Dentists often get to set their hours, run their offices, and determine the number of patients, hours worked, and fees charged, how much they can make each year. Don’t let the daunting task of several years of school get your down. Take advantage of the opportunity when you are young to be trained for a particular industry. You can also change careers when you are a little older, although often switching jobs so drastically once further in age is less likely. Read on to see how many years of school to expect.
To go to dentistry school, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Bachelor’s degrees typically take between four and five years to complete. While having a degree is critical if you don’t continue to dental school, it’s not an absolute necessity. Some schools for dentists will accept you with just 90 credits (typical bachelor’s degrees start at 120 hours). Ninety hours would be approximately three years of study at a university or college.
Remember, each dental school will be different, so be sure to check the requirements of the dental school at which you wish to apply. Some schools may require you to finish a degree, and some may be satisfied with a pre-med partial degree. In undergrad, you’ll want to consider your major to be your initial preparation for dental school. Majors in math, chemistry, physics, or biology will help you in school. At a major university, you might be able to find an adviser who can help you tailor your undergrad study to work in your favor in school. Even if you have a liberal arts undergrad degree, taking classes in biology and chemistry will help you in your career pursuits. After undergrad, and once admitted to dental school, it will take approximately six years to join the ranks of the dentists. If you want to study further to be an orthodontist or even a pediatric dentist, you must still complete dental school as planned and then move ahead to a specialty.
Dental schools aren’t looking for good dentists. They’re looking for good students with excellent grades and good character. Dental schools range from 3-4 years of study. Again, if you plan to study further, expect more years to be tacked on end. If you choose to work in a specialized field, post-grad education is a necessity. Don’t be afraid of the years it may take to complete dental school. We expect dentists to know what they are doing, and if you want to become one, you should be well trained too.