Texas was the third highest employer of dentists in the US in 2018 with 8,110 jobs. The state also pays well to its dentists, with an annual mean wage of $185,680, a figure substantially higher than the national mean annual wage of $175,840. This statistical data has been extracted from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you are interested in becoming a part of this field in Texas, the following guide on how to become a dentist in Texas would be of great use to you.

How to Become a Dentist in Texas

To become a dentist in the Lone Star State, you will have to fulfill a series of educational and experience requirements. The following step wise guide will shed some more light on the process to become a dentist.

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Even though you can get this 4-year long degree in any major, it is recommended that you meet the prerequisite requirements for dental school at this stage. All dental schools list the pre-requisite courses they require on their websites.

  1. Take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT)
  2. This is a standardized test that consists of 280 multiple choice questions. You should plan to take this test approximately 15 months before the start of your dental school program.

  1. Choose and Apply to Various Dental Schools
  2. Make sure that the programs you choose are accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). You can also go to a dental school out of state and can still become a dentist in Texas.

  1. Complete Dental School
  2. This would involve two years of classroom based studies, followed by two years of practical studies. While enrolled in dental school, you will take the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) after your first or second year. During the third or fourth year, you will have to pass the Part II of the NBDE. Performance on both these tests is judged on a pass/fail basis.

  1. Get Your Doctorate Degree
  2. At the end of the four years of dental school, you will be awarded a doctorate degree. This will either be a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD). These are both equivalent degrees.

  1. Go for Further Education
  2. This would be applicable if you intend to specialize in a particular field of dentistry.

  1. Obtain a Dentist License in Texas
  2. To get the license, you will have to pass a Texas-approved clinical exam.

Once you have received you license to practice as a dentist in Texas, you will have to start looking for jobs.

Types of Dentists

There are various fields of dentistry that you can become a part of. These include:

  • Dental Anesthesiologist
  • Dental Public Health Specialist
  • Endodontists
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiologists
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Orthodontists
  • Periodontists
  • Pediatric Dentists
  • Oral Pathologists