Did you know that poor oral health is related to poor academic performance? Children whose oral health is lacking are more likely to get lower grades and miss school than those who have healthier teeth.
This is one of the many great reasons for becoming a pediatric dentist. If this career path appeals to you, and you’re wondering exactly how to go about it, you’re in the right place.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to become a pediatric dentist. So if you love kids and appreciate the importance of good dental health, be sure to keep reading.
If you are a high school student or looking for a career change and are considering how to become a pediatric dentist, prerequisite courses are a good place to start.
Before taking college-level courses, it is important to master the basics. Take core courses such as biology, chemistry, anatomy, physics, and math to prepare for higher-level course work. Consider volunteering with children to learn the patience, communication, and gentleness they need.
While in College
You will need an undergraduate degree to qualify for dental school. While you are in college, start researching dental schools you find interesting. They will outline the prerequisite courses needed for entry.
Once you have identified the requirements, register for classes that will give you the credits you need to apply to dental school. In general, dental schools look for college-level courses in anatomy, math, biology, etc.
After college, you will be eligible to apply to dental school. You will have the option of becoming a doctor of dental surgery or doctor of dental medicine. Both degrees require four years of school that consist of science- and dentistry-related courses and clinical practice experience.
Applications will request information like your undergraduate transcript and GPA, Dental Acceptance Test scores, recommendation letters, and personal statements.
Becoming a pediatric dentist requires a two-year residency to learn the skills required for working with children. During residency, you will learn how to combine general dentistry skills and pediatrics. You will learn about child psychology and development as well as pharmacology for this age group.
Licensing requirements for pediatric dentistry vary depending on the state in which you intend to practice. Some states require a licensing exam specifically to work with pediatric patients. Check the Board of Dentistry in your state to learn about the particulars that apply to you.
Licensing exams test the knowledge gained throughout dental school. Once you pass, you will be eligible to practice as a pediatric dentist. Along with the dental assisting personnel, you’ll be helping to keep kids healthy in no time.
How to Become a Pediatric Dentist: The Summary
Pediatric dentistry is a rewarding profession that keeps children healthy and thriving. Hard work, determination, and compassion are key ingredients for becoming a pediatric dentist.
Now that you know how to become a pediatric dentist, it’s time to hit the books and start working toward your goal.
For more information on education and the like, be sure to visit our blog.