Oklahoma, also known as the ‘Sooner State,’ offers many exciting opportunities for dental professionals. General Dentists working in this state earned an annual mean wage of $173,860 in 2019, which was only slightly less than the national average of $178,260.
If you want to have a career in this field, then you should read this comprehensive article. It will not only tell you how to become a dentist in Oklahoma but will also share some interesting salary statistics.
Should I Become a Dentist in Oklahoma?
If you have an interest in science and health practices, then a career in dentistry would suit you best.
Before you make a decision about joining this lucrative profession, you should take a look at the basic education and training requirements for dentists. The data presented below has been collected from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Education Required||Professional/Doctoral degree.|
|Training||General dentists don’t have to undergo additional training once they have earned a doctoral degree. Candidates who want to specialize in some area of dentistry have to complete an approved residency program.|
|Licenses/Certifications||An active license is needed to practice dentistry.|
|Key Skills/Qualities||Organizational Skills, Leadership Skills and Communication Skills are integral. Some other desired qualities include Dexterity and Patience.|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National||$178,260 (Dentists, General)|
|Job Outlook (2018-28)||7%|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) -Oklahoma||$173,860 (Dentists, General)|
The future seems bright for individuals working in the field of dentistry. BLS has reported that the job opportunities for these professionals will rise by 7% from 2018 to 2028.
Steps to Become a Dentist in Oklahoma
If you wish to become a licensed dentist in Oklahoma, you will have to pass through the following sequence of stages:
- Enroll in a Bachelor’s Program
In order to prepare yourself for dental school, you will have to get admitted to a bachelor’s program and complete the pre-dental coursework. The modules that you will study will be related to Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Physics and English.
- Enroll in a Dental Program
In order to get into an accredited dental school, you will have to get a decent score on the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This aptitude exam is administered through the American Dental Association and tests the person’s scientific knowledge and analytical skills. Once you get admitted to a dental program (such as a Doctor of Dental Surgery or a Doctor of Dental Medicine program), you will be required to study a combination of applied and didactic coursework. The estimated time of degree completion is usually four years.
- Secure a License
After obtaining the required degrees, you can send an application for a license to the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. The Board will also require you to submit your official transcripts, a copy of your dental degree, and an attested photograph. Do keep in mind that you will have to clear all the regional exam and all portions of the National Board Dental Examination in order to get licensed. If the Board thinks that the application is good enough and the accompanying evidence is satisfactory, then you will be notified to appear for the jurisprudence exam. Upon clearing this exam, you will be eligible for a license.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Oklahoma?
Dentists have to undergo years of intensive and demanding training before they are issued a license in Oklahoma. First, they have to complete high school, and then enroll in a 4-year long undergraduate program. Upon graduating, they have to get admitted to a 4-year long dental school. After completing dental school and clearing the approved Board exams, they are issued a dental license. Thus, all in all, it can take more than 8 years to join this profession.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Oklahoma?
Individuals who desire to practice dentistry in the state of Oklahoma have to meet the following criteria.
The candidate should:
- Bear a good moral character.
- Be a graduate of an accredited dental college.
- Have passed all parts of the National Board Dental Examination.
- Have cleared the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) Exam or some other regional exam.
- Have cleared the jurisprudence examination.
- Have submitted a licensure application to the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry.
How Much Do Dentists Earn in Oklahoma?
According to the occupational statistics published by BLS, Dentists (General) in Oklahoma earned a yearly mean wage of $173,860 in 2019.