becoming a dentist

Becoming A Dentist

Being a dentist is a rewarding career and comes with many benefits; not only do dentists help keep smiles looking gorgeous, a career in the field of dentistry also offers financial stability, something that is of prime importance for many Americans during this period of economic recession.

When one is interested in becoming a dentist, it is important to first begin exploring the field by looking into volunteer opportunities; for example, look on genesisdental.net or other local dentist offices. By experiencing and observing firsthand some of the procedures performed by dentists, one can see whether or not dentistry is a field they are interested in pursuing.

Becoming a dentist generally requires attending a two or four year college first, followed by another five years in dental school. To become specialized in a particular field, such as orthodontics or periodontics, additional years of study is required. Although a science based major is not mandatory in college, it is generally recommended that one takes certain classes such as general biology and organic chemistry.

Getting into a good dental school is a competitive process. Certain things that increase one’s chances of acceptance include maintaining a high GPA, having previously volunteered or worked in a dental office and having a well rounded resume. Acceptance into dental school also requires an interview process which is often just as important as the application process.

Attending dental school involves a rigorous course load. During dental school, one will have both standard classes as well as pre-lab and then later clinical experiences. The biggest reason that students ultimately drop out of dental school is because they fall behind in their classes. Junior year of dental school sees the largest number of drop outs.

Within the area of dentistry there are many additional specialities. Endodontists deal with the nerves and pulp of the tooth. Often patients needing root canal will visit an endodontist. Areas of oral and maxillofacial issues are other common specialities. Periodontists deal specifically with gums and maintaining gum health.

After completing dental school, graduates have several career options available to them. Some dentists will immediately decide to open their own private practice. Many dentists, however, find opening their own private a very stressful and cumbersome endeavor. Approximately 80% of dentists work as general dentists, while the remaining 20% continue studying in order to specialize a particular area of dentistry.

Other dentists graduates choose to continue educating other young dentist hopefuls. This can be in the form of doing research, writing for a dentist journal or working as a clinician in a dental school. Some dentists choose to combine working in a private practice with doing research on the side. 

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