How to Become a Dentist in Wyoming
Dentistry in America is a high-paying, well-respected industry. Dentists and specialized dental practitioners receive praise for their work. They are encouraged in their aim of improving and maintaining public oral health. Dentistry is a diverse field with many areas people can work in. Because of diversity and the nature of medical work, dentists across the U.S. earn between $80,000 and $300,000 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Despite the wealth to be earned, dentistry is a complex and demanding job. It is also heavily regulated by state governments. All states require dentists to hold a license, and the application for a license requires passing an examination and formal education, in addition to other things.
Education also has heavy requirements. The 67 dental schools in America have a total acceptance rate of approximately 50%. Before students can apply, they must often meet GPA and prerequisite standards. These elements make dentistry challenging to break into.
Wyoming Dentistry Requirements
Each state in the U.S. has individual requirements for obtaining a dental practitioner’s license, though most are similar. The Wyoming Board of Dental Examiners (the board) is the governing board for Wyoming. The board sets forth and amends laws as needed. An application is required, along with an application fee determined by the board. Many supporting documents must also accompany the application. Some of the requirements for a license include but are not limited to:
- A handwritten application and the appropriate fee
- Pass the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE)
- Pass a clinical examination approved by the board
Though Wyoming’s laws and requirements for a dental license may appear to be more lenient, it is always best to contact the board or a local official to inquire about all the necessary documents for the application. Also, note that the application must be handwritten. Therefore, online or digital applications are not accepted. Applicants must also mail the application to the correct address. For more details, visit the board’s website.
Wyoming State Board Examinations
Each state generally has the requirement of two examinations on its application. First is the NBDE. This national examination is administered by the state and is required in most states. One can test three times before the board must take additional measures. Exam results in Wyoming are mailed to examinees within 30 days.
The second test is a clinical examination administered by a third party. Because the state does not provide these exams, each state must select and approve a set of exams they will accept. Wyoming accepts the following exams for their dental license:
- The Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA)
- Council of Interstate Testing Agencies (CITA)
- Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS)
- Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA)
- Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)
Each state usually requires only a single test for its application. However, if you take more than one, you must submit test scores for all exams rather than just the highest score.
Residents of Wyoming looking to receive either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree are out of luck. While there are many dental hygiene programs in the state, a degree in dental hygiene does not qualify someone to practice dentistry or receive a dental license. However, there are many options across the state, and Casper College (CC) gives future dentists a head start on their time in dental school through the pre-dentistry program.
CC’s pre-dentistry program is a two-year transfer program. Most dental schools in the U.S. have prerequisite course requirements for their dental programs. Students who want to go into dental school can take this program as preparation for dental school.
During the program, students will complete most of the general requirements for most dental programs in the U.S. The program is a total of 64 credit hours. The classes cover biology, math, English, and some general requirements. Completing the program will award students with an Associate of Science degree.
Unlike dental programs in America, CC’s pre-dentistry course has no special admission requirements. Students only need to apply to the college like any other two- or four-year university. This requires a high school degree or the equivalent of one in some form from your country. You must also take the SAT, ACT, or equivalent and meet the score requirements. The dentistry program also requests students maintain a higher-than-average GPA as a low GPA could indicate a student may fail out of the program.
Post-Associates Schooling Options
CC’s pre-dentistry course is an associate program and a transfer program. Most, though not all, dental schools require a bachelor’s degree for admissions. So, after the course is complete, students will transfer to a four-year university of their choice to complete a bachelor’s degree. The university’s staff will assist students in the transfer process. However, it is inevitably the student’s responsibility to see the process through. Therefore, starting the transfer process as early as possible before graduation is best.
Once you have transferred to a four-year university, there are a few things to be aware of. First, there is generally no degree requirement for dental schools. The pre-dentistry course will have taken care of a majority of the prerequisite classes for a dental program. So, you can declare yourself any major and finish the final two or three years in that degree.
Another thing to consider is preparation. It is wise to determine which dental school you wish to attend during your bachelor’s degree. Do thorough research and do not hesitate to contact schools when necessary to gain information. You should begin applying for scholarships and grants as early as possible. These are usually highly competitive, and they will require essays and research time. It would help if you also were certain you have taken all the necessary courses for the dental program. There may have been a class or two not covered in the pre-dental program. If that’s the case, discuss taking extra classes with an advisor before it is too late.
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