No two pairs of teeth are ever the same. For those of us who have studied dentistry, this makes our field one of the most fascinating and challenging out there. Perhaps you are thinking of joining us and becoming a dentist yourself. If you want to become one, however, you should be aware that there is a lot of studying and massive challenges involved before you can either earn a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry). In this article we will discuss three core aspects of a dentistry degree, before concluding on whether it’s the right degree for you.
A Long Study Period
As dentistry is so specialized, it does require a longer than usual study period. Certified dentists have usually completed both a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject (such as medicine or science) before applying to Dental School. Across the USA, there are 66 schools of dentistry spread over 36 states, DC and Puerto Rico, meaning that there are plenty of options. After three to four years of your bachelor degree, a dental school takes an additional four years, making this option only one for those who are willing to put a lot of time and effort in.
While the years spent in college can be a drain on your bank account, there are some ways to mitigate this. For example, if you are talented on the basketball court or the football field, you can always get a sports scholarship that will easily help you to pay your way through college. Other options include getting a favorable loan, getting a part-time job or relying on friends and family to help. Thankfully, the length of this degree is paid out by:
According to US News, dentistry is the best job you can get in the healthcare system, commanding a median wage of $151,000. Even if you are at the lower end of the pay spectrum, this field of work still pays out a whopping $100,000 per annum. If you manage to be very respected in your field, then the top 25% of salaries are double that number at a very lucrative $200,000. The level of this salary has also grown by around 30% since 2010, meaning that the opportunity to grow in the future is almost assured.
A dentistry degree is highly competitive, with the majority of people applying for dental school actually denied a place! In fact, according to Kap Test, the acceptance rate for these kinds of institutions hovers at around 50%, meaning that only half of all applicants actually land a place. What this means for you is you have to think long and hard about whether or not you have it within yourself to be a success. After all there are less expensive degrees out there with a much higher likelihood for personal and professional success.
We may be a little biased, but we believe that when it comes to dentistry, the reward far outweighs the risk. This is due to the fascinating technical aspects of the field, as well as the high salaries it can command. To start learning about dentistry more in detail, feel free to peruse the other articles on our blog.