Becoming a Dentist in Tennessee - TN
Though it’s not completely necessary, those considering undertaking a dentistry education in Tennessee should think about taking part in a job shadowing program, where they can see for themselves what constitutes the daily life of a working dentist.
If you like what you see, then your next step is to begin working towards getting into a dental school. These schools are competitive, and are looking for applicants with good grades, strong extracurricular activities, who have earned a bachelor’s in a relevant field, usually biology or chemistry.
As you get close to earning your bachelor’s, begin studying for the dental admissions test, or DAT. Passing this test is mandatory for getting into a dental school in Tennessee, and there are many organizations and resources that can aid in preparing you.
Once you’ve graduated with your bachelor’s and passed the DAT, apply for, and enroll in, the dentistry schools of your choice. These schools offer four year doctorate programs that terminate most commonly in a DDS, or doctorate of dental science.
During your studies, you’ll spend as much time in the classroom as you will in an actual practice, working alongside and learning from licensed and practicing dentists.
Study hard, because before you graduate you’ll have to pass the NBTE, one of the most grueling medical exams that exist. It combines a comprehensive written general knowledge test with two days of observation; passing it solidifies your status as a dentist in Tennessee.
Once you’ve passed the test and graduated, you need only apply for licensure from the Tennessee Board of Dentistry. When you’ve been approved, you’re wholly ready to pursue your well-paid and rewarding career as a dentist. You need only to renew your license every two years, and earn 40 continuing education hours in that time.