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Professional Health Care Career Path: Dentist or Dental Surgeon

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences Degree

About this field

This professional health care career path requires an advanced degree beyond the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences.

Dentists diagnose and treat medical disease and injury associated with the teeth, gums, and structures of the mouth.  They are responsible for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.  Most dental programs require a bachelor’s degree in any major. Dental school requires four years of training and if a student wishes to specialize, it may require 2 to 6 additional years of training.

Read more about Job Statistics.

Degree Requirement

Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accredited program.

Typical Prerequisites Needed for Admissions to a DMD or DDS program

  • 1 year of general biology course with lab
  • 1 year of general or inorganic chemistry courses with labs
  • 1 year of organic chemistry courses with labs
  • 1 year of general physics courses with labs
  • 1 semester of statistics
  • 1 year of English 
  • 18 semester hours of humanities and social and/or behavioral sciences

NOTE: Students are strongly encouraged to determine the exact MD and DO prerequisites for a program by visiting that program’s website.  The link provided below shows all accredited DMD and DDS degree programs.

CODA Accredited Degree Programs.

Why choose Health Sciences as a bachelor’s degree?

In addition to offering a background in oral and facial injuries and medical illness assessment, the Health Sciences degree also provides a great degree of flexibility in course options for the student. Courses with content such as musculoskeletal evaluation, therapeutic interventions, kinesiology, and medical disease and illness provide the student with a strong foundation for dental school. The degree offers flexibility by allowing the student to take 9 hours outside of the health science area. When combined with core requirements, students should be able to meet all the typical prerequisites required of the average DMD or DDS degree program.

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