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How to Become a Dentist | A Three-Step Guide

Training to become a dentist requires a good bit of time and determination. A career in dentistry comes with the requirements of dental school, state certification and finding the right job.

Mapping out the dentist training and education required to get you there can make all the difference in achieving your goals for the future.

Step One: Complete A Dental Degree Program 

Most dental degree programs require four years of undergraduate training. After taking and passing the Dental Admission Test (DAT) — usually in your junior or senior year of the undergrad program of your choice — it's time to apply for dental school admission and decide on which school to attend.

During the first and second years of dental school, most of the dentist training consists of classroom learning focused on science courses, paired with lab activities. In your third and fourth years of dental school, the majority of the learning comes from group clinical work, where you will practice while supervised by a licensed dentist.

The typical clinical work includes:

  • Diagnosing patients
  • Administering teeth cleanings
  • Performing tooth extractions 

Upon completion of a dental degree program, you can earn the title of either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). 

Step Two: Get a Dental License 

All states require dentists to hold a license in order to practice. To attain dental licensure, you typically must take and pass a written and clinical exam. This process is normally regulated by the National Dental Examinations and your state's licensing board.

Step Three: Find the Perfect Dentist Job

The final exciting step is to use your dentist training to find the perfect job! If you want to collaborate with dental professionals intent on providing quality oral health care to commonly overlooked communities, Kool Smiles may be the place to start your dental career.

Many Kool Smiles dentists earn higher pay than the national average rate. We also reward our doctors with extensive benefits, including on-the-job dentist training and reimbursement for external continued education.

Connect with a Kool Smiles recruiter today to learn more about our available job opportunities!






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