How to Become a Dentist as an International Dentist in the U.S.?
Are you an international dentist with a passion for oral health and considering pursuing a dental career in the United States? Here’s a data-driven guide to help you navigate the process of becoming a dentist as an international applicant:
- Research and understand the Deadlines:As an international dentist, the first step is to have your dental education evaluated by an authorized agency, such as the Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) or the World Education Services (WES). They will assess your educational credentials and provide an equivalency report that demonstrates the comparability of your education to US dental education standards.
- National Board Dental Examinations (NBDE): International dentists are required to pass the NBDE Part I and Part II exams, just like US graduates. As per new rules, the candidate needs to give Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE). Some programs still accept NBDE part I only. These exams assess your knowledge and clinical skills in dentistry. In 2020, the average Part I score for international dentists was 76.4, while the average Part II score was 82.6. Achieving competitive scores is essential for your application.
- Additional Education and Training: Depending on the evaluation of your dental education, you may be required to complete additional education or training in the US. This could involve enrolling in a pre-doctoral program or participating in a clinical observation or internship program to gain hands-on experience and familiarize yourself with US dental practices.
- Advanced Standing Programs: Many dental schools in the US offer Advanced Standing Programs specifically designed for international dentists. These programs provide an opportunity to gain advanced standing and join the dental program at an accelerated level, usually in the third or fourth year. Research dental schools that offer these programs and evaluate their specific requirements.
- Dental Licensure: International dentists must fulfill the licensure requirements of the state where they intend to practice. These requirements typically include passing a clinical examination, a written examination, and a jurisprudence examination that assesses knowledge of state dental laws. Stay informed about the specific requirements of the state you wish to practice in.
- Optional Specialization: Once you have obtained your dental licensure, you may choose to pursue a specialization in a specific area of dentistry. This involves completing a postgraduate residency program in your chosen specialty, which can vary in duration depending on the area of focus.
Remember, these provide a starting point for international dentists aspiring to practice in the US. It’s crucial to research and stay updated on the specific requirements, documentations and processes set by dental schools and state licensing boards. With determination, perseverance, and a commitment to excellence, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a dentist in the United States!
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