Click on the map below to bring schools in the selected region to the top of the list:
Major in Pre-Dentistry
Article by Rachelle Wiggins
“During your day [as a dentist] you do good for a lot of people… You change lives in many, many ways—most of which you will never know.” ~Dr. Ted Thibodeau, DDS
Dentistry is one-part science, one-part technology, one-part artistry. It is a career that preserves well-being and restores what is decayed and broken through natural decline. Studies continue to link good oral health to good health overall. This knowledge, coupled with the reality of an aging population, continues to drive up the need for dentistry. In fact, the current growth rate for the profession is at a projected 19%, well above the average growth rate (about 7%) for other occupations. This year, U.S. News and World Report ranked dentistry as the #1 best healthcare career, and the #2 best career in general, based on employment rate, job growth in the future, stress-level, median salary and work-home balance. Though pre-dentistry is a challenging college major to be sure, its end result is a rewarding career that helps people achieve beautiful, healthy smiles.
So, what are some of the traits and skills necessary to succeed at this rigorous major? For starters, it is important to excel in the sciences, to be attentive to detail and to possess strong analytical skills. Secondly, because of the diverse population you will ultimately work with, good people skills are certainly an asset. In addition, dentistry as a profession requires a surprising amount of physical strength, stamina and dexterity. Sometimes people also overlook the fact that a dentist is often called upon to run a small business which requires the management skills necessary to supervise a staff, administer an office and handle time and money wisely. Finally, dentistry, with its ever-evolving technological advances, requires a commitment to on-going learning so as to keep up with the latest research and methodology.
Obtaining a pre-dentistry degree is not necessary in order to be admitted into dental school (some students have chemistry, biology or other degrees instead), but it does help to lay a strong foundation for the on-going educational requirements necessary to practice dentistry. Programs differ from school to school, so it is important to look carefully at various prerequisites, but typically dental students train for a total of eight years, including two years of residency to hone your clinical skills. As a pre-dentistry major you will take core classes in the humanities and math up through calculous. In addition, some of the classes you can expect to take include:
For those with exceptional drive and perseverance, the field of dentistry branches out into all kinds of specializations including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, periodontics and oral surgery. These areas require additional training and degrees. On the other hand, there are also solid related healthcare careers that require only a bachelor’s degree or less. Some to consider are:
If your aptitudes line up with those listed in this article and you have a desire to participate in a helping career that is challenging and rewarding, then perhaps a pre-dentistry major is the next right step for you!
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working unto the Lord, not men.” Colossians 3:23