Getting into dental schools to become a dentist is a competitive process. The process begins with applying to colleges and universities. Applicants are required to take a Dental Admission Test (DAT), pass the DAT, and submit application materials. Then, they are interviewed, and their letters of recommendation are taken into consideration. The final step is a clinical examination. This exam is administered by the American Dental Association. Candidates are evaluated in one or two dental-related problem-solving tasks. If they do not pass, they may re-take the exam. The exam is scored on a scale of 1-30. The American Dental Association provides practice materials to help students prepare for this exam.
The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) is the test most students take to get into dental schools to become a dentist. The test is similar to the LSAT, but it is designed specifically for dental school applicants. The DAT includes reading comprehension questions and spatial reasoning exercises. The results are submitted by February 1st of the year of admission. The average score is 20. The dental schools to become a dentist test is offered year-round, though it is best taken in the spring of junior year. The DAT website also has official practice materials for the test.
In addition to the DAT, most dental schools require an undergraduate degree, including biology, chemistry, and physics. Some require a general chemistry degree, while others may require coursework in English composition, microbiology, anatomy, or organic chemistry. Some schools offer combined educational programs where the undergraduate degree is paired with dentistry training. This can shorten the time required to get into the dental school.
Most dental schools require at least eight hours of science courses, including biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and anatomy. The first two years of dental school are primarily classroom and laboratory instruction. The last two years involve more clinical study and real patients.
The American Dental Association recommends taking the DAT at the end of junior year or the beginning of senior year. Many students find it helpful to shadow a dentist during their high school years, especially if they are considering a career in the field. This can provide a good overview of the field, and allow the student to decide whether or not they want to pursue a dental degree.
Some dental schools also require that applicants take predental science courses. These courses may include general chemistry, anatomy, biology, pharmacology, and biochemistry. The ADA notes that these classes are a necessary part of a student’s education.
In order to be accepted into a dental school, an applicant must have an undergraduate degree and strong grades. They must also have letters of recommendation and a good grade point average. Several dental schools also require that prospective students have a year of dental internship experience. Having a shadowing experience will make you more qualified for the high-level classes you will take in dental school.
Some dental schools will accept an applicant with an associate’s degree or more than four years of college. Most schools, however, prefer to receive applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, they are usually more likely to admit applicants from the state in which the dental school is located.