How to Become a Dentist: Basic requirements and salary

How to Become a Dentist

Orthodontists are specialists who study the art as well as science of orthodontia. Their main responsibility involves treating malocclusions that arise because of irregular tooth positions or adverse jaw development. For one to become an Orthodontist he or she should begin by taking high school chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics as well as health courses.  He or she should also maintain high grade points in these courses.


Basic requirements

In college one is supposed to obtain a doctor of medical dentistry or doctor of dental surgery degree from a recognized dental school.  These two degrees are almost similar. After obtaining a degree from either of these two courses, one should apply to an orthodontic graduate program for a Masters of Science degree in orthodontics.  The implication here is that in order to become an orthodontist one has to go through a dental school.


Years of study

 Becoming an orthodontist is not like becoming a teacher, it takes a long time. The least number of years that one has to take to become an orthodontic specialist is 10 years. The time is divided into three phases. The first 4 years are spent in in undergraduate studies.  Another additional four years are spent in a dental school. Lastly at least 2 years are spent in an orthodontic graduate program.


After graduating from high school, a student who is aspiring to become a dentist should go to a college of science and pursue a course of health sciences.  A high school student who wants to be a dentist should concentrate more on sciences.


Dental Admission Test

Before joining a dentist school there is a test that one is required to take a test which is termed as the dental aptitude test.  The test is given at particular times of the year. The test can be repeated more than once if one wants to attain a pass mark score. The purpose of this test is to measure the reasoning perception of the student or candidate. On the other hand, the test is used to evaluate scientific knowledge and academic capacity.


Each year a set number of students are admitted to dental schools in an equal ratio of men to women. Before joining a dental school one must take an interview. The successful students are those who pass the interview.

Undergraduate Education

Once one has been successfully admitted to a dental school he or she enters an intensive study period of four years. Lectures and patient appointments for dental students normally begin from 8am to 5pm. afterwards, students engage in lab work from 5 pm. Therefore, dental students normally have a tedious day.

The first years in a dental class mainly involves concentrating in the classroom. When one gets to the second and subsequent years, he or she will have to attend to patients who have teeth problems as part of the coursework. After graduating from a dental school one can go to any field of the dentistry like oral surgery, periodontics, and orthodontics among many others.

Dental School and Orthodontic Graduate Program

Unlike in a dental school where 40 to 50 students are admitted, it is not easy to be admitted in an orthodontic graduate program.  An orthodontic graduate program normally admits three students yearly. Therefore, being among the selected three out of 40 or 50 is not as easy as many may think.  However, there is a chance for one to apply more than once.  In order for one to be admitted to the orthodontic graduate program, he or she needs to have scored the highest grades. It is not a matter of luck.


Becoming Licensed

After completing the orthodontic graduates program, one attains a Masters degree of science in Orthodontics. With a Masters degree one can apply for a specialty license to the state and begin his or her practice as orthodontics.

Working as an orthodontics demands both mental and physical power.  However, unlike other public works, Orthodontists normally work four days in a week.  The orthodontists are given a choice to take offs either on Wednesdays or Friday in addition to the weekend days.

Services provided by a dentist

Some of the services that are carried out by dentist include periodontal disease screening, decay screening, tooth staining, repairing as well as removing teeth and jaw analysis. Dentists also educate patients on how to protect their teeth against periodontal diseases.

Orthodontist Salary

Being an Orthodontist is not that easy as it requires patience and working hard academically. But after becoming an orthodontist the salary is motivating. Majority of the Orthodontist earn an average salary of $ 166,000 with enough hours of resting compared to other medical practitioners. The average income of dentists is among the highest in the US economy.

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Besides, the demand for dentists continues to rise as the number of old people who require teeth care keep on increasing. Some of the characters that a dentist should possess include having excellent communication, interpersonal skills, and conversant with new technology.

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