Dentists diagnose, prevent, and treat problems with teeth or mouth tissue. They remove decay, fill cavities, examine x rays, place protective plastic sealants on children’s teeth, straighten teeth, and repair fractured teeth. They also perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones to treat gum diseases. Dentists extract teeth and make models and measurements for dentures to replace missing teeth. They provide instruction on diet, brushing, flossing, the use of fluorides, and other aspects of dental care. They also administer anesthetics and write prescriptions for antibiotics and other medications. Dentists perform research directed to improving oral health and developing new treatment methods
Information above taken from The American Dental Association http://www.ada.org/public/education/careers/dentistry_fact.asp
The following employment information taken from U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos072.htm
Employment of dentists is projected to grow about as faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Although employment growth will provide some job opportunities, most jobs will result from the need to replace the large number of dentists expected to retire. Job prospects should be good as new dentists take over established practices or start their own.
Median annual earnings of salaried dentists were $142,870 in May 2008. Earnings vary according to number of years in practice, location, hours worked, and specialty. Self-employed dentist in private practice tend to earn more than salaried dentist.
Dental candidates must graduate from 1 of the 56 dental schools accredited by the American Dental Association’s ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation and then must pass written and practical examinations. Candidates may fulfill the written part of the State licensing requirements by passing the National Board Dental Examinations. A full list of the requirements is available from http://www.ada.org/
All dental schools require applicants to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). When selecting students, schools consider scores earned on the DAT, applicants’ grade point averages, and information gathered through recommendations and interviews.
Dental school usually lasts 4 academic years. Studies begin with classroom instruction and laboratory work in basic sciences, including anatomy, microbiology, biochemistry, and physiology. Most dental schools award the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). The rest award an equivalent degree, Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). Educational Programs
Georgia educational campus offering a DMD:
Medical College of Georgia, School of Dentistry
Office of Students, Admissions and Alumni
School of Dentistry
Medical College of Georgia
Augusta, Georgia 30912-1020
Bachelor of Science in Biology at Valdosta State University
Requirements for entry to the dental program include biology, chemistry, physics, and math, which are required for a biology degree at V.S.U. Your pre-dental advisor at V.S.U. will keep you apprised of the latest developments and advise you of the necessary extracurricular activities needed for your application to the dentistry program. Certain elective courses may also be recommended by your advisor.
For more information, visit our website at www.valdosta.edu/biology/advise.htm
Admissions Requirements for the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry
Minimum Requirements information taken from http://www.mcg.edu/SOD/admit/requirements.htm
Residency Georgia residents only.
Minimum hours required 90 semester hours (135 quarter hours) at an accredited American college or university (preference given to students who earn a baccalaureate degree)
Academic Criteria Minimum overall GPA: 2.8 (average is 3.49)
Dental Admission Test: minimum 14/13
Academic Average/Perceptual Ability average 19.0/19.1
Biology with lab With lab; One academic year
Chemistry With lab, general or inorganic; One academic year
Advanced Chemistry With lab; One academic year of advanced chemistry
Semester requirements: two semester of organic chemistry with lab or one semester of organic chemistry with lab followed by a second semester of biochemistry (lab not required)
Physics With lab; one semester or two quarters
English One academic year or the portion of an academic year required for the baccalaureate degree at an accredited American college or university
Dental Admissions Test Must have taken the Dental Admission Test (DAT) within two years of applying. The DAT must be taken by the September 30 deadline, 11 months before those accepted are due to enroll.
Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) Required if not born in the United States and native language is not English; Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 100, with 26 in the speaking component.
Recommendations Three required: pre-dental advisor, dentist, and a third personal reference. Composite recommendations and colleges are counted as one recommendation (pre-dental advisor). Forms can be found at: www.mcg.edu/SOD/admit/admissions.htm
Interviews Required; By invitation only; Normally held from September to December; Are with members of the School of Dentistry faculty who help assess the applicant's personality, motivation and ability; After an applicant has been granted an interview, a 2x2 photo and official copies of transcripts of all colleges and universities attended are to be sent to the dental school admissions office.
Other Factors The Committee considers other factors such as health care and research experiences, leadership, community services or programs, family responsibilities, national recognition, ethnic or cultural backgrounds and commitment to practice in Georgia or health shortage areas.
Application Deadline The application for entering class will be available beginning June 1 until the October 15 deadline, ten months before those accepted are due to enroll.
Application Fee $30 (non-refundable)