Dentists are responsible for providing oral health services to adults and children. These professionals perform multiple dental procedures and make sure that they minimize their patient’s pain as much as possible. Some dentists choose to specialize in a specific field, while others opt for general dentistry. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 830 general dentists employed in Arkansas in 2019.
Should I Become a Dentist in Arkansas?
|Education Required||Professional or doctoral degree|
|Training||Required for specialization|
|Key Skills||Problem Solving Skills, Patience, Organization Skills, Leadership Skills, Dexterity and Communication Skills.|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National||$178,260 (Dentists, General)|
|Job Outlook (2018-28)||7%|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Arkansas||$168,420 (Dentists, General)|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Dentists are required to be determined and passionate about oral health. It is a field which appeals to a lot of people as it has a strong job outlook. However, people who choose this career line should be determined about it as it requires a lot of hard work.
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate of dentists is faster than the average of other occupations. These professionals are expected to witness a job growth of 7% from 2018 to 2028. Dentistry has always enjoyed consistent growth over the years and it will continue to do so in the future as well. Since various studies have linked overall health to oral health, people will be accessing dentistry services frequently.
Steps to Become a Dentist in Arkansas
- Get an Undergraduate Degree
The first step needed to become a dentist is to get an undergraduate degree. Even though there is no pre-dental major requirement specified by dental schools, students need to take a few mandatory courses like chemistry and biology, etc.
- Give the Dental Admission Test (DAT)
Aspiring dentists have to take the Dental Admissions Test. It is a standardized test which is compulsory for students who want to enroll in a dental school. CGPA, letters of recommendation, interviews and DAT scores are considered by dental schools during the enrollment process.
- Enroll in a Dental Program
Students are required to enroll in a 4-year Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) authorized dental program. After completing the program, students get a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. During the initial two years of dental school, students are required to focus on laboratory and classroom studies. In the latter years, they are allowed to evaluate and treat patients.
- Get Licensure
To obtain a license in Arkansas, an applicant must be a graduate of a CODA recognized program and should have a Cardiopulmonary (CPR) health provider level certification. They are required to clear the National Board Dental Examinations organized by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE). They are also required to pass the Arkansas Jurisprudence Exam and a clinical dental examination. Once all the requirements are fulfilled, applicants obtain their licensure from the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners. It is mandatory for all applicants to authorize the board to conduct a criminal background check.
- Consider a Field of Specialization
Several dentists opt to specialize in specific fields of dentistry. They pursue their post-DMD or post-DDS degree and choose a CODA accredited specialization. The process of becoming a specialist requires 1-2 extra years of education and training.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Arkansas?
Dentists have to complete minimum 8 years of education which includes a 4-year undergraduate and a 4-year graduate program at an accredited dental school. Once all the requirements are fulfilled, they can apply for licensure.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Arkansas?
Following are the requirements to become a dentist in Arkansas:
- Obtain an undergraduate degree
- Give the DAT and get a CODA recognized dental degree
- Possess a CPR certificate (Health provider level)
- Pass the National Board Dental Examinations
- Pass a clinical dental examination and the Arkansas Jurisprudence Examination
How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Dentist in Arkansas?
As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of dental professionals working in Arkansas was $168,420 in 2019.