Dentists are responsible for initiating treatments/procedures aimed at treating diseases of the gums, teeth and mouth. For them, a typical work day includes examining mouth X-rays, providing oral hygiene/care advice, performing activities like tooth replacements and root canals, etc.
As per the most up-to-date records maintained by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 670 general dentists working in Mississippi. Do you also have aspirations of starting a dental practice in The Magnolia State? Read this piece to understand the complete process.
Should I Become a Dentist in Mississippi?
|Education||DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine)/DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery)|
|Experience / Training||Required|
|Key Skills||Active Listening, Dexterity, Critical Thinking, Reasoning, Judgment and Decision Making, Arm-Hand Steadiness, Communication|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National||$ 178,260|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||7%|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Mississippi||$153,220|
Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net Online
As a dentist, you will have a choice between working in general dentistry and specialty practice. The latter requires extra education and training of 2 to 4 years after you have finished dental school. With regards to job nature, dentists are quite used to long work shifts.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job opportunities for dentists to increase by approximately 7% between 2018 and 2028. This projected growth rate is higher compared to many other fields. Furthermore, with an increasing number of senior citizens, the demand for specialized dental care will also rise.
Steps to Become a Dentist in Mississippi
The procedure outlined below has to be followed to become a dentist in Mississippi.
- Bachelor’s Degree
This will be the beginning of your journey. You may choose any subject as a major but do try to take a few science courses (biology, chemistry, psychology, physiology, etc.) during your degree. Some dental schools may also take you in after the completion of 2 or 3 years of undergrad studies. In this track, you will receive your Bachelor’s degree as a component of the dental education program.
- Dental Admission Test (DAT)
Once your undergrad education is done and dusted, it is time to sit for the DAT (Dental Admission Test). Doing well on it is very important to have any chance of getting into dental school.
- Dental Education
After you get to dental school, you will spend the next 4 years studying for a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) or DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree. Be mindful of picking an institution that has its dental education programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) which operates under the American Dental Association (ADA).
- License to Practice in Mississippi
When you have your DMD or DDS degree in hand, you can apply for a license from the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners. Eligibility requirements include passing the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) and a clinical test endorsed by the state of Mississippi among other things.
- Specialization (Optional)
In case you want to work as a specialist and not a general dentistry practitioner, then you must undergo further education and training for a few years. The following specialization options will be available to you.
- Dental Public Health
- Pediatric Dentistry
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
- Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
- Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Mississippi?
It takes at least 8 years to become a dentist in Mississippi. These include 4 years of undergraduate education and 4 years of dental school. For those who want to become specialists rather than general dentistry practitioners, a few more years of education and training is needed.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Mississippi?
To become a dentist in Mississippi, the requirements listed below have to be fulfilled.
- Attaining a Bachelor’s degree.
- Getting a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree.
- Obtaining the license to practice from the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners.
- Picking either general dentistry or an area of specialty to work in.
How Much Can I Make After Becoming a Dentist in Mississippi?
In 2019, Mississippi’s general dentists had an annual mean wage of $153,220. This is according to the available records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.