If you are planning to join the dental profession, then you might want to read this article that explains how to become a dentist in Georgia. Here, you can find details about the work that dentists are expected to do, the requirements that you would be required to meet, and the process that you will go through in order to become a dentist.
Job Duties of a Dentist
As part of their jobs, dentists have to do the following:
- Examine, identify, and treat malformations, injuries, and diseases of gums and teeth.
- Formulate treatment plans to treat dental issues.
- Instruct and advise patients regarding dental care.
- Carry out dental procedures like scaling, filling cavities, fitting braces to straighten teeth, performing root canals and extractions etc.
Requirements to Become a Dentist in Georgia
The state of Georgia has specified certain requirements that need to be met before one can start practicing as a dentist. The details are discussed below:
- Education Requirements
As per state requirements, you will have to complete either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S) from a school that has been accredited by the American Dental Association on Dental Accreditation. These degrees take around four years to complete.
- Training Requirements
You will have to complete certain internship credits in order to earn your doctoral degree.
- Certification and Licensing Requirements
Once you have completed the education and training requirements, you will have to make an application to the Georgia Board of Dentistry. The application form can be found on the board website that has to be filled and submitted along with the necessary documents. Upon clearance of the board exams, you will be granted your license.
Steps Involved in Becoming a Dentist in Georgia
The process of becoming a Dentist in Georgia involves the following steps:
- Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
In order to equip yourself with foundational knowledge, you will be expected to enroll in a bachelor’s program which will expose you to modules related to science and mathematics. Studying these courses will also help you prepare for the Dental Admissions Test.
- Obtain a Doctorate Degree and Meet Training Requirements
Once you are done with your undergraduate degree, you will be expected to earn an accredited Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D)/Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S). As part of the program, you will have to complete the internship requirements.
- Apply for a License
The procedure for applying for a license is discussed below:
- You will have to send completed applications and supporting documents along with the specified amount needed to initiate the process. Supporting material would include license verification, official transcripts of the doctoral degrees, two references, national practitioner data bank report, criminal history information and national board scores.
- You will also have to pass the clinical licensure exam and the jurisprudence exam in order to be eligible to obtain the license.
- You will have to obtain a score of 75 or higher on the jurisprudence exam. This exam will test you on the rules and laws governing the practice of dentistry in Georgia.
- Once you have met all these requirements, you will be given your license.
Employment data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that dentists in Georgia earned an annual mean wage of $176,600 in May 2018. This figure is slightly higher than the national average ($175,840).