What do I need to know about becoming a dentist with a Psychology degree
So you want to be a Dentist. Can your Psychology degree lead to this career? The quick answer is "Yes", but there are some issues you must consider. Before anything, let's be clear that a Dentist earns a degree called a "DDS" (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or a "DMD" (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) is qualified to treat diseases and conditions affecting teeth and gums. In addition, one of the major roles of a Dentist is to help people take care of their teeth and gums. This includes advice on brushing and on foods that can impact dental health.
To be a Dentist you must go to dental school. Getting into dental school is relatively hard, and as a Psychology major you will need to have taken some required dental school courses (e.g., Chemistry, Biology). In addition, you must take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). As you might know, doing well in your college coursework and on the DAT is especially important because being accepted to dental school is pretty difficult. If you do get accepted, it usually takes 4 years of dental school to get your Dental degree. Be aware that in almost all cases you must pay dental school tuition. After graduation from dental school, you obtain licensure from state Board of Dentistry to practice in the profession. If you decide to specialize in an area of dentistry (e.g., become an orthodontist), you must complete 2-4 years of postdoctoral education, and might be required to complete a 2-year residency program in that specialized area.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median yearly income for a Dentist at $158,000.
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