The dental profession is the branch of health care devoted to maintaining the health of the teeth, gums and other tissues in and around the mouth. A dentist is a doctor, scientist and clinician dedicated to the highest standards of health through prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases and conditions. Dentists play a key role in the early detection of oral cancer and other systemic conditions of the body that manifest themselves in the mouth. They often identify other health conditions, illnesses, and other problems that sometimes show up in the oral cavity before they are identified in other parts of the body. (Learn more from the American Dental Education Association).
There is no required or recommended major. Predental students pursue their major alongside dental school prerequisites that often include:
- General Chemistry with lab (2 semesters)
- Organic Chemistry with lab (2 semesters)
- Physics with lab (2 semesters)
- Introductory Biology with lab (2 semesters)
- Biochemistry (1 semester)
- English (2 semesters)
- Math: Calculus and/or Statistics
- Apply in the summer, about 14 months before intended entry.
- The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is the required standardized test for entry. The DAT comprises four sections: Survey of Natural Sciences; Perceptual Ability; Reading Comprehension; and Quantitative Reasoning.
- Apply through the Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS). Application opens June 1.
- Most schools accept/prefer a committee letter of recommendation.
- ADEA GoDental Tips for Preparing to Enter Dental School
Find a program
For more information
- ADEA Go Dental
- DATTestQuestions.com – past students have recommended this website for DAT preparation
The University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan both offer free online courses on the profession of dentistry. Take advantage!
Introduction to Dental Medicine offered by U Penn
Dentistry 101 offered by U Michigan
Princeton University does not have a dental program. We share this information for Princeton students and alumni who may be interested in becoming dentists.