How Long Does It Take To Become A Dentist

Dentistry is one of the most demandable and desirable professions now. The term ‘ dentist’ defines the profession dealing with the prevention and treatment of diseases interrelated with the oral cavity. It also includes filling holes and removing plaque from the teeth. 

Dentistry is a superb choice as a career. There are several motives to select dentistry as a career. It’s a career that allows doing human service from very close.

As a dentist, you will enjoy the challenge of lifetime education. Now, you may wonder how long will it take to be a dentist? 

Well, in this content, you will know everything about how long it takes to become a dentist. It also gives you instructions about what you need to do to become a dentist? 

Moreover, you will learn about the steps, eligibility, scope, etc., to become a dentist.

Now let’s explore more about it.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Dentist: The Exact Time Duration

Generally, it takes six to eight years to become a dentist. This time range depends upon different factors. Such as types of program, specialization, undergraduate major, application results, etc.

There are four basic steps to becoming a dentist. These are shortly described below-

Completing a Bachelor’s Degree

This step is the first and most essential step to becoming a dentist. It is also called the entry part for a dentist. Each student who becomes a dentist must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in any of the natural sciences such as biology, chemistry, and so on. 

After completing a bachelor’s degree, you are eligible to DAT (Dental Admission Test) to admit to dental school, which is the second step toward becoming a dentist.

Dental School

The second step in becoming a dentist is enrolling in a dental school. Before enrolling in dental school, you must pass the dental admission test. The administration takes this type of exam. After passing the dental admission test, you are eligible for a dental degree in dental school.

There are two types of dental school degrees that take four years to complete. These are:

  • DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine)
  • And a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree. 

There is no difference between the two degrees. Some schools offer DMD degrees, and some offer DDS degrees. Studying at two degrees is equal.

Passing the National or State Licensing Exams

If you want to get national recognition as a dentist, you should pass the National or state licensing exam. This exam is taken in two ways, written and practical. 

Consider a Specialty

Students who want to specialize in a particular field of dentistry need to complete additional training. Dental students who have completed additional training in the dental specialization will also have to complete the board examination in that specialization. It also takes two to four years to become a dental specialist.

American Dental Association recognizes 12 dental specialist programs. You can specialize in one of 12 ADA-recognized dental specialties. These are_

  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Prosthodontics
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
  • Orofacial pain
  • Periodontics
  • Oral medicine
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiology
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology
  • Dental public health
  • Dental anesthesiology
  • Endodontics


Average college GPA and DAT score are required for access to dental school. The average college GPA 3.57, and The average DAT score of 19 is needed for access to dental school.

Scope of dentistry

There have many opportunities in the life of a dentist. Some of these are_

  1. You will have a lot of freedom in your life as a dentist. Such as, you can make your schedule and find a perfect work-life balance.
  2. A dentist is a known- figure in society.
  3. There are a variety of fields in the dentist career from which you can choose your domain.
  4. The yearly salary of a dentist is about $166,810 in the USA.


Opportunities for this profession, one of the most promising public and private initiatives in the country’s medical sector, are constantly increasing.  If you can gain experience and professional reputation, and formal education, it is possible to earn good money and social status through this profession.

I hope you have got a clear concept of how long it takes to become a dentist. You have surely also learned about a dentist’s scope. 

Moreover, you have learned why you should choose dentistry as your career from this content. 

Good Luck!

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