Dentistry Colleges and Classes
Would you like to help people maintain good oral health and help them have attractive smiles? Are you interested in working in dental research or education? Attending dental college can open up various career paths for you in the field of oral health. Read on to learn more about dental colleges. Schools offering Dental Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Requirements Must I Meet to Enroll in Dental College?
Most dental schools require an undergraduate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university. As part of the pre-dental degree requirements, you'll generally need to satisfy a grade point average (GPA) and meet certain curriculum requirements. While these requirements vary among schools, dental colleges usually demand a core of biology, chemistry, physics and English courses.
Some dental schools also highly recommend specific courses in areas such as microbiology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, mathematics or psychology. After you have earned your undergrad degree or while you are in your final year of school, you will need to take the dental admissions test (DAT) offered by the American Dental Association (ADA).
What Courses Do Colleges Offer?
Dentistry courses engage the spectrum of knowledge and skills required to perform patient care and manage a practice. Several main categories in dentistry curriculum include orthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, periodontics and prosthodontics. Within these topics, you'll learn the art and science of pathology, diagnosis, treatment, anesthesia, consultation, surgery, radiology and risk management. In dental school, you'll also encounter practical topics such as dental law, ethics and business management.
All degree programs involve heavy participation in clinical rotations, which give you the opportunity to practice dental techniques on patients under the supervision of a licensed dentist. Skills you may develop from clinical rotations can include patient evaluation, X-ray analysis, interpersonal communication and disease recognition.
What Degree Will I Earn?
Completion of a dental curriculum can lead to one of two degrees: the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). Both degree programs prepare you for a career in general dentistry and qualify you to take the national licensing examinations.
What Are My Career Options?
There are varying types of specializations for dentists, including oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and periodontics. Focusing in a specialty area requires additional education after you've received your license in general dentistry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual income for general dentists was $158,770 in 2010 (www.bls.gov). Orthodontists earned an average income of $200,290 and oral surgeons earned $214,120 during the same time period, according to the BLS.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: