Dentistry is the branch of the healing arts and sciences devoted to maintaining oral health. Dentists enjoy excellent compensation and the high demand for dental care is likely to continue in the future. Dentists are trained to treat all patients, adults and children, in many different treatment facilities and settings. In doing so, a general dentist may:
- Restore and replace teeth damaged by decay, lost from trauma or disease with newly developed dental materials, implants, and crown and bridge techniques.
- Perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting bones to treat gum disease.
- Eliminate pain arising from oral diseases, conditions and trauma, making use of prescriptive medicines to reduce pain and discomfort.
- Correct mal-positioned teeth to improve chewing, speech, digestion of food and appearance.
- Provide instruction and advice on oral health care and preventive measures.
Approximately 80% of all dentists are general dentists. Additional experience, training or education beyond a DMD or DDS allows general dentists to further specialize in the following fields: endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, dental public health, and oral and maxillofacial pathology, radiology, and surgery.
Pre-Dental is considered a designation at Texas Tech University; it is not a major. Pre-Dental students take the required courses in order to apply to dental school. Pre-Dental students have the option to major in any area they choose as long as they take the prerequisite courses required to enter dental school along with the courses needed to earn a degree at Texas Tech University.
Most dental schools require the following courses:
|COURSE NAME||Texas Tech University||Texas Common Course Numbering System|
|GENERAL CHEMISTRY I and LAB||CHEM 1307/1107||CHEM 1411, 1311, 1111|
|GENERAL CHEMISTRY II and LAB||CHEM 1308/1108||CHEM 1414, 1412, 1312, 1112|
|ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I and LAB||CHEM 3305/3105|
|ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II and LAB||CHEM 3306/3106|
|MOLECULAR BIOCHEMISTRY||CHEM 3310 (or CHEM 3311 - part of a more rigorous Biochemistry sequence)|
|BIOLOGY I and LAB||BIOL 1403||BIOL 1406, 1306, 1106|
|BIOLOGY II and LAB||BIOL 1404||BIOL 1407, 1307, 1107|
|6 HOURS OF ADVANCED BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES ARE REQUIRED BY MOST DENTAL SCHOOLS|
|PHYSICS I and LAB||PHYS 1403||PHYS 1401, 1301, 1101|
|PHYSICS II and LAB||PHYS 1404||PHYS 1402, 1302, 1102|
|ENGLISH I||ENGL 1301||ENGL 1301|
|ENGLISH II||ENGL 1302||ENGL 1302|
|STATISTICAL METHODS||MATH 2300||MATH 2442, 2342, 1442, 1342|
Recommended Advanced Biology Courses:
- Texas A&M University College of Dentistry requires majors-level Anatomy and Physiology (This does NOT include ZOOL 2403 AND/OR 2404 at Texas Tech. ZOOL 3405/4409 can fulfill the requirement.) and Microbiology (MBIO 3401 only).
- Neuroscience, Histology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Immunology, Embryology and Biochemistry II are recommended Biology elective courses. A total of 18 hours BIOL is required.
- University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston requires 3 semester hours of Microbiology for Majors (MBIO 3401 at Texas Tech)
- University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio recommends the following for the upper level biology elective coursework: Microbiology for Majors (MBIO 3401 only), Molecular Biology, Genetics, Ecology, Immunology, Parasitology, and advanced Anatomy and Physiology (This does NOT include ZOOL 2403 AND/OR 2404 at Texas Tech. ZOOL 3405/4409 can fulfill the requirement.)
Dental school entry requirements:
A minimum of 90 undergraduate semester hours completed at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college or university before the anticipated date of enrollment. All candidates are required to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT).
Dental schools in Texas:
- TTUHSC El Paso Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine
- Texas A&M College of Dentistry
- University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston School of Dentistry
- University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry
Other related websites:
- Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS)
- Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS)
- American Dental Association (Dental Admission Test)
- Summer Enrichment Program
For application information, please contact each professional program and check their websites frequently.