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Role of Dentists

The dental profession can be broken down into two key components: what specific field of dentistry the dentist practices and how he or she practices that type of dentistry. 

Once you complete four years of dental school, you will be trained to enter the profession of dentistry as a general dentist. General dentists use their oral diagnostic, predictive, surgical and rehabilitative skills to restore damaged or missing tooth structures or to treat diseases of the bone or soft tissue in the mouth. General dentistry allows you to practice all aspects of dentistry in one setting. Many general dentists find their careers rewarding and fulfilling. 

After graduation from dental school, you can either begin practicing as a general dentist in a number of practice settings or you can go on to explore one of nine dental specialties, which include dental public health, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathologyoral and maxillofacial radiologyoral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, and prosthodontics. It is important to research your options before you graduate dental school so you are informed about what direction you will pursue.

Note: Information above taken directly from American Dental Education Association.

Pursuit of Dentistry at Clemson

Clemson University prepares students for application to a four-year Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree program. See for additional information.

Pre-dentistry is not a major. Therefore, you must choose a degree-granting major (and minor, if appropriate). Dental schools do not discriminate among the different disciplines from which you may choose, meaning that you can and should choose the curriculum that interests you most and excel. Be sure to accommodate prerequisite courses for your dental schools of interest.

What is considered competitive?

Admissions criteria vary by institution and should be verified individually. According to ADEA data, a competitive applicant for admission to DMD programs for the fall 2014 class had an average Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.54 and an average DAT score of 19.9, as compared to the overall applicant pool, which had an average GPA of 3.36 and DAT score of 18.8.

Core Preparation Courses

      • Introductory Biology BIOL 1030+1050 & BIOL 1040+1060 or BIOL 1100 & BIOL 1110
      • Introductory Chemistry CH 1010 & CH 1020
      • Organic Chemistry CH 2230+2270 & CH 2240+2280
      • Physics PHYS 1220+1240 & PHYS 2210+2230 or PHYS 2070+2090 & PHYS 2080+2100
      • Mathematics MATH 1010, 1020, or 1060
      • Composition ENGL 1030
      • Literature ENGL 2120, 2130, 2140, or 2150

Additional Recommended Coursework

      • Anatomy and Physiology BIOL 2220 & 2230 or BIOL 3150 & 3160
      • Biochemistry BCHM 3010 or BCHM 3050
      • Genetics GEN 3000 or GEN 3020
      • Microbiology MICR 3050

Note: Requirements vary by institution and should be verified individually.