Pre-Dental Students

Prerequisites can vary on a school by school basis. Please check the prerequisites for schools to which you hope to apply.
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Basic Pre-Dental Prerequisites

Biology 2 semesters (BIO 201 & 202)
General Chemistry 2 semesters (CHEM 101 & 102)
Organic Chemistry 2 semesters (CHEM 231/232 & 233/234)
College Physics 2 semesters (PHY 101 or 151 & 102 or 152)
English 1 semester (ENG 125)
Biochemistry 1 semester (BIO 412)
Some dental schools may have additional requirements. Some recommend anatomy, histology, immunology, microbiology, physiology, molecular biology, and zoology.  Others will not accept community college coursework for prerequisites or electives.  Additionally, some will not accept AP coursework for prerequisites or electives.
Applicants are encouraged to research the specific requirements for the schools they are considering. Information regarding each dental school can be found in the 2012 ADEA Official Guide to Dental School available through ADEA at http://www.adea.org/publications/Pages/OfficialGuide.aspx .

Dentists

According to http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Career/1/Dentist, “Dentistry is the branch of the healing arts and sciences devoted to maintaining oral health.  It is a dynamic health profession, offering opportunities to become a successful, highly respected member of the community. Dentists enjoy excellent compensation and the high demand for dental care is likely to continue in the future.  The realization that oral health can have a serious impact on systemic health drives the expansion of new professional opportunities each year…Approximately 80% of all dentists are general dentists.  Additional experience, training or education beyond a DMD or DDS allows general dentists to further specialize in the following fields:
Endodontics – diagnosis and treatment of injuries that are specific to the dental nerves and pulp (matter inside the tooth).
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology – study and research of the causes, processes, and effects of diseases with oral manifestations.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology – taking and interpretation of conventional, digital, CT, MRI, and allied imaging modalities of oral-facial structures and disease.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – diagnostic services and treatment for injuries, diseases, and defects of the neck, head jaw, and associated structures.
Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics – diagnosis and treatment of problems related to irregular dental development, missing teeth, and other abnormalities.
Pediatric Dentistry – treatment of children from birth to adolescence.
Periodontics – corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones to treat gum disease.
Prosthodontics – restoration and replacement of teeth damaged by decay, lost from trauma or disease, with fixed or removable appliances constructed with newly developed dental material.
Dental Public Health – development of policies and programs, such as health care reform, that affect the community at large.”

Careers In Dentistry

Information about careers in dentistry may be found at http://info.adea.org/dep/ and http://info.adea.org/DEP/Pathways/Pathways/ and http://info.adea.org/DEP/Building_Blocks/Building_Blocks/

Employment Outlook And Earnings

The current Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for Dentists can be found at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dentists.htm

Applying To Dental School

Admission to dental school has become very competitive over the past few years. For additional statistical information, see http://www.adea.org/publications/Pages/2009-Applicants-and-Enrollees.aspx.
Most dental schools participate in the American Association of Dental Schools Application Services (AADSAS) which is a centralized application service. AADSAS provides uniform information about applicants in a standardized format. As a rule, students should initiate the application process approximately one year prior to the expected date of entry into dental school. More information regarding dental school applications may be found at http://www.adea.org/DENTAL_EDUCATION_PATHWAYS/AADSAS/Pages/default.aspx .

Standardized Test: Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

Dental school applicants must take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) which helps evaluate an applicant’s aptitude for dentistry. The DAT designed to assess a student’s knowledge of natural sciences, reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning, and perceptual ability. The DAT is given at Thomson Prometric Test Centers on a computer and is administered almost every day of the year. Students are encouraged to take the test at least one year prior to their anticipated entry into dental school. The DAT is a four hour and fifteen minute test.  More information may be found at http://www.ada.org/sections/educationAndCareers/pdfs/dat_examinee_guide.pdf

Further Information

For further information on dentistry, visit http://explorehealthcareers.org/en/Field/3/Dentistry .

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