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How to become a Dentist

Firstly, aspiring dentists will need a bachelor's degree and one with scientific content is good preparation for dental school. Then, students must pass the Dental Admission Test for a place at dental school to study for a doctorate in dentistry, dental medicine or dental surgery.

Dentists must hold a license and this process is overseen by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the American Dental Association alongside other regional boards. Each state is responsible for issuing its own licenses and most use regional boards to test dentists on their knowledge and skills via written examinations and observations of clinical practice on live patients.

Qualified dentists can decide to specialize by completing further training to earn a specialty state license through further study and work experience.

How to become: Orthodontist · Surgeon · Periodontist · Chief Dental Officer · Dentist
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Typical qualifications for a Dentist

Your Indeed Profile has 5 of the 6 qualifications typically needed to be a Dentist.
Indeed users who have worked as a Dentist typically have these qualifications.
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Certificates and licenses

Skills employers are looking for

Note this is provided for informational purposes only. Adding qualifications does not guarantee a job interview, opportunity, or an offer.
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Dentist jobs in United States

Augusta, GA
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in 1 hour
staff today inc3.1
Soledad, CA
$109 an hour
22 hours ago
Nuvia Dental Implant Center4.4
Alpharetta, GA
$350,000 - $550,000 a year
22 hours ago
MB2 Dental4.5
Sarasota, FL
From $300,000 a year
22 hours ago
Watermark Dental1
Brewer, ME
$38,713 - $46,622 a year
1 hour ago
View all Dentist jobs

Career progression for Dentist

Education levels for Dentists

Based on the requirements of Dentist job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Doctoral degree4.0%
Bachelor's degree3.0%
Master's degree2.0%
High school diploma or GED1.0%
Associate's degree0.0%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Dentist in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$95,300
4 - 8$111,500
8 - 12$118,000
12 - 16$122,900
16 - 20$115,000
20 - 24$131,200
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Common questions about career advices for a Dentist

What personal qualities do I need to be a good dentist?

For many people, going to the dentist can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, so having a good rapport with patients and being able to reassure and relax them is a vital skill. Dentists are also responsible for offering advice on ongoing oral care, and patients must trust them and be confident in their abilities, so strong communication skills are incredibly important.

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What career progression do dentists have?

Once you're a qualified dentist, there are a variety of careers available. These include community dental care which involves looking after patients who are not able to attend dental facilities who would be unable to access treatment otherwise. Some dentists choose to specialize in hospital dental care which can include maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and pediatric dentistry.

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