Being a dentist is a rewarding profession, just like the feeling of joy of helping other people and taking care of their dental well-being. For this reason, some people dream of having this job. However, the dental career path is not easy. You’ll have to undergo several procedures and introspection to realize if you’re qualified to become a dentist.
Here is the procedure to undergo to become a practicing dentist:
You need to assess yourself if you have what it takes to become a dentist. Dentistry is not just about skills and knowledge, but a character is also necessary to become successful in this profession.
A good interpersonal relationship is required (Reference – Link) because you’ll be dealing with a lot of clients in your everyday life. You must be able to communicate the necessary procedures that your client has to undergo. The communication must be clear to avoid misunderstanding. You must know the proper words to say to build your patient’s trust and make him feel comfortable.
Additionally, a dentist is capable of knowing how his patient feels. He must be able to understand what the patient feels. Empathy will help you be able to understand your patient’s problem accurately (Source – Birkbeck Dentistry, A leading dentist based in Sidcup).
You must have the passion for helping other people. Money is just a secondary reward. A dentist’s primary joy is the sense of achievement of being able to alleviate the suffering of other people.
Furthermore, you must have a continuous passion for learning. There are always new methods and skills in all medical practices, and this includes dentistry. Having this habit of learning will help you grow in your career.
Take the Dental Admission Test
Dental Admission Test is a standardized multiple choice test for people who want to pursue dentistry as a Bachelor’s degree in USA and Canada. The test is worth $430. The test lasts for almost 4 hours long. It measures the necessary abilities a person must have to become a dentist, just like the person’s academic capacity, scientific understanding, and perceptual ability. Dental Admission Test is required by all schools offering a degree in dentistry. Do your best to acquire good grades because this is where some universities will base your admission from.
Enroll for a Bachelor’s degree
Take the prerequisites before taking the test. Complete the 90-hour undergraduate program. Although there are some dental schools offering a complete program, it is still better to take a separate undergraduate program to master the necessary subjects deeply.
Get a Part-Time Job Related to Dentistry
If you can manage your time well, you might want to consider applying as a dental assistant. By doing so, you’ll learn all the practical skills needed when you become a dentist yourself. Moreover, you might find a mentor in the person of the dentist you’re working with.
Take the Board Exam
The board exam will measure your potential because being a health practitioner is a dangerous job. You have to take it to qualify as a practicing dentist. To get a license you must pass two examinations, the first one is the National Board Dental Examination and the second one is the State examination.
The National Board Dental Examinations deal with topics like dental anatomy, biomedical sciences, dental ethics, and patient management. Universities and dental schools support this exam and they’re willing to guide you all the way to pass this test.
After taking the National Board Dental Examination, you’ll have to take the practical examination approved by the state’s licensing board. The requirements for this exam vary in each state.
Consider a Specialization
Once you pass the test, you may now practice your profession as a dentist, but it’s still better to find where you will specialize to expand your professional knowledge. Dentistry specializations include: Dental Public Health, Pediatric Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Prosthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Endodontics, Periodontics, and Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.
Being a dentist is possible but not easy. You have to undergo a difficult process to achieve your goal of becoming a dental health practitioner, because in the end, you will know that it is worth it.