Missouri has a high number of dentists employed in its various healthcare facilities. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,720 general dentists working in the state in 2019. If you want to join this prestigious workforce, you have come to the right place for guidance. The following piece contains all the information about how to become a dentist in Missouri, complete with details of education, training and licensing requirements.

Should I Become a Dentist in Missouri?

Dentists in Missouri, or in any other state pretty much, are required to have a strong personality with high moral values. Have a look at the table below to find out more about this career and the key skills required to succeed in it.

Education Required Professional or Doctoral Degree
License/Certification Required
Experience/Training Required mostly for specializations
Key Skills Problem-solving Skills, Communication Skills, Dexterity, Organizational Skills, Leadership Skills, Detail-oriented, Patience
Annual Mean Salary (2019)–National $178,260 (Dentists, General)
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 7%
Annual Mean Salary (2019)–Missouri $169,360 (Dentists, General)

Career Outlook for Dentists in Missouri

Dentists across the US are expected to experience a growth of 7%, in the years from 2018 to 2028, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth rate is faster than the average for all occupations. The growth rate for Missouri is even higher, at 15% for the years 2016 to 2026, as per data from O*Net Online. This high demand will be due to certain factors like a massive aging population needing dental work and a heightened demand for dental fixtures like implants and bridges.

Steps to Become a Dentist in Missouri

Students who want to become dentists in Missouri, need to satisfy certain educational and training requirements. The following list of steps chalks out this journey in detail.

  1. Complete an Undergraduate Degree

  2. Nearly all dental schools across the state of Missouri would require the completion of a 4-year long undergraduate degree. Students are advised to take courses in biology, chemistry, physics and math, to help create a strong foundation for dental school.

  1. Get a Good Score on the DAT

  2. The DAT, or the Dental Admissions Test, is a mandatory component in dental school admissions. Scores from this dental aptitude test are required by all dental schools, along with other admission requirements such as a minimum undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation and interviews.

  1. Complete a Dental Degree

  2. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the minimum level of education required to practice as a dentist, anywhere in the country, is a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. This degree must be completed through an accredited program.

  1. Get a Missouri State License

  2. The Dental Board under the Missouri Division of Professional Registration oversees the process of licensing and registration of dentists. For more information on the exact requirements for licensure, you are advised to visit the Board’s official website.

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

The process to become a dentist in Missouri is long and requires a lot of patience. Students can expect to spend around 8 to 14 years of their academic life in the process of becoming a dentist. The timeframe would vary according to the chosen specialty, if any. In any case, a minimum of 8 years would be required.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Missouri?

If you want to become a dentist in Missouri, you ought to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Get a bachelor’s degree
  • Complete a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-approved dental degree
  • Get a dental license from the Dental Board of Missouri
  • Look for a job in offices of dentists, physicians or hospitals

How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Dentist in Missouri?

The amount of earnings you can rake in as a dentist would depend on your specialization and industry of practice. General dentists in Missouri made an annual mean income of $169,360.