A dentist is trained and licensed to practice the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases, injuries and malformations of the teeth, jaw and mouth. Most dentists practice general dentistry, giving them the capability to provide comprehensive care to a variety of patients.
Some dentists choose to limit their practices to a recognized dental specialty:
• Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
• Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
• Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
• Pediatric Dentistry
• Public Health Dentistry
If you are in high school, enroll in college preparatory classes in chemistry, biology and algebra. Receive a broad exposure to science and math. A well-rounded liberal arts education is also desirable. If you are currently in college, build a solid foundation in the natural sciences – especially general biology and inorganic chemistry. Psychology and business courses can also provide background important to your success as a dentist. You don’t have to major in science, but you will need to complete the pre-dental science courses.
Dental School Curriculum
A dental education requires a bachelor’s degree and four years of dental school. If you decide to go into one of the nine specialties, you’ll need a minimum of two years additional schooling. Dental schools grant doctoral degrees in Dental Science. When researching this subject, it is recommended you contact several dental schools. Talk about specific requirements with their admissions officers.
Tuition and Financial Assistance
Although dental school may seem expensive, recent studies indicate dental school is an excellent investment. In addition to tuition, the cost of dental education includes books, fees, instruments and living expenses. Many students cover educational expenses through readily available loans, limited scholarships and grants.
Besides prestige, flexibility and personal fulfillment, dentistry offers a variety of challenges and excitement.
California Dental Association
American Dental Association
Dental Board of California
California dental schools
Linda University (LLU) – School of Dentistry
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) – School of Dentistry
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) – School of Dentistry
University of the Pacific (UOP) – School of Dentistry
University of Southern California (USC) – School of Dentistry