Popularly known as the ‘Hawkeye State,’ Iowa offers some great employment opportunities to dental professionals. Occupational statistics published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that General Dentists working in Iowa earned a yearly mean salary of $187,570 in May 2019. This was higher than the national average of $178,260.

If you want to improve people’s smiles, then you should think about starting a career in dentistry. Here’s a detailed article on how to become a dentist in Iowa.

Should I Become a Dentist in Iowa?

Are you somebody who is passionate about providing care to those in need? If yes, then you should think about becoming a dentist.

Before jumpstarting your dental career, there are a few things you should be aware of. Dentists have to meet several training, education, and licensing requirements, which have been highlighted below. This information has been taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education Required Dentists should possess a Professional/Doctoral degree.
Training Dental specialists have to complete a residency training program
Licenses/Certifications Required
Key Skills/Qualities Good Leadership, Communication Skills, Organizational Skills. They also have to be detail oriented and dexterous.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National $178,260 (Dentists, General)
Job Outlook (2018-28) 7%
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Iowa $187,570 (Dentists, General)

Career Outlook

According to the job outlook data published by BLS, dental professionals have a bright future. It is expected that job opportunities in this field will grow by 7% from 2018 to 2028. Moreover, job prospects for these professionals are expected to be good. Dentists who are willing to practice dentistry in underserved areas will have even better job prospects.

Steps to Become a Dentist in Iowa

In order to become a licensed dentist in Iowa, you will have to pass the following stages:

    1. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

In order to qualify for dental school, you will have to get a four-year long Bachelor of Arts or Science degree and will have to study a range of pre-dental courses. While studying in university, you should also try to gain some practical experience by working as an intern or paid worker at a dental clinic.


    1. Pass the Dental Admission Test (DAT)

The Dental Admissions Test is an MCQ-based exam that is required by all dental schools in the U.S. It measures the person’s academic ability and analytical skills. You should make sure that you study all the important concepts before you take this test.


    1. Get Admitted to a Dental School

In order to get a dental license, you will be required to obtain a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from an accredited dental college which has been approved by Iowa Dental Board. You can expect to graduate from the dental school within four years.


    1. Get Licensed

After you have graduated from dental school, you should visit Iowa Dental Board’s online licensing database and make an application for license. Please note that you will become eligible to obtain the license after you have cleared the National Board Dental Examination, the Regional Exam and the Jurisprudence Exam.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Iowa?

It takes more than eight years to become a dentist in Iowa. First of all, you will have to earn a baccalaureate degree. This degree can be completed in four years. Then, you will have to obtain a four-year long DDS/DDM degree from an accredited dental school. Once you have met the education requirements, you will have to pass a couple of board-approved exams. Thus, all in all, it takes more than eight years to join the field of dentistry in Iowa.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Iowa?

Candidates who want to work as a dentist in Iowa have to meet the conditions mentioned below.

The person should have:

  • Graduated from an ADA-accredited dental school.
  • Passed the National Dental Examination.
  • Completed the SRTA, CITA, CDCA/ADEX, WREB, or CRDTS examination.
  • Completed the Iowa jurisprudence examination.
  • Sent a licensure application to the Iowa Dental Board.
  • Paid the background check, fingerprint, and application processing fees.

How Much Do Dentists Earn in Iowa?

Data published by BLS shows that the annual mean wage earned by dentists in Iowa in 2019 was higher than the national average. The annual mean pay of Dentists (General) working in Iowa was $187,570 in 2019.