What Are the Duties of a Dentist?

Dentists are medical professionals who diagnose and treat problems with teeth or gums apart from other oral health issues. There are many sub-categories of dentists depending on the area of their specialization. For instance, they may choose to become Orthodontists, Prosthodontists or General Dentists etc.
Even though the duties of a dentist differ according to their specialization, there are a few common features of their job such as, prescribing treatments and medication, examining teeth and gums, removing or repairing damaged teeth, measuring teeth and gums shape to make models for dental appliances etc.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Chicago, IL?

Becoming a Dentist is a lengthy process and may take anywhere between 8 to 10 years. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get an idea.

    1. Bachelor’s Degree – 4 Years

High school graduates or those with a GED who are interested in becoming a dentist must begin by enrolling in a 4-year bachelor’s degree with courses in biology, chemistry, and other sciences. These courses help you develop basic concepts that would serve as building blocks for your career as a dentist.

    1. Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

After completing a bachelor’s degree, all aspiring dentists must take and pass the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) to enroll in a DDS or a DMD degree.

    1. Dental School (4-years)

Graduates of bachelor’s degrees with a passing score in DAT must enroll in either a 4-year Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a 4-year Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Students of a dental school usually sit in lectures and take lab courses for the first 2 years and gain clinical experience in the next 2 years of DDS/DMD degree.

    1. Obtaining State Licensure

Requirements to obtain a licensure vary for each state, but all states require dentists to clear the National Board of Dental Examinations (NBDE) to be eligible for a license.


What Are the Steps of Acquiring a License for Dentists in Chicago, IL?

The dental profession in the state of Illinois is regulated by 2 governing bodies, the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Illinois Dental Board (IDB). Dentists who want to work in Illinois must pass the American Dental Examination (ADEX) and submit the result to both bodies for approval.
However, only residents of Illinois with accredited degrees can take this exam directly to apply for licensure. Others with non-accredited degrees must follow the guide explained below:

    1. NBDE Part I

To be eligible for taking the NBDE Part I exam, you must get your DDS/DMD degree verified by the concerned state board.

    1. The 2-Year Advanced Standing Program

Those who obtained their DDS/DMD degrees outside the U.S. need to take another 2-year course in an accredited U.S. dental program. This step is commonly known as the Advanced Standing Program.

    1. NBDE Part II

U.S. citizens who are enrolled in accredited DDS/DMD degree can take the NBDE Part II as early as 45 days before graduating this degree.

    1. Application for Licensure

You can apply for the state issued licensure/certification upon successful completion of all requirements. All relevant educational certificates along with results of both NBDE exams must accompany the licensure application form.

How Much Can I Make as a Dentist in Chicago?

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated the annual mean salary of general Dentists in the state of Illinois as $171,590. In accordance with the data on BLS website, the state of Illinois has been consistently ranked as the 5th state with highest employment level for this profession since 2016.

What is the Job Outlook for Doctors in Chicago

From 2018 to 2028, an employment growth of 7% has been predicted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for general Dentists in the U.S. This growth rate is faster than the average for other occupations making it is a lucrative career.

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