Degrees in Dentistry

Degrees in Dentistry
Two degrees are awarded for general dentistry: the DDS, or doctor of dental surgery, and the DMD, or doctor of dental medicine. Both degrees allow licensed dentists to practice the same kind of dentistry; the names are simply established at the discretion of the awarding college or university. The University of California at San Francisco, for example, awards the DDS, while Temple University awards the DMD.

Dental degrees are doctoral-level degrees and can only be earned after completion of a bachelor degree program. Most dental programs require students to have earned a minimum number of prerequisite hours in science courses. Students also must take the Dental Admissions Test, or DAT.

Additional training is required, however, for students interested in specializing in a particular area, such as orthodontics. The University of Iowa, for example, offers a two-year training program in endodontics and a three-year training program in periodontics.

Upon completion of a dental program, graduates must become licensed by their state in order to work as a dentist.

After initial licensure, many states require a certain number of continuing education hours for license renewal. The Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry, for example, requires 30 hours of continuing education for every biennial licensure period. The North Dakota Board of Dental Examiners requires 32 hours of continuing education every two years.

Links to state licensing boards:

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