Should I Become a Dentist in Louisiana?
|Education Required||Professional or doctoral degree|
|Training||Required for specialization|
|Key Skills||Problem Solving Skills, Dexterity, Organization Skills, Patience, Leadership Skills and Communication Skills.|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National||$178,260 (Dentists, General)|
|Job Outlook (2018-28)||7%|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Louisiana||$155,350 (Dentists, General)|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Dentistry is one of the most sought after professions in the medical field. It has grown over the years and has enjoyed being in demand consistently. People who join this profession should be passionate about it. These professionals have to work very hard to achieve success. Dentistry is a profession that pays back very well.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for dentists are expected to grow 7% from 2018-2028. The profession is expected to be in demand as more people will be accessing dental services. People from the baby boom generation will also be needing dental work which will contribute to its increasing demand. Various researches have associated overall health with oral health which has made people visit dentists more often. Multiple skills are required to become a dentist such as, dexterity, patience and communication skills, etc.
Steps to Become a Dentist in Louisiana
- Get a Bachelor’s Degree
Aspiring dentists are required to get a Bachelor’s degree. Since dental schools do not have any major requirements, students can choose any major they like. However, they have to complete coursework in physics, biology and chemistry.
- Take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
Students are required to take the DAT as it is required by all dental schools across the US. It is a standardized exam which tests student’s scientific knowledge and academic capability. Dental schools require DAT scores, a good CGPA and a letter of recommendation as well.
- Obtain a Dental Degree
Students are required to get admission in a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) recognized program to get a dental degree. It is a 4-year degree program which results in a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. The first two years of the program focus on classroom and laboratory work, while in the last 2 years students diagnose and treat patients, in a supervised setting.
- Obtain Licensure
To get a license in Louisiana, professionals are required to graduate from an accredited program. They either have to be US citizens or must be authorized to live and work in the US. They have to take the National Board Dental Examination, the Louisiana Jurisprudence Examination and the ADEX exam. They are also required to complete to a cardiopulmonary resuscitation health care provider course. Once all the requirements are fulfilled, candidates receive their license from the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry.
- Consider Specialization
Dentists who want to specialize, opt for a post-DMD or a post-DDS degree. They can choose any specialty area accredited by the CODA such as, pediatric dentistry, public health, etc. Becoming a specialist entails additional 1-2 years of training and education.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Louisiana?
Aspiring dentists have to complete a 4-year undergraduate program followed by a 4-year dental degree at an accredited school. Candidates become eligible to get licensure after all the requirements are completed.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Louisiana?
Following are the requirements to become a dentist in Louisiana:
- Be a US citizen or permitted to live and work over there
- Obtain an undergraduate degree
- Take the DAT and get an accredited dental degree
- Pass the National Board Dental Examination, Louisiana Jurisprudence Examination and the ADEX Examination
- Possess a certificate in Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Dentist in Louisiana?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean salary of general dentists working in Louisiana was $155,350 in 2019.