Dentists prevent, diagnose and treat diseases, injuries and malformations of the teeth, jaws and mouth. Dentists need to have good visual memory, excellent judgment of space and shape, a high degree of manual dexterity, and scientific ability. In addition, good business sense, self-discipline and communication skills are helpful for success in private practice.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the May 2019 medial annual earnings of dentists was $159,200. Employment of dentists is projected to grow seven percent (faster than average) from 2018 to 2028. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages, cosmetic dental services become increasingly popular and access to health insurance continues to grow.
All dental schools require applicants to complete certain science courses, such as biology and chemistry, before entering dental school. You typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter most dental programs, although no specific major is required. However, majoring in a science, such as biology, may increase your chance of acceptance. Requirements vary by school.
College undergraduates who plan to apply to dental school usually must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) during their junior year. Admission to dental school can be competitive. Dental schools use these tests along with other factors, such as grade point average, interviews, and recommendations, to admit students into their programs.
All courses in chemistry and biology must include laboratory work. Additional courses in biology and biochemistry are strongly recommended to furnish a broad foundation, and courses in mathematics are suggested in preparation for physics and advanced chemistry. It is also recommended that English literature, speech, history, philosophy, sociology, political science, economics, accounting and psychology be studied to prepare you for your future career.