1. School of Dentistry
According to the ADA, there are about 65 accredited dental schools in the United States. In 2010, 5,023 freshman, including 164 international, enrolled in these schools. Top 10 Schools of Dentistry’s average acceptance rate is 2.8%(from 2.2% to 3.2%), and lowest 10 Schools’ average acceptance rate is 14.6%(from 9.2% to 31.8%). Total average acceptance rate is 6.4%. Mean GPA of top 10 schools is 3.72(from 3.70 to 3.79), and that of lowest 10 is 3.21(from 3.00 to 3.44). Total average is 3.54. Thus, School of Dentistry can be said super selective. With the average income after graduation, Dentist is ranked as the #1 popular job in U.S. News though the cost of dental education has soared over the years.
(1) How to enroll in School of Dentistry
Most dental students need at least a bachelor’s degree before entering dental school; requirements vary by school. All dental schools require applicants to have completed certain required science courses, such as biology and chemistry. Majoring in a science, such as biology, might increase the chances of being accepted, but no specific major is required to enter most dental programs.
College undergraduates who plan on applying to dental school accredited by ADA must usually take the Dental Acceptance Test (DAT) during their junior year. Admission to dental school can be competitive. Dental schools use these tests along with other factors, such as grade point average and recommendations, to admit students into their programs.
(2) Education at School of Dentistry
The first 2 years of dental school consist mostly of didactic education as well as simulation courses. The last two years generally involve direct patient care under supervision. There tends to be much overlap in most schools’ curricula; the didactic years may have some clinical components while the last two years still have significant didactic coursework. During dental school, students must take and successfully pass Part I and Part II of the National Board Dental Examination, which are administered by the ADA. Part I is usually taken after the second year of dental school, while Part II is usually taken sometime in the fourth year. Graduates receive either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.
(3) Education to be a specialist
All nine dental specialties require dentists to complete additional training before practicing that specialty. They must usually complete a 1 or 2 year residency in a program related to their specialty. General dentists do not require any additional training after dental school. There is no statistics but according to my interview, I figure out that a student who would like to take advanced education to be a specialist needs to take high grade at school of dentistry and win the selective race because the seat to be specialist is limited. Dentists who want to teach, called faculty, or do research full time usually spend additional 2 to 5 years in advanced dental training. Many practicing dentists also teach part time faculty, including supervising students in dental school clinics. Being a faculty is a very prestigious position for dentists.
For example, 200 to 250 students, including considerably number of internationals, enroll in advanced education to be endodontists every year. These students are called “resident”. Additionally, Endodontists need to belong to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). According to residents who I interviewed, AAE tries to balance the demand for endodontic treatment and new endodontists. So these kinds of organization like AAE not only work as an academic representative of specialty but also a political organization.
(4) Continuing education
The ADA provides members with continuing education tailored to your specific needs. From the day you graduate dental school until the time you sell your practice, we’ll provide cutting-edge, unique education that has an immediate impact on your ability to treat patients, grow your practice and meet state licensure requirements. From online to in-person, ADA has continuing education to fit your needs. There are online educational options, in-person educational options, and other educational options including a 3 weeks intensive managerial education problem at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
2. Education for Dental Hygienist
There are 335 dental Hygiene programs in the US in 2014 and 7,211 enrollments in 2013. Dental hygienists receive their education through academic programs at community colleges, technical colleges, dental schools or universities. The majority of community college programs take at least two years to complete, with graduates receiving associate degrees. Receipt of this degree allows a hygienist to sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, a written exam administered by ADA, and then complete a regional or state clinical board examination.
48 university based dental hygiene programs may offer baccalaureate and master’s degrees, which generally require at least two years of further schooling. These additional degrees may be required for a career in teaching and/or research, as well as for clinical practice in school or public health programs.
Dental hygiene program admission requirements vary depending upon the specific school. High school level courses such as health, biology, psychology, chemistry, mathematics and speech will be beneficial in a dental hygiene career. Most programs show a preference for individuals who have completed at least one year of college. Some baccalaureate degree programs require that applicants complete two years of college prior to enrollment in the dental hygiene program. Contact the particular dental hygiene program of interest to you for specific program requirements.
Dental hygiene education programs offer clinical education in the form of supervised patient care experiences. Additionally, these programs include courses in liberal arts, basic sciences, and clinical sciences.
3. Education for Dental Assistant
The path to becoming a dental assistant depends on where you plan to practice. In some states, there are no formal requirements to become a dental assistant, while other states require aspiring dental assistant to pass a specific licensure examination.
Dental assistant programs take between one or two years to complete, depending on whether it’s a certificate, diploma or degree program. These programs prepare students to take licensing or certification exams and provide students with the skills they need to work in a clinical setting. There are approximately 270 CODA accredited dental assisting programs in the United States. Dental assistants receive their formal education through academic programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes, universities or dental schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive certificates. Although the majority of academic dental assisting programs take nine to eleven months to complete, some schools offer accelerated training, part time education programs or training via distance education.
There are four types of dental assistant; Dental Assistant without certification, Qualified Dental Assistant, Registered Dental Assistant, and Certified Dental Assistant. State regulations vary, and some states offer registration or licensure in addition to this national certification program.
(1) Dental Assistant without certification
(2) Qualified Dental Assistant (QDA)
Qualified Dental Assistant is a dental assistant who has received on the job training or instruction through a dental assisting school. There is no credential for this level of training or instruction.
(3) Registered Dental Assistant (DSA)
Registered Dental Assistant is a dental assistant who has successfully completed the state level registration process with the State Board of Dental Examiners (SBDE). Dental Assistants who successful register and have been issued a Dental Assistant Registration Certificate by the SBDE may use the credential “Registered Dental Assistant” or “RDA”.
(4) Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
Certified Dental Assistant is a dental assistant who have been trained on the job for 2 years or have graduated from non accredited programs established by the Dental Assistant National Board (DANB) passes the DANB CDA Examination and continues to maintain the CDA credential by meeting DANB requirements. Dental Assistants who complete this process may use the credential “Certified Dental Assistant” or “CDA”.
4. Education for Dental Technician
Dental Technician’s entry level education is high school diploma and equivalent. Many dental laboratories (larger ones in particular), offer positions for trainees. Persons hired at the entry level may rapidly progress to being productive employees, performing a limited range of laboratory procedures.
Another route to a career in dental laboratory technology is by completing one of the two or four year degrees in dental technology offered through educational programs. Graduates of these programs receive either an associate degree or a certificate.
National Board of Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology (NBC) recognizes educational institutions that provide these programs. In 2015, there are 45 NBC recognized educational institutions, and they are classified to three types. First is dental technology programs which are accredited by ADA’s CODA. Second is dental laboratory technology programs which are accredited by ADA’s CODA but which is listed in the US Department of Education Database of Accredited Post Secondary Institutions and Programs. Third is dental laboratory technology program that can provide proof of accreditation through their State’s Higher Education Executive Officers of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The burden of proof would fall on the school.
Dental technicians can become certified by passing an examination that evaluates their technical skills and knowledge. The examination is administered by NBC. A dental technician who passes the certification examination becomes a Certified Dental Technician (CDT). CDTs specialize in one or more of five areas: complete dentures, removable partial dentures, crown and bridge, ceramics or orthodontics.
5. Historical increasing of Dental Personnel in the Labor Force
All of the dental workers in the US are increasing continuously in the past half-century because of the development of dentistry.