Dentists (DDS, DMD) evaluate, diagnose, prevent and/or treat diseases, disorders, and/or conditions of the oral cavity. They advise their patients on oral health and disease prevention as well as perform clinical procedures such as fillings, crowns, implants, extractions, and corrective surgeries. Dentists may perform general dentistry or practice in one of nine dental specialties including:
- Dental Public Health
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
- Pediatric Dentistry
- Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
- Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
While dentists diagnose and treat problems affecting the teeth, gingival tissue, tongue, lips and jaws, they are often the first health care professionals to detect and identify a wide variety of diseases. Dentists perform trauma surgery, implants, tissue grafts and laser surgery.
Professional and Student Organizations
- American Dental Association
- American Dental Education Association
- American Student Dental Association
Sources for Knowledge of the Field
- Journal of the American Dental Association
- ADA New Dentist News
- Advocacy Brief
- Word of Mouth
- Mouthing Off
Learn more about pre-requisite course requirements, advanced placement credit options, extracurricular opportunities, and more!
Are you prepared to enter the application process? The review process includes many factors involving academics, career exploration and clinical experience, life experience, aptitude tests, letters of evaluation, personal statements, and more.
- Application Process for Dentistry
- Dental Admission Test (DAT)
- Selecting Schools
- Letters of Recommendation (LORs)
- Personal Statement
- Interview Preparation
- UVA Statistics for Dental School Applicants
If you're planning on applying to dental school, it is best to start early - it will increase your odds of being admitted. Find out key deadlines for school applications and view a sample application timeline to keep you on track.