Florida is a state with many opportunities for dentists. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state ranks at number four in terms of employment levels in this occupation, with 6,840 jobs. It comes fourth after California (17,240), New York (8,700) and Texas (8,110).
If you want to become a part of this high growth field, you ought to be aware of the requirements and steps to become a dentist in Florida, along with the amount of time you would need to invest in the process.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Florida
The amount of time needed to become a dentist in Florida has been estimated according to the education, experience and licensure requirements. Exact timelines may vary according to specialty, educational institute and license application.
- Bachelor’s Degree – 4 Years
This would be required in order to qualify for admissions into a dental program. Students are encouraged to take up courses in pre-med and sciences at this stage. No specific major is required.
- Dental Degree – 4 Years
After clearing the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), students will enroll in a dental degree program. Here they will learn about subjects such as anatomy, periodontics, local anesthesia and radiology. All dental school programs include a component of clinical experience, where students work under the supervision of an experienced and licensed dentist. This degree results in a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry/Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). The program needs to be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
- Residency – 2 to 4 Years
All dentists need to complete this mandatory training before being eligible for licensure. The training is usually in the form of a residency in a CODA-approved program related to the specialty. Some programs, such as oral and maxillofacial surgery may have longer training requirements.
How Much Does a Dentist Make in Florida?
According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dentists in Florida made an annual mean wage of $167,270 in the year 2018. Dentists who have specializations typically have higher salaries. For instance, Orthodontists in Florida made an annual mean income of $204,750, while prosthodontists made an annual mean income of $217,410 in Florida. In order to get specializations, dentists have to fulfill additional educational and experience requirements and would need added credentials. Licensing requirements might also be different for such cases.
Requirements to Get a Florida Dentist License
The Florida Board of Dentistry provides a detailed look into the requirements for licensure.
It lists down the requirements for licensure as follows:
- All candidates need to be at least 18 years of age
- All candidates should be graduates of a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation or any other agency accredited by the US Department of Education
- All candidates need to pass the Dental National Board Exam, the Florida Laws and Rules Examination and the ADEX Dental Licensing Examination
If you fulfill the above requirements, you may submit an application with the Florida Board of Dentistry for licensure.