Free Online Lectures and Courses for Dentistry

The practice of dentistry affords you the opportunity to have a very real impact on patient’s health, both physical and psychological, on a daily basis. A healthy mouth is not only the key to good health, it is an essential part of a positive self-image. Being a dentist also provides great opportunities for self-employment and the benefits and rewards that accompany independence.

While a career in dentistry can be financially rewarding, many practicing dentists will say their greatest reward is the healthy smiles and improved lives of their patients. A healthy mouth and teeth are the foundation of good overall health because teeth play an essential role in processing food for digestion. A healthy set of teeth also goes a long way to ensuring proper nutrition is achieved.

Sample Courses

The process of becoming a dentist is a lengthy one, and it likely begins with a bachelor’s degree. As with other medical and health professions, there are no undergraduate course requirements. Still, many students interested in attending dental school choose to major in something like applied science, biology or chemistry. While basic bio and chem are requisites for dental school admission, the predominant consideration is the applicant’s DAT score.

Possible Specializations

The dental profession is not a monolith but rather one that includes an array of specialties, such as endodontics and periodontics, where the focus is on the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Other specialties are oral and maxillofacial surgery, pathology and radiology. Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedists are responsible for the diagnosis and correction of dental malformations. Another important area of specialization is pediatric dentistry, where you have the opportunity to work with children, correcting problems and building healthy smiles that last a lifetime.

Associate

While there are no associate degree programs for dentistry, there are programs for fields like dental hygienist and dental assistant, which can provide for employment while a bachelor’s degree is obtained.

Bachelors

Completing a bachelor’s degree is the first milestone in a future dentist’s education. While you cannot become a dentist with just a bachelor’s, strong undergraduate performance along with a solid score on the DAT (Dental Admission Test) is the way to dental school. While there is no such thing as a pre-dental major, many schools do offer pre-dental programs that help students select a mix of classes that will aid them in applying for dental school.

Master’s

Schools offering a master’s in dental science usually do so in conjunction with their doctoral program. This is for the benefit of dental students interested in pursuing a career in dental research.

Doctoral – Dental School

Dental school is a specialized 4 year program that begins with the foundational science necessary for the practice of dentistry. After the foundational science coursework is complete, dental students receive extensive training in the skills and methodology of modern dentistry. Upon completion of dental school, students are granted the degree of D.D.S., a Doctor of Dental Science and the right to be called a doctor.

Ph.D.

A Ph.D. in dentistry is often pursued by those seeking to pursue a career path in dental research. Some dental schools offer a combined DDS and Ph.D. program and others offer a separate Ph.D. program for graduates wishing to complete this additional degree at a later date. Space in joint DDS/PhD programs is generally very limited and highly competitive.

Ideal Candidates for Dentistry

The first consideration before embarking on plan to become a dentist should be an honest self-evaluation of your willingness to dedicate the full eight years of education and training required to emerge a dentist. Being a successful dentist involves more than just technical skills and specialized medical knowledge; it requires having a personality that is well suited to working with people. A practicing dentist works closely with people from all walks of life and often under very stressful circumstances for the patient. This requires dentists to be able to offer empathy to patients while maintaining a professional persona.

Career Pathways

The current projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for dentists are all positive, with higher than average growth expected over the next ten years. The need for dentists is expected to increase at a rate of about 16% through the year 2022. The rise in demand for dentists will largely be due to an aging baby boomer generation that will have an increased need for dental services. Another factor in the increased demand for dentists is improved access to dentists, resulting in more people keeping their teeth longer and therefore requiring dental care.

The median wage for dentists in 2012 (the last year surveyed by BLS) was $149,310, with the top 10% of dentists earning $187,200 for specialties such as oral and maxillofacial surgeons. The bottom 10% of dentist wages was $73,840. Earnings are tied to several factors, including years of experience, years in practice, specialty and location, with dentists in cities like New York earning more.

For those who are interested in learning more about becoming a dentist and the demands of the profession contact one of the professional organizations for dentists and request more information. Another alternative is to strike up a conversation with your dentist as part of your next visit. Finally consider a dental internship or shadowing program offered by many colleges and universities.

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Dentistry Journals & Trade Magazines

  • Journals

    • Dentistry

      This is an open access peer reviewed journal that publishes high-level research that is of clinical relevance and educational value, including book reviews and works in progress.

    • International Dental Journal

      The flagship publication of the FDI World Dental Federation, IDJ publishes peer reviewed articles regarding oral health issues in addition to practical information of interest to clinicians.

    • Journal of Dental Research

      This peer reviewed journal is committed to providing the most current information on all topics relevant to dentistry and is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

    • Journal of Dentistry

      Published by journal giant Elsevier, JD includes original research along with short communications in a peer reviewed format with the goal of influencing the practice of dentistry at all levels.

    • Journal of the American Dental Association

      The official journal of the ADA, it is one of the most respected publications in dentistry with peer-reviewed content on an array of topics, as well as clinical information on products and practices.

    • Pediatric Dentistry

      This is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and is published on a bi-monthly basis containing peer reviewed research, case reports and abstracts.

  • Trade Magazines

    • Dental Entrepreneur

      Because dentistry is more than a profession, this magazine focuses on the ways to grow and expand that business and improve the bottom line.

    • Dentistry Today

      This monthly publication provides in depth coverage of the practice of dentistry with regular features and sections. This includes interviews, implants ...

    • Mouth

      This quarterly publication is produced by the American Student Dental Association, with each issue devoted to a single theme: be it dentistry, special needs or ...

    • Smile – The Dental Magazine

      The focus of this magazine is the introduction of the most recent advances in dental science, news and methodologies for dental specialists and general ...

    • The Progressive Dentist

      This magazine is for dentists at all stages of their career who are interested in learning more about ways to improve their practices, through better practice ...

Dentistry Grants & Scholarships

  • Grants

    • ADEA-GIES Foundation

      Deadline: September 1st

      Award Amount: $25,000

      The foundation makes these awards for the purpose of supporting educational and research in academic dentistry that will strengthen dental education and encourage lifelong learning.

    • Michigan Dental Association Foundation

      Deadline: June 1st

      Award Amount: $5,000

      This grant opportunity is open to Michigan dentists for the purpose of creating or developing oral health education projects, as well as access to care projects in the state of Michigan.

  • Scholarships

    • Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation

      Deadline: August 15th

      Award Amount: $3,000

      This is a merit based scholarship for undergraduate and graduate minority students who have at least a B (3.0) average and have a record of community service ...

    • Army Medicine

      Deadline: Open

      Award Amount: Full Tuition

      The United States Army will pay your entire tuition plus a monthly stipend while you attend dental school in exchange you will be obligated to 1 year of ...

    • Blue Sky Family Dental Scholarship

      Deadline: December 10th

      Award Amount: $1,000

      This scholarship is offered by Torrance California dentist Robert Modavi based on his belief that education is the basis of a successful career requires that ...

    • Carrington Dental Centre Scholarship

      Deadline: October 30th

      Award Amount: $500

      This scholarship opportunity is open to high school seniors and college freshman or sophomores who have provided an answer to an essay question and are or will ...

    • Emergency Disaster Grant Program

      Deadline: Rolling

      Award Amount: $2,000

      This grant is meant to offer assistance to dentists who are disaster victims by offering immediate financial assistance for them or their dependents when they ...

    • Hispanic Dental Association Foundation

      Deadline: May 1st

      Award Amount: $4,000

      This award is made possible through the support Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Dr. Juan Villareal and foundation members and is open to student members ...

    • National Health Service Corps

      Deadline: Open

      Award Amount: Full Tuition

      The National Health Service Corps is a program that will pay your full tuition and expenses, plus a monthly stipend in exchange at least 2 years of service for ...

    • National Italian American Foundation

      Deadline: November 1st

      Award Amount: $12,000

      This scholarship is open to dental students of Italian American descent who have a achieved high academic achievements and have a parent or guardian who is a ...

    • Navy Dentist

      Deadline: Open

      Award Amount: $269,000

      The US Navy is offering full scholarships to dental students, as well as a sign-up bonus for existing dentists of up to $300,000 to cover the cost of dental ...

    • Paul W. Clopper Scholarship Grant for Junior Dental Students

      Deadline: May 19th

      Award Amount: $3,000

      This scholarship is for students who are starting their junior year at one of the following dental schools; SIU School of Dentistry, UIC College of Dentistry ...

Dentistry Internships

  • Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative

    Deadline: March 1st

    Health insurance company Aetna, in partnership with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, are offering college sophomores and juniors a 6 week DAT preparatory internship program.

  • Case Western

    Deadline: Varies

    This program is run by the university’s dental school in Cleveland, Ohio and offers freshman and sophomore students who are considering dentistry the opportunity for clinical exposure in dentistry.

  • Dental Informatics Program

    Deadline: Varies

    Offered through the Pitt School of Dental Medicine, this dental informatics program enables students to participate in both research and the daily operations of the Center for Dental Informatics.

  • Discover Dental School: Summer Scholars’ Program

    Deadline: April 1st

    Stony Brook University School of Dentistry is offering undergraduate students considering dentistry an opportunity to work in a preclinical laboratory in order to obtain hands on experience.

  • Gateway to Dentistry

    Deadline: March 11th and October 17th

    For students and recent graduates who are considering a career in dentistry, but still on the fence, this innovative program is designed to introduce you to the many ways to set out in the field.

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Internship

    Deadline: Varies

    The University of Iowa College of Dentistry is the sponsor of this one year long internship, which is ideally suited for individuals who plan to pursue a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

  • Smile America

    Deadline: Varies

    This internship offered by the University of Illinois College of Applied Health Sciences to afford participants the chance to gain hands on experience in a community public health environment.

  • Summer Pre-Dental Enrichment Program

    Deadline: January 31st

    This six week program is offered by Texas A&M for college and post-graduate students to provide them with an opportunity to prepare for the DAT exam and is open to up to 50 student participants.

  • University of Southern Maine Pre Dentistry

    Deadline: Varies

    For students contemplating a career in dentistry, this pre-dentistry program offers a more focused view of this prospective career.

Dentistry Student & Professional Organizations

  • Student Organizations

    • Alpha Omega

      Known as the dental fraternity, AO was formed in 1907 and is the oldest student dental organizations in the world with approximately 5,000 members spread ...

    • American Student Dental Association

      This organization seeks to protect the rights and interests of dental student from around the United States by providing information and acting as an advocate ...

    • Student Doctor Network

      This group represents pre-med, pre-dental and other health professional students in conjunction with practicing professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada to ...

    • Student National Dental Association

      SNDA works to represent and assist minority dental students by striving to foster an environment of academic and social inclusion in order to enable members to ...

    • Student Professionalism & Ethics Association

      A national group comprised of dental students that was established to provide a foundation for a lifelong commitment to ethical behavior that will serve both ...

  • Professional Organizations

    • Academy of General Dentistry

      The AGDs more than 38,000 members are general dentists who are dedicated to providing the highest quality care and oral health education to the public and have done so since its inception in 1952.

    • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

      This group represents the specialty of pediatric dentistry, with a membership of more than 8,000 dentists who specialize in or treat large numbers of children from infancy through adolescence.

    • American Academy of Periodontology

      The 8,400 members of this professional organization share a commitment to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.

    • American Association of Endodontists

      Committed to the art and science of endodontics, the association is committed to inspiring members in their pursuit of the highest standards of excellence and providing advocacy and leadership.

    • American Dental Association

      Since its founding in 1859, the ADA has grown to more than 157,000 dentist members in all 50 states, making it the largest organization of its kind that works to provide information to dentists and ...