Have you ever really thought about what it takes to become a dentist? It’s a good thing to know! After all, when you sit down in a dentist’s chair, you’re trusting them with your oral health and hygiene. And that, in turn, can affect the health of many parts of your body, including your brain and heart.
So, what really goes into becoming someone who can make your teeth sparkle?
Even if you don’t know all the ins and outs of what it takes to become a dentist, you probably know at least one thing: there’s a lot of school involved.
School, School, and More School
The first stepping-stone to becoming a dentist is completing your bachelor’s degree. This can technically be in any major. However, most people who are now going into dentistry choose a science major. This might be chemistry, biology, or other kind of science. This is all in preparation to eventually go to dental school and of course, earn a doctorate.
After students obtain their bachelor’s degree, there is — you guessed it — more school. When four years of undergraduate are complete, students go on to four years of dental school. This includes roughly 100 hours of observation in a professional dentist’s office. Some universities even require longer hours! In short, there is a lot of both practical and theoretical knowledge being learned.
Many dental students are encouraged to take part in hobbies that develop the dexterity and agility of both their hands. This might include drawing, knitting, calligraphy, piano, or embroidery. This makes sense since dentists are required to perform delicate, complicated surgical procedures with a variety of tools. Next time you are in the dentist’s chair, ask how they managed to get so good at their craft. You may even find that you share a hobby!
And Lots of Tests
Everyone who becomes a dentist has to pass a Dental Aptitude Test before they can get into dental school. Once they get into dental school, they will graduate with their DDS (Doctorate of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctorate of Medical Dentistry). These are equal to one another and just indicate a difference in specialties.
Of course, your dentist might have even more schooling under their belt! There are other specialties in the field of dental work, including endodontics, oral surgery, orthodontics, and prosthodontics.
Why Do People Choose to Become Dentists?
There are a lot of reasons why people decide to study dentistry! Dentists get to enjoy a good salary, of course, but there are many more benefits than that. Many dentists enjoy being able to help people in ways that actually permanently impact their lives. The importance of dental health can’t be exaggerated. The state of your teeth can affect not just your oral health, but all the systems of your body. What is more, your teeth can have a strong tie to your self-esteem. People feel physically and emotionally more comfortable when their teeth look great. And dentists get to help them achieve that!