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Dentists must be licensed in the state(s) in which they work. Licensure requirements vary by state, although candidates usually must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass written and practical exams.Education
All dental schools require applicants to have completed certain science courses, such as biology and chemistry, before entering dental school. Students 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, might increase one’s chances of being accepted. Requirements vary by school.
College undergraduates who plan on applying 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.
Dental school programs typically include coursework in subjects such as local anesthesia, anatomy, periodontics (the study of oral disease and health), and radiology. All programs at dental schools include clinical experience in which students work directly with patients under the supervision of a licensed dentist.
Completion of a dental program results in one of three degrees: Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM), and Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD). In 2015, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, part of the American Dental Association, accredited more than 60 dental school programs.
High school students who want to become dentists should take courses in chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy, and math.Training
All nine dental specialties require dentists to complete additional training before practicing that specialty. This training is usually a 2- to 4-year residency in a program related to their specialty. General dentists do not require any additional training after dental school.
Dentists who want to teach or do research full time usually spend an additional 2 to 5 years in advanced dental training. Many practicing dentists also teach part time, including supervising students in dental school clinics.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Dentists must be licensed in the state(s) in which they work. All states require dentists to be licensed; requirements vary by state. Most states require a dentist to have a degree from an accredited dental school and to pass the written and practical National Board Dental Examinations.
In addition, a dentist who wants to practice in one of the nine specialties must have a license in that specialty. Licensure requires the completion of a residency after dental school and, in some cases, the completion of a special state exam.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Dentists must have excellent communication skills. They must be able to communicate effectively with patients, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and receptionists.
Detail oriented. Dentists must be detail oriented so that patients receive appropriate treatments and medications. They also must pay attention to the shape and color of teeth and to the space between them. For example, they may need to closely match a false tooth with a patient’s other teeth.
Dexterity. Dentists must be good at working with their hands. They work with tools in a limited area.
Leadership skills. Most dentists work in their own practice. This requires them to manage and lead a staff.
Organizational skills. Strong organizational skills, including the ability to keep accurate records of patient care, are critical in both medical and business settings.
Patience. Dentists may work for long periods of time with patients who need special attention. Children and patients with a fear of dental work may require a lot of patience.
Physical stamina. Dentists should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as bending over patients for long periods.
Problem-solving skills. Dentists need strong problem-solving skills. They must evaluate patients’ symptoms and choose the appropriate treatments.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Pediatric Dentist
Top Careers After Pediatric Dentist
Hispanic or Latino22.6%
Black or African American1.2%
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill7.1%
University of Illinois at Chicago7.1%
Loma Linda University7.1%
University of Southern California7.1%
Virginia Commonwealth University7.1%
New York University3.6%
Brown Mackie College-Northern Kentucky3.6%
University of California - Los Angeles3.6%
University of North Texas3.6%
University of Richmond3.6%
Central Virginia Community College3.6%
Interfaith Medical Center3.6%
Western Kentucky University3.6%
Houston Community College3.6%
Coppin State University3.6%
University of Alabama3.6%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Pediatric Dentist||Juan D. Villarreal DDS Series PLLC||Harlingen, TX||Oct 01, 2011||$417,400|
|Pediatric Dentist||Juan D. Villarreal DDS Series PLLC||Harlingen, TX||Oct 01, 2014||$417,400|
|Pediatric Dentist||Juan D. Villarreal DDS Series PLLC||Harlingen, TX||Jun 12, 2012||$391,313|
|Pediatric Dentist||Harlingen Family Dentistry||Harlingen, TX||Feb 22, 2011||$391,313|
|Pediatric Dentist||Fusion Dental, P.A.||Eldersburg, MD||Jan 02, 2015||$304,702|
|Pediatric Dentist||Fusion Dental, P.A.||Eldersburg, MD||Jan 02, 2012||$292,326|
|Pediatric Dentist||Texas Dental Associates P.A.||Houston, TX||Jun 24, 2011||$286,963|
|Pediatric Dentist||Texas Dental Associates P.A.||Katy, TX||Jun 16, 2011||$286,963|
|Pediatric Dentist||Collins Dentistry for Children, PLLC||Pelham, NH||Jul 01, 2015||$260,000|
|Pediatric Dentist||Collins Dentistry for Children, PLLC||Pelham, NH||Jan 07, 2015||$260,000|
|Pediatric Dentist||Kool Smiles Van, PC||Christiansburg, VA||Sep 14, 2016||$250,440|
|Pediatric Dentist||DR. Linda T. Burke, Pa||Harlingen, TX||Jan 17, 2011||$240,000|
|Pediatric Dentist||DR. Linda T. Burke, DDS, Pa||Harlingen, TX||Jan 17, 2011||$240,000|
|Pediatric Dentist||Mortenson Dental Holdings, Inc.||New Albany, IN||Apr 22, 2016||$220,000|
|Pediatric Dentist||Lytle Pediatric Dentistry||Lytle, TX||Nov 05, 2014||$198,265|
|Pediatric Dentist/Dental Director||Walnut Street Community Health Center, Inc.||Hagerstown, MD||Jan 02, 2012||$197,222|
|Pediatric Dentist||Worcester Pediatric Dental Group||Worcester, MA||Jun 14, 2016||$196,470|
|Pediatric Dentist||William A. Pena DMD Pa Dbaamerican Pediatric Denta||Pembroke Pines, FL||Oct 19, 2016||$190,000|
|Pediatric Dentist||Fusion Orthodontics and Childrens Dentistry||Dallas, TX||Jan 15, 2016||$187,830|
|Pediatric Dentist||Dental Professionals Cleveland-Nouneh, Inc.||Canton, OH||May 08, 2016||$187,200|
|Pediatric Dentist||DRS. Biery & Paulette PC||Harrisonburg, VA||Mar 11, 2013||$150,000|
|Pediatric Dentist||Texas Dental Associates P.A.||Houston, TX||Dec 22, 2011||$149,867|
|Pediatric Dentist||Fort Bend Pediatric Dentistry PLLC||Missouri City, TX||Dec 22, 2014||$147,488|
|Pediatric Dentist||Fort Bend Pediatric Dentistry PLLC||Houston, TX||Dec 22, 2014||$147,488|
|Pediatric Dentist||Kool Smiles Van, PC D/B/A Kool Smiles||Falls Church, VA||Jan 21, 2016||$145,000|
|Pediatric Dentist||Arlington Pediatric Dentistry||Arlington, VA||Feb 11, 2015||$142,792|
|Pediatric Dentist||Hunterdon Family Dental, Pa||Flemington, NJ||Jan 10, 2016||$136,177|
|Pediatric Dentist||Howell Family Dental, Pa||Howell, NJ||Aug 18, 2014||$134,236|
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