Pre-Professional    Health
Pre-Professional Health
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Pre-Professional   Health

Dentistry

Dentists play a significant role in helping patients maintain a healthy mouth through the prevention and treatment of oral disease. Dentists help patients improve their speech, sleep patterns, and appearance through dental techniques such as braces, dentures, dental surgery and the use of dental or oral devices.

The pre-dentistry program at Montana Tech is designed to give students the science pre-requisites necessary for acceptance into a dental school.

“Pre-dentistry” is used to identify a student’s professional interest, but there is no pre-dental degree. Although not all dental schools require a baccalaureate (B.A./B.S.) degree for admission, it is highly recommended that students plan to complete a bachelor's degree prior to admission.

A student should declare a major in a field of interest to them. Students planning to pursue a career in dentistry typically major in biological sciences or chemistry due to the large biology and chemistry course requirement. Choosing one of these majors also offers students other employment options should their plans for dental school change.

In addition to the science courses listed below, which are traditionally required for admission to dental schools, courses in behavioral sciences, business, and communication are strongly encouraged since most dentists work in private practice. In addition to private practice, the field of dentistry offers career options in academia (teaching and research), government agencies, or industry.


Pre-Requisite Course Work

Most dental schools require students to take a minimum of the following courses:

Subject Course
Chemistry College Chemistry I & II with Labs
Organic Chemistry I & II with Labs
Advanced Biochemistry I with Lab1
2 semesters
2 semesters
1 semester
Biology Principles of Living Systems with Lab
General Microbiology
Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II Labs2
1 semester
1 semester
2 semesters
Physics Fundamentals of Physics I & II with Labs 2 semesters
English College Writing I
Advanced Technical Writing
1 semester
1 semester

1Biochemistry lab is highly recommended but not required by most dental schools.
2Not all dental schools require anatomy & physiology.

Students should refer to dental schools' websites for specific pre-requisite information. Additional upper-level science courses such as microbiology, cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics as well as the courses in mathematics (calculus, statistics) are highly recommended. Study of the social and behavioral sciences, and humanities as well as the courses in business and fine arts will enhance the student's ability to practice dentistry. Fine art courses such as sculpture and drawing help illustrate manual dexterity.


GPA

Students wanting to enter dental school need to maintain a high GPA. For 2013, dental school enrollees had a mean cumulative undergrad GPA of 3.54 and required science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) GPA of 3.46.


Shadowing

Prior to applying to dental school, applicants must have between 40 and 50 clinical observation hours in a dental setting. Many dental schools recommend shadowing a number of different dentists.


Dental Admission Test (DAT)

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a standardized exam taken about 15 months before you plan to attend dental school; students should take the DAT far enough in advance to allow them to retake it if needed. The admission test is designed to assess general academic ability, knowledge of scientific information, and perceptual ability. Test application information and procedures can be found at www.adea.org. For 2013, dental school enrollees had a DAT academic average score of 19.9 and total science average score of 19.8.


Leadership and Community Service

Leadership experience and community service are viewed favorably and can help applicants stand-out from others. More information can be found on the American Dental Education Associations’ website, www.adea.org.


Online Resources


Advising

In preparing to apply to medical school, students work closely with an advisor to schedule the required courses and arrange for shadowing experiences. For academic advising in pre-dentistry, please contact:

Karen Wesenberg-Ward
CBB 223
(406) 496-4603