Best Doctor of Dental Surgery Programs 2021

Discover the best doctor of dental surgery programs for 2021 and find help on your journey to becoming a dentist.

November 11, 2021

Best Doctor of Dental Surgery Programs 2021

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Dentists diagnose and treat medical conditions affecting the teeth, mouth, and jaw. They also provide cosmetic services such as teeth whitening treatments. Dentists can specialize in one of many subfields.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons remove tumors, rebuild mouths and eye sockets, and fix cleft palates. These professionals help patients achieve a higher quality of life and, in some cases, live longer than they would without treatment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that oral surgeons earn a higher median salary than dentists in other specialties. Additionally, oral surgeons in private practice settings earn the highest median salary.

Applicants pursuing doctor of dental surgery programs must pass the Dental Admission Test from the American Dental Association (ADA). To sit for the test, candidates need a college degree and prerequisite undergraduate coursework in biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry.

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FAQ: Doctor of Dental Surgery Programs

true Q. What does a doctor of dental surgery do?

Doctors of dental surgery perform different tasks depending on their specialization. For example, these doctors may extract teeth, install implants, or rebuild facial structures.

true Q. What is the difference between doctor of dental surgery and doctor of dental medicine?

DMD and DDS degrees require learners to complete an ADA-accredited curriculum. Graduates with either type of degree possess the same skill set and qualify to perform the same type of work.

true Q. How long does it take to complete a doctor of dental surgery degree?

DDS degrees typically require four years to complete. In addition to completing coursework, learners participate in clinical rotations and select electives to specialize in a certain area.

true Q. Can I complete a dental surgery degree online?

Doctor of dental surgery degrees require extensive hands-on training. As a result, most universities only deliver dental surgery programs on campus.

Why Pursue a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree?

Doctor of dental surgery programs prepare students for fulfilling careers assisting patients. Graduates of DDS programs often experience the following personal and professional benefits.

The BLS projects employment for dentists to increase 3% from 2019-2029, about as fast as the average projected growth rate for all professions. Dentists in the United States earn a median salary that is considerably higher than the average for all occupations. Dentists in Washington, Virginia, and South Dakota earn the highest median salaries, according to the BLS. Dentists often take pride in treating patients and promoting oral health. These professionals witness their work's positive impact on individual's lives. Dentists with extensive experience can open a private practice to treat patients locally. Opening their own practice allows dentists to set their own hours and mentor less experienced professionals. Individuals in the field can specialize in areas such as anesthesiology, orthodontics, and pediatric dentistry. Students explore specializations while in school and refine their skills during residencies.

Doctor of Dental Surgery Specializations

While pursuing DDS degrees, students typically specialize in one or more areas. An individual's specialization impacts their career options. Learners in doctor of dental surgery programs specialize by taking upper-division courses and gaining supervised experience.

Courses in a DDS Program

Doctor of dental surgery programs require core and elective courses. While completing core coursework, learners develop the academic foundation they need to succeed during clinical rotations. Degree-seekers also pursue a specialization through upper-division electives.

The following sample curriculum describes three courses typical to DDS programs. However, course titles and requirements vary by school. Many universities post detailed course syllabi online, and prospective students can contact admissions advisors for information about individual programs' academic experience and graduation requirements.

Dentist Licensing and Certification Requirements

Like all medical professionals, dentists must meet their state's licensure requirements. These requirements vary by state but typically include an advanced degree from an ADA-accredited dental school, passing scores on one or more examinations, and completion of an approved residency program. Licensure candidates must also undergo a criminal background check. Dentists qualify for annual license renewal by taking continuing education courses.

In addition to a license, many dentistry professionals obtain professional certification. Dental specialty boards certify professionals in areas such as anesthesiology, dental public health, and prosthodontics. Generally, candidates for certification must pass a rigorous examination, and some boards allow doctoral students to begin the certification process before graduation.

Certified dentists must typically complete professional development requirements to renew their credentials.

Scholarships for Dental Students

Students attending doctor of dental surgery programs can apply for scholarships and other financial aid opportunities to reduce the financial burden of earning a degree. Scholarships such as those below can help degree-seekers minimize student debt. Before applying, learners should research each scholarship program's application requirements and deadlines.

Scholarships for Dental Students
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

American Student Dental Association Scholarships

Varies ASDA curates a list of private scholarships for dental students. Application requirements may include a dean's recommendation, financial need, or membership in a minority group. Each scholarship maintains a unique application deadline.

Chinese American Medical Society Scholarship

$5,000 Chinese American medical and dental students can apply for this award. Application materials include a resume, two recommendation letters, and proof of good academic standing. Interested students should apply by March 31.

Health Professions Scholarship

Varies The Indian Health Service awards this scholarship to members of federally recognized tribes who are preparing for careers in the medical field. Scholarship recipients agree to practice in an underserved community after completing their residency.

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