Studies & Degrees in Public and Child Dental Health
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Do you strongly believe that everyone should have access to basic and emergency dental care, particularly children and those that may be unable to afford it due to poverty or disability? Have you considered pursuing a degree in Public and Child Dental Health, a degree in which you can use your dentistry knowledge and skills to help the young and unfortunate maintain excellent oral health? If so, the following information should be very helpful. Below we will provide a brief synopsis outlining the typical path and eligibility requirements for a degree in Public and Child Dental Health, along with a description of some of the content students will encounter while participating in the program and the career outlook for qualified graduates.
Public and Child Dental Health: Degree Path and Eligibility Requirements for Admission
For students considering earning a degree in Public and Child Dental Health, the first step is to enter into and complete an approved pre-dental bachelor degree program. These programs generally span four to five years in duration and include subject matter that is essential in the dental industry. In most of these programs the main emphasis is on the sciences, including biology, chemistry, biochemistry and health science, with an additional focus on courses in health care, medicine, mathematics and physics. To qualify for admission into a pre-dental degree program you must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent and demonstrate a strong aptitude in math and science. Depending on the institution (and the level of grades earned at the secondary school level), you may have to take and pass a university entrance examination prior to admission.
After earning your bachelor degree, you will then need to apply to an accredited dental school. Acceptance to a school of this kind is based largely on your grade point average and test scores earned during the pre-dental program, but in addition to these transcripts you will also need to submit no less than three letters of recommendation, written by people with firsthand knowledge of your academic abilities and achievements. Some dental schools also have an interview process prior to admission, in which you will meet with admissions personnel and program faculty to discuss, among other things, the reasons you are seeking admission into the program.
Dental school typically spans four to five years in duration, ultimately leading to a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree. Dentists obtain a license to practice their specialty after passing the National Board Dental Examinations, which consist of both written and clinical exams.
Public and Child Dental Health: Content and Career Outlook
Those pursuing a degree in Public and Child Dental Health will acquire information and skills that will prepare them to help protect and improve the oral health of infants, children, adolescents and special needs patients. In conjunction with learning to treat teeth and mouth problems, students will also discover ways to educate patients and parents on the value of clean teeth and preventing tooth decay—providing guidance on a wide range of oral health issues, such as flossing, brushing and using fluoride. Ultimately, as a pediatric and public health graduate students will be able to correct the position of out of place teeth, fix fractured teeth and fill cavities, while simultaneously helping to keep patients and their families calm, prepared and informed.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the potential for job growth in the field of Public and Child Dental Health is very promising, expected to increase by over 16 percent over the next six years (2012 and 2018)—a growth rate higher than it is in almost all other occupations. Pediatric and Public Health dentists are also rewarded handsomely in most cases for their unique skills and abilities, earning a median income of nearly $163,000 as of September 2012.