How to Become Dentist in California? The Do’s of Getting into the Profession

November 13th, 2013

A curve that can set a lot of things straight is your smile. To get that sparkling smile, your dentist must be professionally competent and compassionate to compel you to see him every month. The entry in this profession is not complicated, yet it is highly competitive. More reasons for you to know what path will directly kick start your career.

How to Become Dentist in California? The Do’s of Getting into the Profession

Wondering how you can become a dentist in a state like California? Making the journey is easier; we have chalked out step by step procedure for you.

Step #1

Complete your Bachelor’s Degree

The basic requirement is to enroll in a 4 years degree program that will serve as a foundation for your dental school. Your focus should be on medical courses like biology and chemistry, that will help you understand concepts better. Although most dental schools do not ask for a major in a particular subject, hence science background will suffice. You can accommodate your choice of courses or opt for flexible schedule if you opt for online bachelor program.

Step # 2

Applying to Dental Schools in California

There are plenty of really good options of dental schools to select in this state. A lot of online programs are included in the list that can help you opt for courses at your own pace.

Application requirements of dental schools in California vary according to school. However, the most accredited ones require resident of California to have GPA of 2.7 and non residents 3.0. Other important considerations include:

  • A good Dental Admissions Test (DAT) score also counts for better chances of getting in. Score somewhere between 15- 17 in Total Science and Academic Average sections is deemed just fine.
  • A recommendation letter that strongly promotes your skills, academic standing and level of interest in dental school.

Step # 3

Internships and Training

Getting internships or assistant jobs during the course of acquiring the degree is extremely beneficial. You get the hang of using the tools, understanding the dynamics of work and ways to deal with patients. Around a year or two in residency is required for you to be trained and gain firsthand experience in the area of specialization.

Step # 4


Dentists practicing in this state are required to get a license from the Dental Board of California. This license should be renewed every two years.

Before you can qualify to get a licensure you must have passed American Dental Association’s National Board Dental Exam.

Salary Prospect

Once you’ve skimmed through these steps to becoming a dentist, a look into how much they earn will add up to your desire to stick with this career choice.

According to figures provided by BLS:

Occupation Employment Employment per 1,000 jobs Median hourly wage Mean hourly wage Annual mean wage
Dentists, General 11,260 0.787 $61.39 $67.61 $140,620
Dentists, All Other Specialists 740 0.052 $59.07 $71.59 $148,910

So if you want to be the reason behind a smile, then California is surely waiting to include you in its list of most talented dentist. Are you up for it?

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