The modern dentist is a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of problems related to the mouth. Dentists perform procedures to diagnose and treat problems of the teeth and tissues of the mouth, including corrective surgery of the gums and supporting bones. Current trends place emphasis on cosmetic dentistry, implantology, surgery, and the treatment of genetic defects. Psychological and medical implications make dentistry a significant contributor to the general health of the population. There are eight recognized specialties, requiring from one to four years of post-doctoral training. The specialties are: dental public health, endodontics, oral pathology, oral surgery, orthodontics, pediatrics, periodontics, and prosthodontics.

With the discovery of the effectiveness of fluoride in the prevention of many dental problems, demand in the dental profession suffered a considerable decline during the '70s and '80s. This situation has now stabilized, however, and it is once again becoming relatively difficult to get into a good dental school.

For more information about the dental profession, consult the Official Guide to Dental Schools, published by the American Dental Education Association. A copy of this book is kept in Silver 901 for reference.

REQUIREMENTS: Minimum of 90 credits at an approved college or university; preference given to applicants with a bachelor's degree in the liberal arts or science, and it is very strongly recommended that you earn your bachelor's degree before proceeding to dental school.

Undergraduate predental study requires the following courses:

  • Biology with Labs (2 semesters)
  • General Chemistry with Labs (2 semesters)
  • Organic Chemistry with Labs (2 semesters)
  • Calculus (1 semester)
  • Physics with Labs (2 semesters)
  • Writing and English (2 semesters)

Some dental schools require or recommend additional courses in science (such as biochemistry), statistics, and/or behavioral science (psychology).

Applicants must take the Dental School Admissions Test (DAT).

American Association of Dental Schools Application Service
1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036-2212
Tel: (202) 667-1886

NYU College of Dentistry
345 East 24th Street, Suite 10th Floor
New York, NY 10213
Tel: (212) 998-9818

American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Tel: (312) 440-2500