How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist?

Dr. Jerry Gordon is a dentist who has acquired his license to practice in his respectable field. He says that dentistry requires commitment to the limit – those long hours, hard-work and dedication will be just what you need in order to polish your skills so that you can in turn polish the teeth of your patients. For those who also aspire to become a dentist, the question most frequently asked is how long does it take to become a dentist and what are the educational requirements to become a dentist.

How Long does It Take to Become a Dentist?

In America, you generally need to go through 8 years of education and training after high school to become a dentist. This includes 4 years of undergraduate study and another four years in dental school, which usually includes 2 years of classroom learning and 2 years of clinical training. Note that the dental program when started could range to about three to four years depending on the studies you opt for in your future years of dental school.

What Are the Educational Requirements for Dentists?

In order to become a dentist, you should follow the pattern with all amenities and dedication.

Educational Requirements


Bachelor's Degree

In order to become a dentist, you would have to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in any one of the natural sciences. This course is for about 4 years after which you would be eligible to sit in the official Dental Admission Test (DAT).

Dental Degree

The scores of your DAT and your Bachelors would in turn prove whether you are eligible to be enrolled in a dental school or not. If yes, then, the program could last for about 3-4 years depending on the type of program you opt for. You will find yourself studying in the basic oral sciences such as physiology, oral anatomy, histology and pathology during the first two initial years, after which the studies would prolong in nature depending on the type of course you opt for.

Accelerated Dental Programs

There are some dental institutions functioning which offer a seven year program involving Bachelors of natural/physical sciences, preparation of the DAT and then, the courses of the dental program. In turn, they also offer pre-dental programs in the Bachelors of physical sciences that you should opt for before you sit for your DAT. In the final years, students take advanced courses in dentistry to earn dental degrees. This is in turn remarkably more fetching as compared to the lone programs.

What Are the Licensure Requirements for Dentists?

After you complete your dental program, it would be time for you to put your knowledge in practice. For this, you would have to pass a licensure exam. This exam consists of two parts – the written exam is evaluated by the American Dental Association’s Joint Commission for National Dental Examinations. However, the practical exam is going to be withheld by the agency in which you have been enrolled or by the state, any of which confers to your current situation.

What Are the Postdoctoral Training for Dentists?

Many individuals would definitely undergo post-doctoral examination in order to become specialized in their field of choice. Their choices may vary from orthodontics to the wide spectrum of pediatric dentistry. However, this would call for another 2-4 years of postdoctoral education; after which they would have to opt for residency at a training hospital for about 2 years. After they complete this period, there would be time for them to pass a special exam which would issue them a specialty license, making them specialized dentists in their respective field.

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