What Does a Dentist Do?
Trained medical professionals who treat oral health problems are called dentists. Dentists may either work as General Dentists without specializing in a particular field or they may specialize to work as Prosthodontists or Orthodontists. Based on these specializations, the specific duties of dentists vary as well. However, a few duties are carried out by all dentists such as asking patients about their medical history or previous issues. Dentists perform a complete checkup of teeth and gums before giving a diagnosis or prescribing any medication. Other common duties include removal and repair of teeth and gums etc.
How to Become a Dentist in Phoenix?
Becoming a dentist may take anywhere between 10 to 12 years from beginning with a bachelor’s degree and ending with acquisition of licensure. Here is a step by step guide for interested candidates.
- Bachelor’s Degree
The very first milestone is completion of a 4-year bachelor’s degree. It is important that students take up courses in biology, chemistry and other related sciences during this degree. These courses solidify fundamental concepts of dentistry that help during training at the dental school.
- The Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, prospective dentists need to take and pass the DAT exam.
- Dental School
A passing score on this aptitude test makes them eligible to enroll in a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or in a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Many institutions like, the Midwestern University and the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health offer these degrees. A DDS or a DMD degree typically takes about 4 years to complete including 2 years of coursework and 2 years of field experience.
Obtaining a license to practice dentistry is the last step of this process. All dentists in the U.S. must be licensed and the requirements of licensure vary for each state. The application for licensure must be accompanied with a passing score on the National Board of Dental Examinations (NBDE).
Requirements to Become a Licensed Dentist in Phoenix, AZ?
The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners regulates the licensure process in Phoenix, AZ. The dentists who complete their DDS/DMD degree from a CODA/ADA accredited institution in the U.S. are eligible to apply for an Arizona State license. They must also clear Part I and II of the NBDE exams in addition to the clinical examination conducted by a regional examining board within the last 5 years.
How Much Can I Make as a Dentist in Phoenix, AZ?
According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), General Dentists in the state of Arizona earned an annual mean salary of $186,870 in 2018. In addition to that, the BLS data illustrates that the annual mean salary for General Dentists in the state of Arizona has been constantly increasing every year since 2016.
What is the Job Outlook for Doctors in Phoenix, AZ?
As per the data available on the BLS website, General Dentists are predicted to see an employment growth of 7% between 2018 and 2028. This growth rate is considered to be faster than the average for other careers which makes it a rewarding career.