A dentist is a licensed health care provider that specializes in prevention and the treatment of disease and problems in the mouth (oral cavity) and surrounding areas. Your dentist in Rochester NY has made a significant investment of time, energy, and money into his professional training. It takes several years of study and hands on training to be eligible to become a dentist.
In order to become eligible for licensure as a dentist, each dentist in Rochester NY was required to complete schooling at an accredited dental school. However, the preparation for dentistry starts long before that. Getting accepted into dental school is a rigorous and competitive process. When considering candidates for admittance to their programs, dental schools take into account several factors.
Before your dentist in Rochester NY could complete dental school, he or she had to be admitted. One factor that influences whether or not a student will be admitted into dental school is their grade point average (GPA) at their undergraduate institution. Dental schools accept only the top grade-earning students to enter their programs. Before being considered as an applicant to dental school, students must also take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). The scores on this test are another major factor in being accepted into a dental program. Usually students are also required to attend an interview with administrators and instructors of the dental programs for which they are applying.
Most dental schools require the candidate to complete their baccalaureate degree prior to entrance in dental school, although there are a few programs that allow dental students to enroll with the majority of their undergraduate classes completed, and finish their baccalaureate degree while in dental school. The interview, DAT score, and undergraduate GPA are the three main factors for successful admittance into dental school.
Depending on the institution, students can earn either a Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS), or a Doctorate of Dental Medicine (DMD). The two degrees are interchangeable and require completion of the same curricula. The first two years consist of classroom lecture and laboratory instruction on natural and clinical science topics. The second two years consists of more hands-on training and experience under the direction and supervision of dentists in clinics.
After graduation from dental school a license must be obtained in order to practice dentistry. Requirements for licensure include obtaining a dental degree and passing written and clinical exams. After obtaining licensure, a dentist must keep his or her license current by completing continuing education credits.