How to Become a Dentist in Nevada
Dentistry is a highly-respected profession with a history as old as humanity. Unlike the horrors of past dental care, modern dentistry is heavily regulated, and the profession requires formal education.
Aside from general dentists, there is a broad range of fields in dentistry, from complex dental and maxillofacial surgery to professorship. While dentists are paid well, thanks to the high diversity of jobs, they also have a broad range of incomes.
Dentistry is an in-demand field, but it also has high requirements for potential workers. Each state places rules and regulations when applying for a dental license.
These are generally the same across the U.S., with minor differences in the application processes. Beyond this, each school has strict requirements for who can apply to their dental programs and when. Dental programs across America have an acceptance rate of roughly 50 %. After this, students still must complete their university program and graduate in good standing.
Nevada State Dentistry Requirements
As with most U.S. states, Nevada has strict regulations for dentistry. One must apply for a license before legally practicing dentistry in the state. Formal education is the first step to obtaining a license.
The application requires successful graduation from an American Dental Association (ADA) approved dental school and official transcripts from the school. Other requirements include:
- Being over 21 years of age
- Being of good moral character
- Submitting proof of successful passage of a state-approved clinical examination
- Completing the national board examination
- Completing the Jurisprudence Examination
- Submitting materials required for a background check
- Certification in CPR
The requirements are not limited to these things. In addition to the many documents, tests and checks, you must complete and submit the application. Applicants must mail the application directly to the correct address and include the application fee at the time of posting.
Nevada State Board Examinations
The state boards are several different clinical examinations offered for recently graduated dental students used in place of credentials and experience.
The exam is proof of competency for all tasks of the profession that dentists must perform. Each state requires applicants to have completed at least one clinical exam.
While many states accept several of the offered exams, Nevada only takes two: the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) exam and the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) exam. Applicants must complete and show proof of a passing score in one of these two exams.
Dental Schools in Nevada
Schools in the U.S. offer two types of degrees to dental students, a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree. Both of these are acceptable for performing dental work in a legal capacity.
Some schools also offer special certifications. Nevada has two schools offering these degrees and certifications.
Roseman University of Health and Sciences
Roseman University (RU) offers a D.M.D. to students and boasts a brief three-year program. They aim to improve the oral health of the general public and aid underserved demographics while educating their students in dental and patient care. Their unique program is top-class and uses a unique team-based education model for all three years.
The model places students in teams for all aspects of their educational career, including courses, clinical simulations, research and service. This helps students learn to be world-class dental practitioners, work well with others on a team, become leaders, and mentor those who need help.
There are prerequisites for applying to this program. Applications to RU must be submitted to the American Dental Education Association Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (ADEA AADSAS).
Here, you will be required to submit transcripts from your previous college where you completed the prerequisite classes approved for pre-dentistry at a previous institution. You will also need your Dental Admission Test (DAT) scores and a minimum of three letters of recommendation.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) offers students a D.D.S. program and a D.M.D. program. In addition to these, UNLV also has several additional programs for specialization. One such program is the certificate in pediatric dentistry.
This is a post-graduate program for pediatric dental care, or dental care for children, offered after or in conjunction with other degrees.
UNLV’s pediatric program is a 24-month continuous program that runs from July 1st to June 30th. The program is centrally focused on clinical experiences in pediatric oral care and supplements the hands-on experiences with an in-depth scholarly appraisal of all students’ competency and breadth of knowledge.
Much of their clinical trials center on patient care and behavior management during and after procedures. This takes into account the required additional care that children need.
70% of this course is clinical trials, while 20% is didactic. The remaining 10% of the program is split evenly between research time in the field and classroom or text-based teaching from a professor.
Post-Graduation Career Opportunities
After graduating from a program and receiving a dental license, you are free to work in one of the many fields of dentistry. The dental field is well paid and has much diversity. Public and private general dentists inspect, diagnose and care for teeth and gum injuries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, dentists in Nevada made an average annual income of roughly $151,000 as of May 2021.
Specialization can significantly increase annual income. Some fields that dentists can go into include surgery and orthodontics. These require additional education and certification, as well as testing and licensing.
However, the demand for these jobs is higher than for general dentists. These dentists also have a greater chance of becoming professors.
After spending time as a practitioner and potentially specializing, dentists can work for a university like RU or NULV. These jobs are great for dentists who want to continue their practice while training future generations and helping other dentists obtain certifications.
Another boon is that professors receive greater funding for research. This opportunity is ideal for anyone looking to further their knowledge in the field of dentistry and make remarkable breakthroughs.
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