and it only requires different certifications. If you chose to change from pediatric to cosmetic you do not have to go back and complete another 4 years of dental school you will only be required to complete a new certification.
Dentistry is a growing field and has many different opportunities for students worldwide. With a total of 8 to 10 years of schooling and certification process, you will be a dentist.