See also: Dentistry Pre-Health Guide
It is a dentist’s responsibility to prevent, diagnose, and treat conditions, diseases, and disorders of the oral cavity, the maxillofacial region, and its associated structures. While the work of a dentist is often surgical in nature, dentists treat many diseases of the oral cavity and face using prescribed medicines.
As a dental student, you will be qualified to practice dentistry after graduating with the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). Training to become a qualified dentist in the United States typically requires eight years of study, including an undergraduate degree (often in the sciences) and four years of dental training. You will spend the last two years of dental training working directly with patients in the educational setting.
General dentistry is the only non-specialty field of dentistry. General dentists typically do not focus their clinical practice on any particular discipline within dentistry; they may, however, further their training in one or more specialty areas such as surgery, endodontics, or orthodontics. Most general practitioners perform restorative, prosthetic, routine endodontic therapy, routine periodontal therapy, and simple exodontia, as well as regular examinations. Others are comfortable treating more complex cases such as dental implants and third molar extractions. Most dentists delegate the task of cleaning teeth to their support staff (e.g., dental hygienists).
The pre-health advisors in Arts & Sciences Advising Services stand ready to assist you as you explore your options and begin your preparation for a health profession. To schedule an appointment with a pre-health advisor, go to MyUTK.edu through your Grades First link or call 865-974-4483 during regular business hours.
- American Dental Association
- American Dental Education Association
- Associated American Dental Schools Application Service