Cosmetic dentistry isn’t only one of the most popular areas of dental practice; it’s also one of the most interesting and exciting. Advances in cosmetic dentistry technology come fast, and practitioners will be challenged to keep up with the newest procedures.
The payoff, of course, is being able to consistently say “Yes, I can help!” to more and more patients, helping them to brighter and happier smiles. Even more than the success, we find at Reveal Dental that the emotional connections are what make it worth waking up every day.
What Does It Take to Become a Cosmetic Dentist?
Dental school by itself will take four years, and involve intensive specialty courses. However, virtually all dental schools require substantial existing undergraduate work before you will be admitted. In many cases -particularly the top dental schools- a four-year Bachelor’s degree is needed to even be considered.
There is no specific legal requirement for the Bachelor’s degree, but it will require deep study in the life sciences such as biology, anatomy, chemistry, and microbiology.
After obtaining the necessary degrees, there will also be an extended period of post-graduate training required before you can be fully licensed as a dental practitioner. This is generally two to four more years. So, in total, 8-12 years of study and training will usually be needed before you could go into practice for yourself.
There are also the costs of that schooling to consider. Without substantial outside assistance, the bare minimum would be around $100,000. For top schools, bills approaching $300,000 aren’t uncommon. Now, the good news is that,if all goes well, you could stand to repay any loans relatively quickly. Much of that would depend on whether you decided to get hired working at an established clinic, or if you wanted to go straight to independent practice.
The Journey Is Worth It
“Cosmetic dentistry requires the dentist to study on all aspects of the patient, including learning what motivates that person to seek the change. The dentist must exercise a commitment to quality care and attention to every detail because there is so little margin for error,” says Dr Sura. “The dentist and the patient should discuss expectations and desires before starting treatment so that both are happy with the final results. It is one of the most difficult, but rewarding aspects of my practice because so much time goes into the planning and working behind the scenes to prepare for that visit.”
For those with the resources and the will to preserve, cosmetic dentistry is a highly rewarding field. “Watching the patient’s emotions and huge smiles at the end of the case is what motivates me to keep learning so I can continue to provide quality and consistent results.”