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Dental Schools - D.D.S.

    Dental Schools - D.D.S.

    The dentist focuses attention on the mouth and facial regions of the body. Most dentists are in private practice. Their responsibilities include cleaning of teeth and checking for possible problems - cancer, gingivitis, and other diseases. Twenty percent of dentists focus their energies in specialties such as endodontics, oral surgery, oral pathology, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, or public health dentistry. These specialties usually require 2 more years of schooling. Admissions to most dental schools requires the DAT, which should be taken in the spring of the student's junior year.

    Students in dental school must pass several tests to practice dentistry. The National Dental Board Examination, a two part exam, is required to become a licensed dentist. After the second year of dental school, the student takes Part I of the National Board Dental Examination which covers anatomical sciences, biochemistry and physiology, microbiology and pathology, and dental anatomy and occlusion. Part II of the National Board Dental Examination is a 1.5 day exam usually taken during the last year of dental school. Part II covers the clinical dental sciences, behavioral science, dental public health, and occupational safety. After final examinations in the fourth year, students must also pass the Northeast Region Board. This practical examination is administered by a rotating board of dentists who watch the student work on a patient.

    Most dental schools require the following courses:

    • 1 year of Biology
    • 1 year of General Chemistry
    • 1 year of Organic Chemistry
    • 1 year of Physics

    Some schools also ask for:

    • 1 course in Psychology
    • 1 course in Mathematics


    Be sure to check the current admission requirements for each dental school in Admission Requirements: United States and Canadian Dental School which is put out by the American Association of Dental Schools or speak with your Pre-Health Professions Advisor.


    Dental Admissions Test (DAT)

    The DAT is required by all American dental schools as an assessment of the student's potential for survival in dental school. The test is generally given in late March or early April and should be taken in the spring of your junior year. The test is entirely multiple choice, takes 6 hours, and consists of 4 separate examinations that cover the following: survey of natural sciences (i.e., biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry); perceptual ability (2 and 3 dimensional problem solving); reading comprehension (natural and basic sciences);
    quantitative reasoning.

    To obtain a copy of the DAT application packet, see the Pre-Health Professions Advisor, the Career Center, or mail your request to:

    Department of Testing Services
    American Dental Association
    211 E. Chicago Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611-2678

    or call: 800-621-8099



    American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS)

    This service is required for application to 51 of 55 dental schools. The applicant must complete only one application, and send it to AADSAS, which will process the application (with transcripts, letters of evaluation, etc.) and send copies to all dental schools that you indicate.

    To obtain a copy of the AADSAS application packet, see the Pre-Health Professions Advisor, the Career Center, or mail your request to:

    AADSAS Application
    1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    Suite 600
    Washington, DC 20036-2212

    Phone: 800-353-2237
    Fax: (202) 667-4963
    E-mail: aadsas.status@aads.jhu.edu