If you are looking to become a dentist you will have to take at least 8 years of schooling and even more of you want become a dentist specialist. It may seem like a lot of time but a dentist salary isn't too shabby. The first four years of school will be done at any university to receive your prerequisites so you can be considered for admission into dental school. These prerequisites typically take 3 years to complete and up to 6 months for the application process which is why it takes 4 years. Prerequisites for dental school will consist of the following:
- Inorganic Chemistry (1 year)
- Organic Chemistry (1 year)
- Math (physics 1 semester, trigonometry 1 semester)
- Biology (1 year)
- Human Anatomy
Suggested additional courses: Statistics, Histology, Upper level biology, and biochemistry.
After you have finished those courses you will then have the chance to take The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) which is the entrance exam needed to get into dental school. This exam will be on the courses you have taken at the university. The DAT is a very challenging and tough exam that takes a lot of preparation to be ready for.
Once you have finished all of this you will wait to see if you got into dental school. On average only 30% of the applications are accepted and the average GPA is 3.4. Getting into dental school is very competitive.
You will then have 4 years of dental school once you get in. Once you graduate from here you will your Bachelor Degree and D.D.S (Doctorate of Dental Surgery) and you will become a Dentist Generalist. To become a Dentist Specialist you must do the same courses as a Dentist Generalist but do an additional year of school to receive your Specialist Certificate. But if you decide that you want to be something like an orthodontist, periodontist or oral surgeon then that will require you to take up to 2 more years of special education in that specific category after your D.D.S. You won't have to decide this until after dental school since the process is the same but there is extra schooling you will have to complete. After you finish schooling you will be off earning a very respectful amount of money.