Should I Become a Dentist in Kansas?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has predicted a 7% employment increase for dentists from 2018 to 2028. According to the BLS, the demand for dental services will increase mainly because of the aging population. The data reported by the BLS in 2019 shows 640 as the employment level for general dentists in Minnesota. The following guide can help you get started if you want to pursue this career.
|Education Required||Doctoral or a professional degree|
|Major Requirement||DDS or DMD|
|License/Certification||State issued license must be obtained|
|Experience/Training||Residency program must be completed (Except for General Dentists)|
|Key Skills||Decision-making, Communication and Organizational Skills, Patience, Dexterity and Detail-oriented etc.|
|Annual Mean Salary (National, 2019)||$178,260 (General Dentists)|
|Annual Mean Salary,(Kansas, 2019)||$184,070 (General Dentists)|
|Job Outlook||7% (Faster than the average)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)
Just as all other doctors choose to specialize, dentists can also specialize in their area of interest. Some choose to work as Orthodontists, Prosthodontists or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons while others do not specialize and work as General Dentists. Other requirements of this career include having patience to work long hours and excellent communication skills etc.
Steps to Become a Dentist in Kansas
Becoming a licensed dentist takes a long time and requires determination. If you know that this career is for you, then let’s get started!
- Complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree
The road to dentistry begins with completion of a 4-year bachelor’s degree. You are recommended to complete it with a subject in biological sciences. It will prepare you for advanced courses you will have to study at the dentistry school.
- Clear the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
Passing the DAT is also a pre-requisite for enrollment in a dental school. All prospective candidates must pass it with a good score to be eligible for admission into a DDS/DMD degree program.
- Complete DDS/DMD from a Dental School
Completing a 4-year Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree is the most crucial step. It will provide you with knowledge about practicing dentistry in the real-world. Many institutions in Kansas offer these programs such as, the College of Arts and Science at the Kansas State University.
- Complete a Residency Program
Dentists who want to specialize must complete a residency program accredited by CODA/ADA. It may take 2-4 years to complete the residency whereas, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery specialization program takes 4 to 6 years to complete. However, General Dentists do not need to complete any additional training after graduating.
- Apply for a License
The Kansas Dental Board provides licenses to all dentists. To apply for a state issued license, candidates must file an application with all relevant documents and pay a fee.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Kansas?
Becoming a licensed dentist takes a long time with multiple steps to be completed which are all explained above. Overall, it may take 10 to 12 years (or even more) for anyone to become a licensed dentist.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Kansas?
To get a license from the Kansas Dental Board, all dentists must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have good moral character
- Be graduate of a dental school or college approved by the ADA/CODA
Types of licensure include;
- By Examination – Recent graduates from a school or those licensed in another state for less than 5 years must apply through state conducted exam
- By Credential – Those who have been licensed for more than 5 years and have practiced during the past 5 years will apply using this method
- Other types include reinstatement of a Kansas license and re-activation of an expired license
How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Dentist in Kansas?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), General Dentists employed in Kansas earned an annual mean salary of $184,070 in 2019.