Becoming a Dentist in Oregon - OR
If you’re curious about how to become a dentist in Oregon, the first place you should go is to a dentist’s office, as part of a job shadow program aimed at letting you see what the day-to-day life of a dentist is like.
If you’re still interested, and chances are that you will be if you’re already considering dentistry, then it’s time to start looking at schools.
Dental schools are notoriously competitive. They’re looking for applicants who did really well in high school, and later at a college and university, as prospective dentists in Oregon will need to earn a bachelor’s degree before they can transfer to a dentistry specific educational facility.
You’ll also need to complete the DAT, or dental admissions test, before a dentistry school will accept you.
Once you’re attending a dentistry school, you’ll begin a four year educational program ending with you earning a doctoral of dental science. Usually the first two years or so are spent in class, and the last two are spent in internships and clinics, working and learning with real dental professionals. Network, and choose places where you challenge yourself and you’re a good fit, as many of the people you meet during this time may help you find jobs later.
You will need to pass the National Board Dental Examination, or NBDE, before you can fully graduate as a DDS. This test combines a thorough written and multiple choice section testing general knowledge, with two days of intensive observation in a clinical setting, and passing it all but qualifies you as a full dental professional.
At this point, you need only to apply for a license from the Oregon Board of Dentistry, and periodically renew your license every 2 years while completing 40 continuing education hours.
When your license has been verified, usually only a few days or weeks after you’ve applied, you’re ready to step out into Oregon as a fully fledged Dentist.