What Schooling Does a Dentist Need?

Dark-haired woman wears a graduation cap and floral dress, shrugs her shoulders, and wonders about dental education

When you’re at the dentist’s office, laying in the reclined chair with the light overhead and getting ready to get some dental work done, we bet knowing that your dentist went to a good school and has years of training and experience would help you feel a whole lot better about what’s to come. You can rest assured knowing that not everyone can just open up a dental practice and that being a dentist requires years of education and training.

Dental School

Program Accreditation

Folks who want to be dentists have to attend a dental school for four years. Some soon-to-be dentists attend dental school while earning a bachelor’s degree while others attend after completing their undergraduate studies. These programs must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation in order for their students to become licensed dentists.

Student Application & Acceptance

Getting into dental school is no easy feat. In order to be enrolled, one must have a high grade point average, pass the Dental Admission Test (DAT), and nail interviews with school instructors. Once in dental school, prospective dentists work intensely on their coursework in classes and in lab settings. Students in dental school also spend time working in actual dental offices to ensure mastery and readiness for their careers.

Steps After Graduation

Licensure

In order to actually start practicing dentistry, graduates have to get a license, which entails passing written tests and exams. Dental licenses must be obtained from the National Board Dental Examination, and dentists must participate in continuing education to keep their dental license.

Optional Specialization

A dental school graduate can go into general dentistry or pursue a specialized field, such as orthodontics or pediatrics. Specialists must continue their education for an additional 14 months to 6 years in the form of certificates, master’s or doctoral degrees, and residency programs, depending on the field.

We Offer Dental Care of the Highest Quality

At Villa Vista Dental, we hold ourselves to high standards when it comes to education and training. Our dentist, Dr. Ricky Tin, continually pursues advanced postdoctoral coursework, and he has completed over 500 hours of continuing education. We keep up with the latest dental advancements so you will continue to receive the highest level of care possible.

Additional questions about our team’s educational or professional background?


5 Fun Facts About Dental Technology

A structure with a faucet and sink separates two cubicles with dental chairs at a dental office

We know that going to the dentist can be stressful for some people, but we work hard to prove that doesn’t have to be the case. As dental professionals, we love that our job is the business of helping people smile. We came up with a list of some cool facts related to dental technologies to show you the fun side of our profession!

1. Old-School Brushes & Toothpaste

You know that toothbrush that’s sitting in your medicine cabinet? Its modern design was invented in 1938. So what did folks do to clean their teeth back in the day, say around 3,000 BC? An early form of the toothbrush consisted of tree twigs; people would chew the twigs to fan it out and use it to clean their teeth. As far as early toothpaste options, the Ancient Greeks used some interesting ingredients, including pumice, talc, alabaster, coral powder, and iron rust.

2. The Power of Floss

Maybe you dread the dentist asking you the last time you’ve flossed, but the importance of flossing isn’t something new. Dental floss manufacturing dates back to 1882! And if you need more reason to floss consider this: average brushing only cleans about 60% of your tooth surfaces. Flossing is what thoroughly cleans those otherwise hard-to-reach surfaces between teeth.

3. Red or Blue Brush

Whatever the reason may be, people reportedly prefer blue toothbrushes to red toothbrushes. What color is your toothbrush?

4. Invention of Novocaine

You can thank Novocaine for helping make your dental experience pain-free. Unfortunately for people in the past, this local anesthetic wasn’t invented until 1903 thanks to the chemist Alfred Einhorn.

5. Ice Age Filling

Teeth found in Italy dating back to 13,000 BC are the earliest evidence of dental fillings. The teeth had holes that suggested someone had used tiny stone tools to drill out a cavity, and these holes were filled with plant fibers and hairs. Can you say, “Ow?”

If you’re interested in learning more about your dental health and diving into more dental facts, the Villa Vista Dental team would be happy to chat. Feel free to call or email us!

You have questions? We have answers!