The ‘Bluegrass State’ is home to some of the country’s best dental schools, which have a reputation for innovation in dental education. These institutes prepare students to become competent and skilled, which helps them shine in their profession. If you want to kick-start a career in this growing field, then do give this article a read. This guide will help you understand how to become a dentist in Kentucky.

Should I Become a Dentist in Kentucky?

If you want to help people improve their oral health and self-esteem, then you should think about becoming a dentist.

The data given in the table below has been taken from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It gives a snapshot of the training, skill-set and education requirements that aspiring dentists have to fulfill.

Education Required A Professional/Doctoral degree is required.
Training Not required for general dentists
Licenses/Certifications Dentists cannot practice dentistry without an active license.
Key Skills/Qualities Problem Solving, Organizational, Communication and Leadership Skills are required. Some other key traits include Dexterity and Patience.
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National $178,260 (Dentists, General)
Job Outlook (2018-28) 7%
Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Kentucky $129,310 (Dentists, General)

Career Outlook

Since an increase in the baby-boomer population has led to an increased demand for dental services, we will see a positive job growth in the field of dentistry in the future. It is predicted that the employment opportunities in this field will shoot up by 7% from 2018 to 2028.

Steps to Become a Dentist in Kentucky

The stages involved in becoming a dentist in Kentucky are highlighted below:

    1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step is to get admitted to a bachelor’s program. Pre-dental students can pick any major at the undergraduate level as long as they are able to satisfy the pre-requisite course requirements of the dental school they are applying to. The dental school pre-requisites usually include the following courses: Introductory Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, Microbiology and English. Studying these courses also helps candidates prepare for the Dental Admission Test (DAT).


    1. Get a Professional Doctoral Degree

The next step involves applying to an accredited dental school. Most schools admit students who have a high CGPA and DAT score, along with stellar references. Once individuals have secured admission to a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S) program, they can expect to study a wide variety of modules related to Oral Pathology, Orofacial Pain and Periodontics.


    1. Apply for a License

The last stage of this lengthy process involves submitting a completed licensure application to the Kentucky Board of Dentistry. In order to get licensed, candidates have to clear the National Board Dental Examination, a regional exam and a jurisprudence exam.

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

If you are thinking about pursuing a career in dentistry in Kentucky, then be prepared to invest a minimum of eight years, because you will have to meet a strict criteria to enter this field. Before you can enroll in a dental school, you will have to earn a 4-year long undergraduate degree. After getting this degree, you will be required to obtain a doctoral degree, which might take another four years to finish. Lastly, you will have to pass the prescribed exams.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Kentucky?

To be eligible to get a license in Kentucky, candidates must meet the following requirements:

They should have:

  • Graduated from a CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) accredited dental college, school or department of a university.
  • Passed Part I and II of the National Board Dental Examination.
  • Passed one of the following regional clinical exams:
  • Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA)
  • The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA/NERB)
  • Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA)
  • Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS)
  • Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)
  • Completed a Jurisprudence Examination.
  • Sent a licensure application, along with a criminal background check to the Kentucky Board of Dentistry.


How Much Do Dentists Earn in Kentucky?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that Dentists (General) in Kentucky earned a yearly mean pay of $129,310 in 2019. The state average for 2019 was considerably lower than the national average of $178,260.