Anonymous
Anonymous asked in HealthDental · 1 decade ago

what does it take to be a dentist?

6 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Start by going to a good college so you will have a better chance of admission to a dental school. Dental schools are becoming harder and harder to get into, so a good college helps.

    It helps to look into the requirements for admission to a dental school and work backwards. This will help you choose your college major and it might even help you choose your college. Typically, it is easier to match up the requirements for dental school admission with the requirements of a science major and biology seems to be the closest match. You could be a history major if you wanted to be, but then all of your electives would probably be used up trying to take courses required for dental school admission.

    Typically, you graduate from college with a bachelor's degree and then start dental school, which is a whole separate entity from college. Some colleges offer combined programs where the really bright and focused student might be able to combine some credits and actually enter dental school before receiving the undergraduate degree. Obviously, you would have to know this well in advance, as it might even determine where you apply to college. You do not have to disclose this intention as you are applying to the college, but you need to look into the program almost immediately, because it will determine quite a bit about what courses you need to take as soon as possible in college.

    Dental school treats different students differently. My experience was at least 98% positive, but some would tell you otherwise. I found that the best way to survive the rite of passage through dental school, which is still sort of a "Good Old Boy" network, is to just study and know your stuff. If you do NOT know your stuff, do not try to bluff your way through. Just say that you don't know the answer or need some help with the technique and you will find most instructors are interested in helping. Many instructors are part-time faculty with private practices in the real world. Nobody is forcing them to teach and they like to work with students who do not have a bad attitude and are ready to learn. There is more than one means to an end and students have to understand that they should not argue with an instructor who likes some different technique.

    It's not as difficult as the life of a surgical resident or anything, but dental school was the hardest school I attended. The class day was scheduled from 8 to 5 with an hour for lunch. I needed to spend a few hours at home every night just to be sure that I was current. That's the secret to getting through. (As if you have not heard this, even in high school...) Be sure that you know TODAY'S work before you move on. Review every lecture and look up things that you don't understand. If you get lost in the second week, you will be hopelessly lost in the third and spinning your wheels uselessly after that.

    In the clinical years, it can be difficult to match up your availability with clinic time availability, let alone your patients' time, but it can be done. In clinic, you have to do one step (or two) and wait to have it checked before you proceed. This can be frustrating for both you and your patient, as your instructor might be busy with another student who is having trouble. Some instructors like to hear their own voice and talk way too long, also. You will soon learn who they are and just avoid working with them in the clinic.

    As far as what it is like to practice dentistry, I enjoy it. You need to have ability with your hands, sure, but you also need to really like people. All kinds of people. There are some difficult aspects of practice, including people who waited three weeks with a toothache before they give up and call for help, but this is what keeps it interesting. If you own your own practice, dealing with staff can be troublesome. Hiring and firing... (They don't mention business AT ALL in dental school, so you will have to learn a lot from others or try to take a couple of business courses as electives in your undergraduate years.) If you like to help people and don't mind some technical challeneges along the way, you will like dentistry. Sometimes it hurts and I still hate to hurt anyone. In the early years, I told my dad (also a dentist) that it bothered me sometimes when I knew someone was in pain or that their treatment was going to cost a lot of money. He said, "Listen. You did not give them cavities and you did not cause their pain. You are the one who is going to help them and get them out of pain." You have to remember that at all times.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    This is long way, college, medical school, residency.

    Please check American Board of General dentistry,

    http://www.abgd.org/docs/apps.htm

    Also American Dental association, ada.org

    Also if you live near a dental school, visit program and speak with the director or a faculty member, plus dental students or residents, this way you will get good feeling of what exactly takes to be a dentist. Perhaps ask your dentist too.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    You need to take some science courses at a college or university (1 year of biology, 2 years of chemistry, and 1 year of physics required). You also need to take the DAT (Dental Admission Test) before applying to dental school. Then you can apply to dental school through AADSAS. If you're accepted, you go to dental school for 4 years. Then you can go to private practice, do a GPR (General Practice Residency) for a year, do volunteer work in an underpriveleged community or abroad. Go to the forums on studentdoctor.net if you want to talk to other pre-dental students. Good luck!

    Source(s): Myself (Pre-dental student)
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Go to dental school!

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • try going to this website....http://devry-info.com/index.html?c2=342&sc=true&on... think its a good sit but you can do whatever you want! have fun! oh and good luck!

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    YOU'VE GOT TO WANT IT REALLY DEEPLY AND STUDY EVEN HARDER. GOOD LUCK! DR. SAM HAS IT RIGHT ON POINT!

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.