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Be a Dentist

dentist with boy patient

So you want to be a dentist—that’s great! Being a dentist is a wonderful career choice. It means you want to help people be mouth healthy and make a difference in their health and well-being. Most people think being a dentist means putting your fingers in people’s mouths and looking for cavities, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Dentists work in lots of places outside the dental office, including hospitals, laboratories, the military, and schools—where they teach future dentists like you!

Here are some other great reasons to be dentist:

  • You get to help people be healthy and feel better.
  • Every day, you get to improve people’s smiles. 
  • Dentists are leaders. 
  • Science is cool. So is art. Dentists get to do both.
  • You get to be your own boss and own your own business. 

Let’s get started

It’s never too early to start planning. If you’re serious about being a dentist you need to be serious about school. In most cases, a college degree is recommended before going to dental school. Almost all dental students complete four years of college. You don’t have to major in a science, but you do have to complete what are called prerequisites:
  • 8 hours Biology with lab 
  • 8 hours Physics  
  • 8 hours English 
  • 8 hours General Chemistry with lab 
  • 8 hours Organic Chemistry with lab

Still have questions? The American Dental Association has tips on how to plan for a career in dentistry, the dentist's role in oral health, and other information you’ll need to become a dentist.