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Do you want a job that’s both in demand and pays well? If so, you should consider a career in dentistry.

Dentist jobs are expected to grow 8% within the next decade, and the median pay for a dentist is $163,000 a year. That means your skills will always be in-demand, and you will be well-compensated for helping others smile!

Are you interested in how to become a dentist but aren’t sure where to start? Keep reading – our quick guide will get you started on your future career in dentistry.

Receive a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming a dentist is to complete an undergraduate degree and get your bachelor’s degree. This is required for most dental school applicants. During this time you can take the needed prerequisites, and prepare yourself for the DAT.

Take the DAT

The next step is to take the DAT or Dental Admissions Test. The DAT test is a multiple-choice test that’s 4.5 hours long. The DAT assesses your skills in regard to reading comprehension, natural sciences, quantitative reasoning, and perceptual ability. The DAT is a requirement for entry to many dental schools.

Your DAT score will range from 1-30, with the highest score being 30. A good score is 20 or above.

Enroll and Complete Dental School

Once you have a Bachelor’s degree and have completed your DAT, you need to enroll in four years of dental school. Dental school involves medical courses such as anatomy, as well as dental-specific courses such as preventative dentistry. Dental schools also give you hands-on experience and shadowing, so your time in dental school will be more than sitting in a classroom.

Acquire Your Dental License

After graduating from dental school, you’re ready to complete the INBDE (Integrated National Board Dental Examination). You may also be required to undergo a clinical exam, depending on your jurisdiction. Once both are complete, you can receive your dental license.

Decide if You Want to Specialize

If you want to specialize in a specific field of dentistry, you need to complete a specialty residency. There are more areas of specialty than you may realize: endodontics, public health, dental anesthesiology, and of course, pediatric dentistry.

Each field comes with its own challenges. For example, pediatric dentistry is a popular area of specialty, but working with children is its own set of challenges.

That’s why if you plan on opening up your own office it’s important to learn about pediatric dental office designs. A kid-friendly dental office is going to look a lot different from a general dentist – think lots of bright colors, televisions playing cartoons, and a play area.

That’s How to Become a Dentist

If you’re determined to learn how to become a dentist, this guide will get you started. While the path to becoming a successful dentist can be a long one, job satisfaction, pay, and job security can make it a worthwhile career.

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