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Become a Dentist

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A dentist performs many important duties in the maintenance of oral health. Check-ups are a major part of the job and are important for patients keeping on top of their oral care. In addition to general check-ups, general dentistry involves basic treatments that can be done at a regular dental office. Such procedures might include filling a tooth, performing a minor surgical procedure such as a tooth extraction, and cleaning and polishing teeth. A dentist will encourage patients to practice good dental care by brushing and flossing and getting regular cleanings as these good habits can help prevent cavities and other tooth and gum diseases.

How to Become a Dentist

Determine whether you possess general characteristics to become a dentist. You'll need a high aptitude for science, outstanding manual dexterity, and good communication skills. You will also need time and family support. You will have to take the required undergraduate courses, which will take 3-4 years, followed by 4 years of dental school. A dentist who runs his or her own practice needs employee management skills, a willingness to work 60+ hours weekly (at least in the early years), good business sense, plus capital for the investment.

Complete your prerequisite educational requirements. In the US you will need to attend high school and college before you are qualified to apply to dental school. Take useful courses in high school, such as chemistry, biology, physics, math, and health so that you will be prepared for your college coursework. You will take your prerequisite courses for dental school at a college or university.

Complete your prerequisite educational requirements. In the US you will need to attend high school and college before you are qualified to apply to dental school. Take useful courses in high school, such as chemistry, biology, physics, math, and health so that you will be prepared for your college coursework. You will take your prerequisite courses for dental school at a college or university.

Attend dental school. Once accepted, you will attend for 4 years.

Take didactic courses. You will continue to study anatomy, microbiology, biochemistry, and physiology in the classroom and lab.

Take clinical courses. You will also learn how to treat patients in the school's dental clinics. The clinical courses you will take include but are not limited to pedodontics, restorative dentistry, endodontics, dental radiology, oral surgery, removable prosthodontics, fixed prosthodontics, periodontics, and oral diagnosis.

Get professional experience. If you can manage your time effectively, get a part-time job in a dental office as a dental assistant or receptionist while you are in dental school. Chances are, you will not be able to work more than 10 hours a week. But, this will help you gain much needed behind-the-scenes experience at a dental office that you will not learn in dental school.