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Becoming a Dentist in Kentucky - KY

Kentucky gets its nickname, the bluegrass state, from the wide swathes of farming and rural grassland that dominate much of the state, but it is also home to several major cities and urban areas, as well as over 4 million people.

Dentistry is one of the most important and pivotal medical professions in the modern world, and Kentucky offers many opportunities for prospective dentists to pursue exactly the kind of dentistry career they want. By following these steps, you’ll know how to become a dentist in Kentucky, so you can enter this exciting and rewarding medical career.

  1. Before committing to a school, consider job shadowing a working dentist. There are programs in the state that will aid you in doing this, and doing so could be an invaluable tool in figuring out what you want to do.
  2. Dentistry schools are quite competitive, so you’ll want to do as well as you can in high school and participate actively in extracurricular activities. Do the same in college, as most dentistry schools require applicants to already have a bachelor’s degree, usually in a scientific field like biology or chemistry.
  3. Before you can transfer over to the dentistry school, you’ll need to take and pass the DAT, or dental admissions test. There are many online resources and organizations that can help you prepare, and good scores on this test, as well as a solid high school and college grade point average, will ensure you can get in.
  4. Once in a dentistry school, you’ll spend four years earning a DDS, or Doctorate of Dental Science. Take advantage of work experience programs, and try to spend the end of your school years working under dentists you admire, can learn from, and get along with.
  5. Once you’ve graduated, you’re almost ready to begin working, but you still need to take the NBDE, or National Board Dental Examination. It’s a complex test combining a written section testing general knowledge, and two days of observation.
  6. Once you’ve passed the NBDE, you need only apply for licensure from the Kentucky Board of Dentistry. This costs a nominal fee, requires some paperwork and proof of your accomplishments, and needs to be renewed ever 2 years with the completion of 30 continuing education hours.
  7. Once you’re licensed and fully vetted, you’re able to begin your career as a dentist in Kentucky.

Dentist Schools