College of Science and Health > Student Resources > Office of Advising & Student Services > Pre-Health Advising > Health Careers > Dentistry
The American Dental Association describes dentistry as a branch of science devoted to maintaining oral health. General dentists (DDS or DMDs) use the latest techniques and equipment to examine the head, neck, and oral cavity to identify and diagnose oral conditions along with using specialized diagnostics to identify diseases of the teeth, gums, and supporting bones. Dentists also help restore and replace damaged teeth, perform corrective surgery, evaluate overall health of the patient, and provide instructions on oral care and preventive measure.
To become a dentist you must graduate from an accredited dental school. Typically dental school is a four year program after your bachelor’s degree. Currently there are 66 accredited dental schools within the U.S.
It is important for students to check each school's requirements carefully as some schools will require courses not listed below. For more information about a specific program, please contact the school directly.
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Iowa
For shadowing a dentist please set-up an appointment with the pre-health advisor by calling 773-325-8490 or scheduling an appointment on-line through BlueStar.
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