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What to Study if You Want to Become a Dentist? Duration of Dentistry Courses and Degrees

For those who are interested in oral health and patient care, studying dentistry offers a fulfilling career option. Knowing the exact areas of study that will lead to your desired career is essential if you want to become a dentist. These are the major subjects you should have in your high school that help you pursue dentistry education and career pathway:


The study of biology is necessary for future dentists. It establishes a solid basis by examining different facets of living things, such as the human body. You can better comprehend the complex operations of the oral cavity and how they relate to general health by studying subjects like anatomy, physiology, and microbiology.


Dentistry requires a solid foundation in chemistry. Dental materials and procedures are based on chemical concepts, including organic and inorganic chemistry. Understanding the composition, characteristics, and interactions of dental materials used in operations like fillings and dental implants will be made possible by studying chemistry.


Physics is important in dentistry studies even if it is not specifically related to the mouth. When working with dental tools and equipment, ideas like force, motion, and energy are essential. You will be better able to understand ideas like dental radiography, dental implant mechanics, and the behavior of dental materials if you have a solid understanding of physics.

Degrees/Courses & Duration to Become a Dentist

Aspiring students must complete a rigorous program of study that combines theoretical instruction with hands-on experience in order to become dentists. The normal course curriculum and the approximate duration of dentistry courses and degrees to become a dentist are shown in the following broad outline:

1. Bachelor’s Degree (Pre-Dentistry): Duration: 3-4 years

  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • English Composition
  • Psychology
  • Mathematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology

2. Dental School (Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine): Duration: 4 years

  • Dental Anatomy
  • Dental Materials
  • Oral Histology
  • Oral Pathology
  • Oral Radiology
  • Periodontology (Study of gums and supporting structures)
  • Endodontics (Study of root canal treatments)
  • Prosthodontics (Study of dental prosthetics)
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Orthodontics (Study of tooth alignment and correction)
  • Oral Surgery
  • Pharmacology (Study of drugs and their effects)
  • Dental Ethics and Jurisprudence

3. Residency (Optional for Specialization): Duration: 2-6 years (depending on the specialization)

Dental Specializations may include:

  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Endodontics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Oral Pathology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology

Dentists might receive advanced training and specialization in a particular branch of dentistry during the residency. The time frame varies according on the program criteria and the specialization that is selected.

Related Article: Dentistry Specializations in USA, UK and Australia – What Specializations Should I Do for Dentistry?

Here Are The Key Courses in Dentistry Studies To Become A Dentist:

Anatomy and Physiology:

Any dentist must have a good understanding of human anatomy and physiology. The head, neck, and mouth cavity are all covered in these topics, together with the construction and operation of the entire body. You may effectively recognize and diagnose dental problems, as well as plan and carry out successful treatments, by studying anatomy and physiology.

Dental Materials:

Dental treatments and restorations heavily rely on particular materials. You can become more familiar with the various materials used in dental operations, like as ceramics, composites, and amalgam, by studying dental materials. You will learn about these materials’ characteristics, uses, and methods of manipulation and application.

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Oral Pathology:

The study of conditions that impact the mouth cavity is the main focus of oral pathology. You can learn more about the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of oral problems such as infections, autoimmune diseases, and malignancies by studying oral pathology. For the purpose of delivering complete dental care, this knowledge is essential.

Dental Radiology:

For the diagnosis and follow-up of dental diseases, radiology is a crucial dental tool. You learn how to interpret and analyze X-rays, CBCT scans, and other imaging modalities in dental radiology courses. You’ll discover how to spot dental anomalies, analyze bone quality, and gauge a patient’s general oral health.

Clinical Dentistry:

Courses in clinical dentistry studies give students the opportunity to treat patients firsthand while being guided by knowledgeable instructors. You can refine your dentistry abilities during these hands-on workshops by carrying out dental examinations, teeth extractions, fillings, and other routine treatments. The clinical component of your dental education is very important.

Professional Ethics and Communication:

Being a dentist requires not just technical proficiency but also effective communication skills and moral principles. You will get the knowledge and skills you need to deal with patients effectively, respond to their concerns, and protect confidentiality by taking courses in professional ethics and communication. Being guided by strong ethical beliefs will help you give caring, patient-centered care.

Keep in mind that dentistry studies is a thorough path that calls for commitment, tenacity, and a love of oral health. You will be on the correct path to being a knowledgeable and sympathetic dentist by concentrating on these essential topics and courses.


“Dentists must acquire a license in order to practice in their particular jurisdiction after finishing the necessary schooling. The prerequisites for obtaining a license may vary by nation or state, but they often entail passing written and practical exams.”

In all, 7-8 years of education are needed to become a dentist, which includes completing both dentistry studies school and a bachelor’s degree. For individuals pursuing a specialization through a residency program, additional years may be necessary.

It is important to note that the timeframe given above is an approximation and may change depending on a person’s unique situation, academic standing, and the particular dentistry studies program or specialization they choose. For precise and current information on course length and prerequisites, it is always advisable to contact the dental schools and licensing organizations in your area.

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