Dental Career Bismarck ND
Grand Rapids, ND
Grand Forks, ND
How to become a Dentist
There are currently 56 dental schools accredited by the American Dental Association. All of these schools require a minimum of two years of college level education in a science related field. Most dental school applicants have a bachelor's degree, though a few are accepted after two or three years of college. These students complete their bachelor's degree while attending dental school. Pre-dental students must take science classes.
Competition for dental school is stiff. Applicants are considered on the basis of their Dental Admissions Test score, grade point average, recommendations, and interviews. Dental school usually lasts four years beginning with classroom instruction and lab work in science. During the last two years, students treat patients under the supervision of licensed dentists. Upon graduation, individuals usually receive a degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). All states require practicing dentists to be licensed. Requirements vary by state, but usually individuals must graduate from an accredited dental school before passing both written and practical examinations. Some dental school graduates work as an associate dentist under an established dentist for two to four years to gain experience and save money to outfit an office of their own. However, most dentists purchase an existing practice or open a new one upon graduation from dental school.
What does a Dentist do?
Dentists diagnose and treat problems with teeth and mouth tissues. They also advise patients on oral care in an attempt to prevent future problems. Most dentists are general practitioners helping patients with a variety of needs from a routine oral exam at a dental cleaning and examining x-rays to removing tooth decay, filling cavities, and coating children's teeth with protective sealant. More extensive dental work done by most dentists includes teeth straightening, repair of broken teeth, corrective surgery on gums and the supporting bones, tooth extraction, and taking measurements and making models for dentures and mouth guards. Dentists will administer anesthetics for many of these procedures and write prescriptions for patients to use at home.
Dentists who are in business for themselves oversee the day to day administrative tasks of running an office. These tasks include bookkeeping, equipment purchases, and hiring and supervising of general office staff and dental hygienists, assistants, and technicians.
What skills or qualities do I need to become a Dentist?
Dentists should have good interpersonal skills for working with patients and colleagues in the office. In addition, dentists must have diagnostic skills including good visual memory with excellent judgment regarding space, size, shape, and color. Those in this field also have good manual dexterity and scientific skills. Successful dentists with their own private practice also have business sense and ...