The ‘Beehive State’ offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals who might be interested in establishing a career in dentistry. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that Utah was one of the top five U.S. states that had the highest concentration of jobs for general dentists in 2019.
If you want to find out more about how to enter this field, then keep reading this detailed article. It will help you understand how to become a dentist in Utah.
Should I Become a Dentist in Utah?
If you are dexterous, intelligent and detail oriented, then you should consider becoming a dentist.
You must remember that becoming a dentist is not easy at all. Therefore, you must be prepared to tread a tough path. All dentists are expected to undergo intensive training, before they finally get their license. The following table provides an overview of the skill-set, education, and licensing requirements that must be met by aspiring dentists. This data has been gathered from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Education Required||Professional/Doctoral degree.|
|Training||Required for specializations|
|Licenses/Certifications||A license is mandatory.|
|Key Skills/Qualities||Organizational, Communication, Problem Solving and Leadership Skills are required. Other desired traits include Patience and Dexterity.|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – National||$178,260 (Dentists, General)|
|Job Outlook (2018-28)||7%|
|Annual Mean Salary (2019) – Utah||$134,730 (Dentists, General)|
The job outlook figures point towards a positive employment growth for dentists. It is expected that the job opportunities for these professionals will increase by 7% from 2018 to 2028. As a result, the job openings in this field will grow by 11,600.
Steps to Become a Dentist in Utah
The process of becoming a dentist in Utah is outlined below:
- Obtain an Undergraduate Degree
In order to prepare for medical school, you will have to study the required pre-dental coursework. Therefore, you should enroll in a four-year long bachelor’s program that allows you to complete the pre-dental education requirements. You can expect to study many science courses during your bachelor’s degree, some of which will be related to General Biology and Chemistry.
- Get a Professional Dental Degree
Before you can get admission into a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.)/Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S) program, you will have to clear the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This is an aptitude test that will gauge your competence and intellectual capability. Once you get into the dental school, you will have to study many courses ranging from Radiology, Pain Control and Periodontics.
- Get Licensed
At this stage, you will be required to send a licensure application to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing in Utah. Please note that you will be eligible for a state license after you have passed the National Board Dental Examinations and the regional licensing exam. The division will require you to provide evidence of clearing these exams, and will ask you send in all other required documents such as reference letters and copy of your doctoral degree.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Dentist in Utah?
The process of becoming a dentist in Utah can be long and exhausting. First, candidates have to complete their undergraduate education, which can take around four years. Then, they have to complete dental school, which takes another four years. Once they have obtained the required degrees, they have to clear the prescribed exams. Thus, it takes more than eight years to become a dentist in Utah.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Dentist in Utah?
The candidate must:
- Possess a good moral character.
- Have earned a doctoral degree in dentistry from a dental school which has been accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association.
- Have cleared the National Board Dental Examinations.
- Have passed one of these regional licensing exam: Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA), Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS), Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA), The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) and Western Regional Examining Board (WREB).
- Send a licensure application and pay a prescribed fee to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
How Much Do Dentists Earn in Utah?
According to the estimates published on BLS, Dentists (General) working in Utah earned an annual mean wage of $134,730 in May 2019.