Individuals are required to hold bachelor's degrees before gaining admission to dental school. Some schools admit students after two to three years and allow them to earn bachelor's degrees as part of the dental program. Biology, physics and chemistry can provide relevant preparation for dentistry school.

Most countries performing western medicine require a dentist to have completed four years of postgraduate study to qualify as either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). Other dental degrees valid in various countries include: BDent (Bachelor of Dentistry); BDSc (Bachelor of Dental Science); MDent (Master of Dentistry); and DD (Doctor of Dentistry). There are others that are accepted in various countries, but these are the most common.

After the academic qualifications have been obtained, clinical training is undertaken. In most places, this is at least two years and then certification exams are required. Once fully qualified, further study can be undertaken in order to train in a specific specialty.

Like most careers in the health industry, a dentist is required to be caring and compassionate as well as clever and competent. Since many people are afraid of visiting a dental office for treatment, it is beneficial for a dentist to be good with people and to be able to reassure them and explain procedures to them in a simple way.

What are Dentists like?


Based on our pool of users, dentists tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Dentists by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 469 Sokanu users

Are Dentists happy?


Dentists rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 39th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Dentist Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Dentists

The most common degree held by dentists is Biology. 1% of dentists had a degree in biology before becoming dentists. That is over 0 times the average across all careers. Biochemical Sciences graduates are the second most common among dentists, representing 1% of dentists in the Sokanu user base, which is 2.1 times the average.

Dentist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Dentist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of dentists % of population Multiple
Biology 1.5% 3.5% 0.4×
Biochemical Sciences 1.1% 0.5% 2.1×

Dentist Education Levels

81% of dentists have a doctorate degree. 13% of dentists have an associate's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 13%
Bachelor's degree 0%
Master's degree 6%
Doctorate degree 81%

How to Become a Dentist

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good dentist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Jobs in your area
    • Loading jobs...
    View all jobs →

Further Reading

Find your perfect career

Would you make a good dentist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

80% Match?
Take the free career test