Are you considering becoming a dentist but wondering is dental school hard? Dentists play a critical role in their patients' health, and getting into the dental profession isn't easy.
The courses are demanding and time-consuming. There are exams you must pass to be accepted into dental school to continue your education.
The good news is all the hard work is worth it. Dentists earn a good living, have high job satisfaction, and can pursue many career paths.
If you're interested in learning more, we have all the details.
Here's what you should know about becoming a dentist.
Is Dental School Hard?
Dental school is quite challenging and requires years of study. The curriculum is demanding, and you must demonstrate practical and theoretical capabilities.
Dentists have a great deal of responsibility. One mistake can lead to serious consequences for their patients.
Dental school is demanding to ensure those entering the profession are highly skilled and able to handle a wide array of dental issues.
Is It Hard Getting Accepted to Dental School?
Even for top students, getting into dental school isn't easy. For the average student, it can be quite challenging to get accepted.
There are more applicants for dental school each year than available placements. To get in, you need to show a history of success in the classroom.
This means good university credentials, a high GPA, and decent scores on the Dental Admission Test (DAT). We highly recommend a DAT study book to help you prepare for the test.
Is Dental School Stressful?
Dental school can be stressful if you're not prepared to deal with demanding courses and long hours of studying. It can also be expensive, and many students rely on student loans to finance their education.
The dentist curriculum is challenging and can infringe on your ability to work or have a social life while you're in school. Dental school can be physically demanding as well.
Physical tasks like constantly being on your feet, bending over, and performing repetitive movements can cause a lot of strain on the body.
What Is the Dental Admission Test?
The DAT is a standardized test. All U.S. dental schools require prospective students to take it as part of their admission requirements.
It's recommended that dental school applicants take the DAT one year before applying. To take the DAT, you must have a bachelor's degree or have spent three years in college.
Some dental schools accept applicants with three years of undergraduate coursework. If you plan to attend dental school in the U.S., the DAT is mandatory.
There aren't designated passing and failing scores. Instead, the scores range from one to 30. Dental schools consider your success on the DAT as one indicator of your success as a dental student.
A score of 17 is considered average. You obviously want to make the highest score possible to get into a competitive dental school.
For best results, use DAT study guides and materials to help increase your score and your chances of attending the dentist college of your choice.
Is the DAT Hard?
The DAT is considered a reasonably difficult test. It takes four and a half hours to complete from start to finish.
It's a computer-based test with four sections of multiple-choice questions and covers a wide array of information. The lengthiness of the test contributes to its difficulty.
The four sections of the DAT include:
1. Survey of the Natural Sciences
This part of the test is divided into four sections. The subject matter includes 40 biology questions, 30 chemistry questions, and 30 Organic Chemistry questions.
2. Perceptual Ability
This section consists of 90 questions that assess your spatial and visual skills. This includes view recognition, cube counting, angle discrimination, and analyzing scientific content.
3. Reading Comprehension
This section tests your ability to comprehend and analyze scientific content. There are three reading passages that include complicated language and scientific and technical topics.
4. Quantitative Reasoning
There are a variety of math-related problems to solve in this section of the exam. Problems focus on basic math, conversions, geometry, algebra, probability, and statistics. An on-screen calculator is available for test-takers to use.
Due to the complexity of the DAT, you should try to devote three to four months to prepare for it. The ADA recommends 200 to 250 preparation hours.
Typical Courses in Dental School
As a dental student, you'll take courses in biological science. The first two years of dental school focus heavily on anatomy, biology, physiology, and diseases that impact the body.
Dental school students typically have laboratory courses that reinforce the hands-on repetitive processes of dentistry.
Dental School Highs and Lows
Dental students will have numerous highs and lows throughout their time in dental training. Many students find that year one of dental school is the most enjoyable.
As the curriculum gets harder, students must become accustomed to spending long hours in the classroom and even longer hours at home preparing for tests. It's easy to let your coursework take over your life.
Remember to keep things in perspective and take the time you need to take care of yourself and spend time with family or friends.
Direct Patient Care
Clinical study and direct patient care are the main focus of the last two years of dental school. Students observe in a clinical setting and attend to patients for several hours a week.
The dental curriculum is designed to give students a wide range of clinical experiences. They must care for all types of patients, including children, the elderly, disabled, chronically ill, and those requiring specialized care.
Students often train or rotate among hospitals, clinics, and other off-campus settings.
Preparing for Dental School
Dentists are a critical part of the healthcare industry. Their specialized skills are needed around the country for people of all ages.
If becoming a dentist is on your list of possible careers, you probably asking, "Is dental school hard?" The answer is yes for proper patient care.
Dentistry is demanding, but with hard work and preparation, you'll be on your way to becoming a dentist and enjoying the many patients you'll care for each day.
At Orgoman, we know that preparing for dental school is no easy feat. Before you go, be sure to check out the quality DAT resources Orgoman has to offer.