Should I Become a Dentist in Indiana?
If you are interested in the field of medicine but would rather help people improve their life quality, in a focused way, the field of dentistry might be for you. Becoming a dentist would require you to possess excellent communication skills, dexterity and patience.
The following table outlines the career of a dentist, complete with information on the educational requirements, key skills required and salary potential.
|Education Required||Professional or Doctoral Degree|
|License/Certification||Required in all states|
|Experience/Training||Required for specializations|
|Key Skills||Communication Skills, Patience, Dexterity, Leadership Skills, Organizational Skills, Detail-oriented, Problem-solving Skills|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019)–National||$178,260 (Dentists, General)|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||7%|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019)–Indiana||$178,750 (Dentists, General)|
Career Outlook for Dentists in Indiana
Dentists in the US are expected to experience a high growth of 7% in the years from 2018 to 2028. The state of Indiana is also expected to have a highly positive growth for this occupation, with O*Net predicting a 19% growth in employment for the years 2016 to 2026. This demand will be largely driven by general awareness regarding the importance of oral health. In addition to that, the large aging population will also need more frequent dental work, since they are more likely to keep their teeth as compared to previous generations.
Steps to Become a Dentist in Indiana
If you intend to join the high-growth field of dentistry, you will need to fulfill a long series of steps and requirements.
- Complete a Bachelor’s Degree
This is the basic level of education required by all medical schools for admissions. While a specific major is not required, it is recommended that students take courses in the natural sciences at this stage.
- Pass the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
The Dental Admissions Test is like the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) for dentists. It is a standardized test that checks the ability of students in the field of basic dentistry. All dental schools across the US require scores from this test, along with other requirements for admission.
- Enroll in a Dental School
Dentists are required to have either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree, in order to be eligible for licensure. The degree you choose needs to be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Coursework in this degree would include subjects like periodontics, radiology and local anesthesia.
- Get a License
The Indiana State Board of Dentistry issues licenses for different kinds of dentists who intend to practice in the state. Information for first time applicants and license renewals is available on the official website for the Board.
- Go for a Specialization
Specialization options for dentists include becoming Endodontists, Dental Anesthesiologists, Oral Pathologists, Periodontists and Pediatric Dentists etc.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Indiana?
It can take around 8 to 14 years to become a dentist in Indiana. The timeline would vary according to your chosen specialty, if any. For instance, in order to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, students will need to complete 4 to 6 years of additional education and training.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Indiana?
To become a dentist in Indiana, students will have to fulfill the following requirements:
- Get a bachelor’s degree
- Complete an accredited dental program
- Complete a residency
- Get a license from the Indiana State Board of Dentistry
How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Dentist in Indiana?
Once you have cleared all the requirements to become a dentist in Indiana, you can begin practicing in a variety of healthcare settings. You may be able to find work in hospitals or private practices. Your salary potential would vary according to the healthcare facility you work in, area of practice and specialization. General dentists in Indiana made an annual mean income of $178,750 in 2019, while Orthodontists made $235,450 in the state.