Here’s an article that will help you figure out how to become a Dentist in Florida.
Job Duties of a Dentist
Dentists carry out the following tasks:
- Identifying oral diseases
- Making treatment plans to cure dental diseases
- Performing surgical and dental procedures (such as straightening teeth, repairing fractured teeth, performing tooth extractions, filling cavities, removing decay, etc.)
Requirements to Become a Dentist in Florida
Individuals have to meet a long list of requirements before they can legally start practicing as a dentist in Florida. These requirements are discussed below:
- Education Requirements
Applicants must complete a four year long Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S). These programs must be accredited by the American Dental Association on Dental Accreditation.
- Training Requirements
The candidates will also have to earn their internship credits in order to complete their doctoral degree.
- Certification and Licensing Requirements
In order to obtain a license, candidates have to make an application to the Florida Board of Dentistry. The requirements for licensure by examination are discussed in detail in the next section.
Steps Involved in Becoming a Dentist in Florida
Applicants have to clear the following stages if they aspire to become licensed dentists:
- Complete a Bachelor’s Degree
In order to be eligible to apply to a dental school, individuals have to enroll in a Bachelor’s degree and have to take dental pre-requisite courses related to Biology, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. These courses also prepare individuals for the Dental Admissions Test, which is required for enrollment in a dental school. Please note that every dental school has its own pre-requisite requirements, so you should research about the admission process and requirements of the institute that you intend to apply to.
- Earn a Doctorate Degree and Fulfill Training Requirements
After earning the bachelor’s degree, the applicant will be required to enroll in a doctoral program. Universities are now offering a Doctor of Dental Medicine/Doctor of Dental Surgery, so the individual can choose between these two programs. Students can also pursue dual degrees such as Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O) joint degree. In order to obtain these degrees, students will also have to complete their doctoral level internship.
- Apply for a License
The requirements for licensure by examination are listed below:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years old
- Should have graduated from an accredited dental school
- The applicant should clear the National Board of Dental Examination (Part 1 and 2), Florida Laws and Rules Examination and the ADEX Dental Licensing Examination
After passing the required exams, the candidate has to download the application for licensure from the website or can also apply online. Supporting material that has to be submitted with the application include: final official transcripts (which should be embossed with the school’s official seal), proof of training, National Board Dental Exam scores and certification of license (if the applicant holds one in some other state or has previously held one). If the Florida Board of Dentistry approves the candidate’s application, he/she will be eligible for a license.
As per the data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, dentists in Florida made an annual mean wage of $167,270 in May 2018.