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Dental Degrees


What degrees are necessary to practice general or family dentistry?

General dentists, also called family dentists, practice with one of two qualifying degrees recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA): A Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). These are two names for the same advanced degree earned

What course studies are necessary to prepare for dental school?

Before entering dental school two to four years of undergraduate study are required. These first years are most often spent working towards a Bachelor’s of Science (BS) degree; however, a BS is not necessarily a prerequisite for entering dental school. Many dentists have gone on to earn Master’s Degrees and Doctorates without having first earned a Bachelor’s. This depends entirely on the admissions requirements of a particular dental school.

The courses of study undertaken by a would-be dental school applicant would include biology, anatomy, chemistry, and physics. Undergraduate studies can be completed at any community, technical, or four-year institution.

What will the first two years of classroom experience involve?

Entering dental school means a continuation of advanced math and science through classroom and lab work. This would include physiology, biology, calculus, chemistry, and organic chemistry. Also expect some soft skill training on how to best interact with patients, as well as basic anesthesiology training.

What degrees or additional training are necessary to become a dental specialist?

Choosing to pursue a career in one of the fields of specialized dentistry would mean first earning the standard dental degree (DDS or DMD) then going on to earn a Master’s Degree or Certificate of Specialty Training specific to the particular field. For example a practicing Prosthodondist has earned a Master’s of Science in Prosthodontics or a Certificate in Specialty Training in Prosthodondics.

The length of time and the cost associated with earning this accreditation varies widely based on the specialty being pursued, whether the student pursued a Master’s Degree or a certificate program, and whether residency programs were involved. Expect to spend an additional two to four years in school and an additional $40,000 to $150,000 earning an MS depending on the length of the program and weather it is a state school or private institution. Factoring the cost of undergraduate studies and dental school, the total expense would be anywhere between $135,000 and $350,000 to complete the entire academic process.

What’s the difference between a Degree and a Certificate?

A Master of Science Degree (MS) generally carries more prestige than a certificate in that it involves a fuller, more rounded academic experience that includes electives and humanities. A Master’s Degree is generally more desirable as it tends to open more doors to career opportunities than does a certificate. If a student is uncertain of which specialized field he would want a career in, the certificate is often pursued to allow greater exposure to that field before making a commitment. The certificate; however, can be earned in considerably less time and for less money than a Master’s and still qualifies the earner to practice his specialized field of dentistry.

Dentist Schools