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Be a Dentist

image of becoming dentists headsIn November 2017, the ADA News launched Becoming a Dentist, a series of stories that follow three dental students at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry — Dan Yang, LaShonda Shepherd and Ben Horn — during their journey of becoming dentists. 

The first story introduces the students.

In the next story, dental students prove their mettle with their first cadaver dissections.

This story shadows the students during operative dentistry, where they learn how to place a composite restoration for the first time.

In a visit to the University of Maryland School of Dentistry’s Dream Room, the students immerse themselves in computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing, better known as CAD/CAM.

The words “summer vacation" take on new meaning when the dental boards are on the table. Learn how dental students balance their summers with studying and still finding time to have fun.

Ten Reasons to Be a Dentist
Tomorrow's dentists — yes that can be YOU — will be on the cutting edge of technology, using lasers and computer-assisted diagnostics, making the practice of dentistry more challenging and rewarding. 

Ten Great Reasons to Be a Dentist

  1. Service to Others: Help people maintain and improve their oral health, quality of life and appearance
  2. Balanced Lifestyle: Dentistry offers flexibility to balance professional and personal life
  3. Empower Your Patients: Give patients smiles they are proud to wear
  4. Technology and Research: Be involved with the scientific advancement of dentistry
  5. Be a Leader: Earn respect from your family, friends and community
  6. Prevention/Education: Be an educator on the importance of oral health
  7. Detect Disease: Treat oral health and detect disease – including cancer and cardiovascular
  8. Be Creative: Use your artistic and scientific talents
  9. Success Potential: With the aging population and increase in access to care, the demand and need for dentistry is on the rise
  10. Self-Employment: Own a dental practice and be your own boss

Why Choose Dentistry?

American Dental Association
Ms. Natalia Sanchez
University of Connecticut
School of Dental Medicine

"I love that I'll be able to get to know my patients and make time to pursue other interests...Dentistry offers flexible hours, combines art and science and allows you to work solo or with partners."

There are many compelling reasons to choose dentistry as a career. For example, dentistry offers an opportunity to make a difference in your patient's health and well being. It's a career that allows you a chance to be your own boss and own a dental practice. New exciting scientific breakthroughs in gene therapy and biotechnology offer dentists an opportunity to preserve their patient's smiles and self esteem. Visit the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) website to find additional information on careers in dentistry.

Additionally, the Dentistry Fact Sheet (PDF) highlights what a career in dentistry can offer you by answering these types of questions:

  • What's unique about dentistry?
  • What does a dentist do?
  • How to prepare for a career in dentistry?
  • What career options are available?
For more information, watch the Dentistry Career Video below.

Need for Minority Dentists

There is a critical need in many underserved communities where minority and disadvantaged people are not getting the care they need. Only 12 percent of students entering dental school are minorities, while minorities make up 25 percent of the general population. Recent data shows that minority dentists treat a very high number of minority patients.

More underrepresented minority dentists (African American, Hispanic and American Indian) are necessary to eliminate the barriers to oral care. This need is expected to increase as statistics indicate that 58 percent of the population will be comprised of underrepresented groups by the year 2050.

Meeting the challenge to eliminate barriers to oral care, dental students and professionals are excited about career opportunities in dentistry. Visit the American Dental Education Association for more information on careers in dentistry.