Becoming a Cosmetic Dentist
Cosmetic Dentists perform corrective surgery and help to improve patients’ appearance of mouth, teeth, and gums by correcting cracked, chipped, uneven, and discolored teeth. They use the latest radiographic, computer-generated imaging, and other specialized diagnostic techniques such as porcelain veneers, bridges, crowns, fillings, bonding, and whitening techniques in order to perform treatments. They also provide instructions and advice on preventive measures for oral health care.
Cosmetic Dentists are mostly engaged in private practices. These professionals also work in public health care settings, clinics, arm forces, rehabilitation facilities etc. Some of them teach in dental education programs and conduct research in related field.
To become a Cosmetic Dentist, the aspiring candidates need to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Students can join dental school program after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in a field like biology, chemistry, or a related field. Overall, the candidates might spend a total of eight years or more during education and training beyond high school.
The common syllabus of DDS or DMD includes anatomy, microbiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, biochemistry, laboratory techniques, anesthesia, radiology, Oral Pathology and periodontics.
Certification and Licensure
Since a Cosmetic Dentist requires to be licensed in all states, the aspiring candidates need to pass the required written and practical examination. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry provides the official accreditation in cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic Dentists should have vast knowledge in oral health and dental terminologies. They also possess excellent eyesight, good eye-hand coordination, excellent manual dexterity, ability to stay calm under pressure while attending patients, ability to communicate information about oral hygiene and treatments to patients in a clear and lucid manner, competent in computer skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Cosmetic Dentist remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 16 % from 2012 to 2022. The average annual salary of a Cosmetic Dentist was $149,310 in 2012.