Oral Health and Dental Care
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What qualifications do you need to become a dentist?

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Wiki User
October 24, 2010 7:34PM

In the U.S., you typically need a 4-year bachelor's degree with coursework that meets requirements in biology, chemistry, physics, and math (among others). You need to take the DAT (Dental Admissions Test) and then apply to dental school. Generally, your GPA should be around a 3.5 or higher. Dental school is 4 years long - you'll take classes, get clinical experience, take the National Boards (2 parts), and then graduate. To practice in any state, you then have to take a licensing exam that includes written and clinical components. Some dentists specialize in certain areas - like root canal treatments (endodontists), braces (orthodontists) or oral surgery. If you want to specialize, it requires additional training - usually 2 or more years. Overall, the process is a lot like becoming a physician.

Some dental schools offer a 6-year program that combines undergrad and dental school, but these are becoming less common.