Dentistry is a diverse and exciting career. The career possibilities span far and wide – after a lengthy period of training. At a minimum, dentists will spend 4-5 years at dental school, with many spending up to 7 years training to become fully qualified and independently working. That makes it challenging, and the commitment has to be high from the offset. Keep reading to discover 5 tips for successfully becoming a dentist in Canada.
Focus Of Your Education
The process of becoming a dentist begins long before reaching dental school. Budding dentists first have to have an undergraduate degree, and most dental schools will want at least one of the following subjects:
- Any science related degree
Students might also benefit from joining the student dental association for guidance, support, and a way of dipping their toes into the field. Once the degree is completed, it’s time to think about the Dental Aptitude Exam, which students prepare for over the spring and summer break.
Volunteer When You Can
Volunteering is considered essential. Not only do dental schools want to know that you’ve shown some interest in the field through work experience, but it also gives you the chance to explore what dentistry is like firsthand. Work experience and volunteering are also great ways to secure those all-important letters of recommendation.
Most students have one from an academic tutor and another from their work experience or volunteering effort. Contact local dentists to see if they can offer you a placement.
Think Ahead and Consider If You’d Like To Specialize
There isn’t just one type of dentist. According to North York dentists, there are seven different dental specializations in which you could potentially work. See below:
- General Dentistry
- Oral Pathologist
- Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons
The potential to expand and grow is great compared to other professions. For fields like oral and maxillofacial surgeons, the training is much longer.
Get Ready To Take An Exam Upon Qualifying
It’s not enough to complete the 4-5 years’ worth of training, passing all the exams along the way to finish dental school. The Canada Dental Association requires newly qualified dentists to undertake a written examination and OSCE — a practical exam — to ensure they’re ready to practice. It’s worth researching the contents of the exam to prepare first. Once passed, most people go into general dentistry first and then specialize further down the line.
Work On Your People Skills
Any successful dentist knows that one of the keys to success is bedside manner, or chairside manners, as some dentists might like to call it. It’s so important to be able to soothe and communicate with patients, especially those with dentophobia. A great way to practice your people skills is through the volunteering and work experiences you carry out along the way.
Dentists are well-paid, highly educated, and skilled individuals with massive career potential. It’s an excellent industry to join – one that makes a difference in people’s lives. Start by exploring the various dental schools to see which program you might like to enroll in.