As you become a dentist, you'll examine patients and diagnose, treat, and prevent oral diseases and conditions. You'll become a healthcare professional licensed to provide the highest standards of health, as dentistry can have an impact on the health of the entire body.
Why Consider Dentistry?
Like other health care professionals, dentists work to prevent disease, so you'll make an impact as you encourage your patients to pursue healthy diets and good oral hygiene.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dentists is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
- Pediatric Dentist
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
- Private Dental Practices
- University Clinics
- Non-profit Orgs
- Orthodontic Clinics
- Community Clinics
- Nursing Homes
- Government Agencies
Explore: Dentistry Pathways
Become a student at USM and obtain the necessary science or non-science requirements to apply to a dentistry program, with the guidance of our pathways expert!
|Undergraduate Credit Required||Bachelor’s degree recommended|
|Exam Prep||Dental Admissions Test (DAT)|
|Professional Schooling Required||4 years; D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or D.M.D, (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry)|
|Professional Organization Websites|
Have you ever noticed the two different post-nominal letters on dentists name tags? There is no difference between the two degrees, D.D.S. and D.M.D. are essentially the same degrees.
Here are some of the local or surrounding area professional schools:
- Louisiana State University (D.D.S.) (New Orleans, LA)
- University of Mississippi Medical Center (D.M.D.) (Jackson, MS) (MS Residents Only )
- University of Alabama (D.M.D.) (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
- University of Tennessee (D.D.S.) (Memphis, TN)
- Meharry Medical College (D.D.S.) (Nashville, TN)
Navigating the Application Process
Beginning early with the application process allows students to structure an academic plan of study. Dental schools have relatively similar minimum requirements for admission that we can help prepare you for, including competitive scores from the nationally administered Dental Admission Test (DAT), shadowing hours, active participation in community service, possible dexterity tests, and more!
We encourage you to contact our pathways expert to support you in your professional development endeavors.
Strategies for Success
- Find the curriculum, timeline and requirements suggested and explained by our pathway expert.
- Prepare for and take the DAT using an online guide.
Shadowing and Externship
- Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Hatten Externship (BSC 392), which is offered each Fall.
What Should I Major In?
Dental schools do not require a particular major—pursue a major in which you feel the most comfortable with! Explore related majors:
Not interested in the sciences? Explore Schools that have compatible majors, so you pursue a degree that fits your abilities and passions!