Dentistry

 

Dentists are doctors who specialize in oral health.  According to the American Dental Association (ADEA), the dentist's role includes:

  • Diagnosing oral diseases
  • Promoting oral health and disease prevention
  • Creating treatment plans to maintain or restore the oral health of their patients
  • Interpreting x-rays and diagnostic tests
  • Ensuring the safe administration of anesthetics
  • Monitoring growth and development of the teeth and jaws
  • Performing surgical procedures on the teeth, bone and soft tissues of the oral cavity
  • More information about the types of dentistry can be found on NewMouth.com.

Icon of a tooth and a medical cross

 

 


Degree Programs

Generally, a degree in dentistry requires four academic years of study. The first two years usually cover the basic sciences and the last two years cover diagnosing oral disease, surgery and clinical study. Students earn either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. For more information, refer to the ADEA's resource on dental school curriculum.

 


Course Prerequisites

The courses listed are for ADEA-participating schools and colleges. For a comprehensive list by school, please see the ADEA AADSAS® Participating Dental Schools Required and Recommended Courses (PDF).

 

Required Courses

  • Biology (BISC 1111-1112 or BISC 1115-1116 and 1120/1125-1126)
  • Chemistry (CHEM 1111 & 1112)
  • Organic Chemistry (CHEM 2151-2154)
  • Biochemistry (CHEM 3165 or BISC 3261)
  • Physics (1011-1012/1021-1022/1025-1026)
  • English (UW 1020 & 2 WIDs)

 

Recommended Courses*

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology
     

*These courses may be required, depending on the school.


**Specific prerequisite courses may vary by school. Please see the current ADEA report for more information.

Sample Plans of Study

(Please note that these are simply samples. Your schedule may look different depending on any AP/IB/DE credit or other circumstances. Discuss your specific course needs with your advisor)

No Gap Year

(This sample plan of study is for students who do not plan to take a gap year)

Introductory Biology I (BISC 1111 or BISC 1115 and 1125) - 4 credits

General Chemistry I (CHEM 1111) - 4 credits

University Writing (UW 1020) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Introductory Biology II (BISC 1112 or BISC 1116 and 1126) - 4 credits

General Chemistry II (CHEM 1112) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 2151 and 2153) - 4 credits

General or University Physics I (PHYS 1011 or 1021 or 1025) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 2152 and 2154) - 4 credits

General or University Physics II (PHYS 1012 or 1022 or 1026) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Biochemistry (BISC 3261 or CHEM 3165) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Begin prepping for DAT

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Continue DAT prep

Take DAT by April

 

At least 1 Gap Year

(This sample plan of study is for students who plan to take one or more gap years)

Introductory Biology I (BISC 1111 or BISC 1115 and 1125) - 4 credits

University Writing (UW 1020) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Introductory Biology II (BISC 1112 or BISC 1116 and 1126) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

General or University Physics I (PHYS 1011 or 1021 or 1025) - 4 credits

General Chemistry I (CHEM 1111) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

General or University Physics II (PHYS 1012 or 1022 or 1026) - 4 credits

General Chemistry II (CHEM 1112) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 2151 and 2153) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 2152 and 2154) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Biochemistry (BISC 3261 or CHEM 3165) - 4 credits

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Begin prepping for DAT

*One of:

  • Mathematics (Calculus or Statistics)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Psychology

Continue prepping for DAT

Take DAT by April


Application Requirements

Testing

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) consists of four sections: natural sciences, perceptual ability, reading comprehension and quantitative reasoning. Examinees who have tested three times must apply for permission to take the test again. The DAT is a multiple-choice test administered on a computer and takes 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete. If you are applying to a dental program in Canada, be sure to check whether you will need to take the Canadian DAT.

GPA and Extracurricular Experience

Admission to dental school is competitive and rigorous. The DAT is scored on a scale from 1 to 30, and the mean score for dental school enrollees is about 20. For the 2018-2019 matriculating class, the mean overall GPA was 3.55, and the average DAT score was 20.5, according to the ADEA. Dental school applicants must demonstrate a thorough exploration of the field through shadowing, assisting and volunteering activities. It is also very helpful to demonstrate manual dexterity through classes in the arts such as learning an instrument, pottery, painting, etc. Getting research experience is also of great value. For a sample timeline of a pre-dental student, see the ADEA's timeline to apply.

 


Application Process

The Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) is a centralized application service sponsored and administered by the ADEA. Nearly all U.S. dental schools participate in AADSAS. However, students applying to Texas dental schools must apply through the Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS).

Since the application cycle for dental school takes a full year, students should apply in the year prior to when they plan to matriculate. For example, students who wish to go straight from their undergraduate degree to dental school would apply in the spring/summer of their junior year (as long as all prerequisites are complete at that time). Students who apply in their senior year would have a gap year and matriculate in the year following their graduation.

Application Requirements

  • Biographical information
  • Colleges/coursework information
  • DAT scores
  • Personal statements
  • Letters of evaluation

Apply Early

The application opens up in early June. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their application, letters of recommendation, official transcripts and fee payment well in advance of individidual schools' application deadlines. Many schools have rolling admission policies, so the earlier you apply, the better your chances.

 


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