Do you want to learn about how to become a dentist in North Carolina? If yes, then here is everything you need to know about the details of this career in The Tar Heel State. The following guide provides details on the steps to become a dentist in North Carolina, including the educational, training and licensing requirements.

Should I Become a Dentist in North Carolina?

If you like the idea of improving the overall health of your fellow community members, becoming a dentist might be one way of doing that. You can help people lead better lives, by taking care of their dental problems. The following table provides some useful insights into this career.

Education Required Professional or a Doctoral Degree
Major Requirement Professional or a Doctoral Degree
License/Certification Required
Experience/Training Not Required for General Dentists
Key Skills Problem-solving Skills, Agility, Organizational Skills, Management Skills, Detail-oriented, Persistence, Communication Skills
Annual Mean Salary(National, 2019) $178,260 (Dentists, General)
Annual Mean Salary (2019)–North Carolina $191,920 (Dentists, General)
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 7%

Career Outlook for Dentists in North Carolina

The number of jobs for dentists all across the US are expected to grow by 7% in the years between 2018 and 2028. The job outlook for dentists in North Carolina is even brighter. According to O*Net Online, dentists in this state will experience a growth of 24% in the years from 2016 to 2026. This demand will be driven by a variety of factors, including an increased focus on oral health and cosmetic dental procedures.

Steps to Become a Dentist in North Carolina

    1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

This is the least amount of education required by most dental colleges for admissions. Students are not required to go for a dentistry-specific major at this stage. However, they are recommended to take up coursework in biology, physics, chemistry and math to help build a strong foundation for dental school.

    1. Clear the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

This standardized test is an admission requirement by all dental schools across the US. It tests the students’ ability to successfully complete a dental program. Colleges use scores from this test, along with several other factors in the admission process. These include undergraduate scores, letters of recommendation and interviews etc.

    1. Graduate from an Accredited Dental Program

North Carolina has several universities offering dental programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Dentists are required to have a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. This four-year long program covers coursework in local anesthesia, periodontics and human anatomy.

    1. Get Licensed in North Carolina

The licensing process for dentists in North Carolina is taken care of by the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners. The Board examines first-time applications, license verifications and the issuing of specialized licenses. Candidates will be required to provide documentation regarding their education and training, and will also have to complete a licensing exam.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in North Carolina?

In order to become a dentist in North Carolina, you will have to complete a 4-year long undergraduate degree, followed by a 4-year long dental degree. This is the basic timeline required to become a dentist in North Carolina. However, if you intend to go for a specialization, you will have to invest additional time. For instance, if you want to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, you will need to complete an additional 4 to 6 years of training and education.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in North Carolina?

Aspiring dentists in North Carolina would have to meet certain requirements before they can practice as dentists. Have a look at these.

  • Complete an undergraduate program
  • Get a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree
  • Apply for a license with the North Carolina State Board of Examiners
  • Look for a job


How Much Can I Make after Becoming a Dentist in North Carolina?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dentists, General in North Carolina made an annual mean income of $191,920 in 2019. Earnings varied according to the industry of employment of specialization, if any.