Becoming a Dentist in Alaska - AK
Alaska is worlds apart -- not just in its geography, but in the way that geography alters many activities, including a person’s professional career. In some ways, Alaska’s dentists are the same as dentists in other areas of the nation. They must graduate from an approved four-year program at a dental school. They have the option of choosing a specialty, like pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, or oral disease. Some Alaska dentists have a fascinating extra duty, though: supervising dental therapists. Alaska is one of just a couple states with a dental therapy program. Parts of Alaska are quite rural as well as quite chilly; though they lack roads and access to urban areas, these regions are home to many native peoples. Historically, they have been hard to staff with dentists.
The Surgeon General voiced concern that American Indian children had a rate of tooth decay several times that of the general US population. Alaska set up a program whereby trained dental therapists would provide basic dental care, supervised closely by trained dentists.
How to become a dentist in Alaska and become a part of this exciting field? The process involves a rigorous education program that culminates in approximately two years of hands on dental practice. It is advisable to start preparation early, at the beginning of one’s college career -- if not earlier.