As the modern diet has eroded public health, oral health has declined significantly over the last century. Occurrences of dental diseases are skyrocketing, and the need for dental health professionals has never been higher. Thus, if you're considering a career in dental health, your timing couldn't be better. Dental schools have cropped up everywhere to teach the fundamentals of oral health and prepare you for a career in dentistry.
Dental School Success Factors
Successful dental professionals typically display strong interpersonal skills, integrity, motivation and empathy. They also possess manual dexterity and have acquired valid clinical experiences such as shadowing and observation.
Dental School Admissions
A dental school admissions committee typically considers a number of criteria in deciding who gets accepted to dental school, including scholastic record, aptitude for science demonstrated by academic record and the DAT, academic performance on the DAT, in particular the PAT portion of the exam to determine spatial aptitude, reading comprehension performance on the DAT, especially for English as a Second Language applicants, letters of recommendation, and a personal interview.
Dental School Curriculum
A typical dental school curriculum teaches the foundational basic science and preclinical laboratory courses in the first 2 years, while clinical experiences in comprehensive patient care begin early in the first year. A typical dental school courses include general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biology, introductory psychology, biochemistry, histology, physiology, human or comparative anatomy, social sciences, microbiology, communication, business, composition, technical writing, fine arts, philosophy, engineering, and classics.
Dental School Degrees
The typical degree award by dental schools is a DDS, or Doctor of Dental Surgery. A DDS degree typically takes four years to complete, which involves both coursework and clinical training.
Jobs in dentistry are always available as the rate of oral diseases in on the rise. Most dental school graduates start in the office of another dentist, ultimately gaining experience and opening up their own dental practice. Like many advanced degrees in medicine, dentistry can be a lucrative business, with higher paying practices in the cosmetic dentistry field.