Doctors who examine teeth, gums and other parts of mouth to diagnose any oral health problems and provide appropriate treatment are called Dentists.

Should I Become a Dentist in Oregon?

Dentists perform various duties which typically vary based on their chosen specialization. They can also choose to specialize in a certain area like other doctors. However, general dentists do not require any specialization. While those who do, may work as, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Prosthodontists, Orthodontists and so on.

Education Required A doctoral or a professional degree
Major Requirement DDS-Doctor of Dental Surgery or a DMD-Doctor of Dental Medicine
License/Certification All dentists are required to be licensed in their state
Experience/Training Excluding General Dentists– a 2 to 6 year residency is mandatory for others
Key Skills Decision-making, Communication, Detail-oriented, Organizational Skills, Patience and Dexterity etc.
Annual Mean Salary

(National, 2019)

$178,260 (General Dentists)
Annual Mean Salary,

(Oregon, 2019)

$201,680 (General Dentists)
Job Outlook


7% (Faster than the average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Career Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 7% increase in employment for this occupation between 2018 and 2028. This projection is based on the anticipated rise in demand for dental services in the foreseeable future because of the aging population. Not only that, the BLS also reported 1,620 as the employment level for dentists in the State of Oregon in 2019.

Steps to Become a Dentist in Oregon

If you have an innate curiosity regarding the inner workings of our mouth and related organs and want to become a dentist, this guide can be helpful. There are typically 5 important milestones on this journey beginning with a bachelor’s degree and ending with licensure.

    1. Getting a Bachelor’s Degree

Since completion of a 4-year bachelor’s degree is a pre-requisite for dental school, you must ensure that you choose a major from biological sciences such as Biochemistry or other related subjects.

    1. Passing the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

Graduating with a bachelor’s degree is followed by taking and passing the DAT as it is a mandatory aptitude test that allows you to enroll in a dental school.

    1. Attending a Dental School

The third milestone is successful graduation with a CODA/ADA accredited DDS or DMD degree from a dental school. A typical DDS/DMD degree can be completed in 4 years’ time. Many universities in Oregon offer such degree like, the Oregon Health & Science University.

    1. Completing a Residency

Dentists who choose to specialize in a particular area are required to complete a residency program accredited by the CODA/ADA. The residency may take anywhere between 2 to 6 years depending upon the chosen specialization.

    1. Applying for Oregon State License

The Oregon Board of Dentistry regulates the licensure process and interested dentists must submit their application with relevant documentation to obtain a license.

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

Typically, the road to becoming a licensed dentists is long, challenging and competitive. It may take you anywhere between 10 to 12 years to begin working as a licensed dentists. However, if you specialize, it may take even longer.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Oregon?

If you are getting licensed in Oregon for the first time, you must submit a complete application packet and an application fee with proof of:

  • Graduation of DDS/DMD degree accredited by the CODA or ADA
  • Clearing the dental exam administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE)
  • Passing the relevant clinical exams conducted by the state board, a regional testing agency, the national testing agency or other Board-recognized testing agency
  • Clearing the Jurisprudence exam administered by the state Board


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

In accordance with the data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2019, General Dentists employed in the state of Oregon earned $201,680 as annual mean salary. Furthermore, Rhode Island was listed as the highest paying state for this profession with an annual mean salary of $262,900 in 2019.