If you want to help people restore their self-confidence by fixing their teeth and smiles, then a career in dentistry is ideal for you. As part of their job duties, dentists are responsible for:
- Providing care for patients’ gums and teeth.
- Detecting gum and tooth diseases.
- Repairing fractured teeth, straightening teeth, removing tooth decay, cleaning infections, filling cavities, scaling and polishing teeth, and installing caps/bridges.
- Prescribing oral and dental medication for pain relief.
- Educating patients on how to improve their dental hygiene.
In case you’re wondering how long it takes to become a dentist in Pennsylvania, then you might find this guide useful.
The Procedure for Becoming a Dentist in Pennsylvania
The procedure for becoming a dentist is long, therefore you should think long and hard before you decide to pursue this career path.
The route to dentistry includes the following stages:
- Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree and Prepare for DAT
Becoming a licensed Dentist in Pennsylvania requires extensive schooling. The first step is to gain admission in a bachelor’s program that allows you to complete your pre-dental requirements. While a specific major is not required, dental schools look out for applicants who have studied courses related to Biology, Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry. Moreover, you will also have to get a good score on your Dental Admission Test (DAT) in order to get into a good dental college.
- Enroll in an Accredited Dental Program and Graduate
Once you have completed your undergraduate studies, you can think about applying to advanced programs such as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D) program. The coursework of these programs is based on modules related to Periodontics, Orthodontics, Operative Dentistry, Dental Materials and Oral Medicine. These degrees typically take four years to complete.
- Get Your License
In order to get the license, you will have to apply to The State Board of Dentistry. Please make sure that you have met the education and training requirements prior to applying for the license because if the board finds out that you haven’t fulfilled the criteria, your application will be turned down straight away.
Requirements to Become a Dentist in Pennsylvania
You must meet the following licensure requirements before filing the application:
- You should have completed an accredited doctoral program in Dentistry.
- You should have completed a mandatory training in child abuse identification and reporting.
- Should have cleared the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam (written test) and the dental clinical exam.
If you have fulfilled the above mentioned criteria, then you should proceed to the application stage. This stage requires you to send a licensure application to the State Board of Dentistry, along with an application fee. In order to avoid delays in license processing, you should ensure that you send all the supporting documents along with the initial application form.
How Much Does a Dentist Make In Pennsylvania?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that dentists working in Pennsylvania earned an impressive salary. Their yearly mean salary was $153,950 in May 2018 – therefore, this profession is fairly lucrative.