Cosmetic dentistry is one of the fastest-growing aspects of medicine currently. The face has always been the center of a person’s beauty, and as people increasingly care more about their appearance, the demand for services like whitening, bonding, veneers, and reshaping has grown. As a result, cosmetic dentistry has become a $6.9 billion business and is expected to grow at 5% yearly. Indeed, being a cosmetic dentist can be a profitable career path. However, there is no specific structured path to being a cosmetic dentist career, and it can take several years for you to become good at it.
How to Become a Cosmetic Dentist: The Most Important Thing to Know
The most important information when considering a cosmetic dentist career is that you won’t get all the knowledge in school or through a structured educational program. While there is the need for you to undergo some formal training, there is no special cosmetic dentistry schooling that qualifies you to become a cosmetic dentist.
Being a cosmetic dentist often involves a combination of educational qualifications, work and industry experience, skill, and personal flair for cosmetic dentists’ work.
This is all because cosmetic dentistry is partially an art, just like a scientific discipline. Nonetheless, if you follow the right steps, you can be on your way to a cosmetic dentist career.
How to Get Into Cosmetic Dentistry: A Step-by-step Process
While it may appear, becoming a cosmetic dentist is not extremely difficult. Here, we outline a systematic process to get into cosmetic dentistry.
1) Get a University Degree
The foundation of any medical career involves getting a degree in basic medical sciences at the university. Depending on the country, you may spend about 4 years studying courses like anatomy, biology, etc.
While in the university, it is best to take courses tailored toward your end goal – becoming a cosmetic dentist. These courses may help with subsequent applications as they demonstrate your keen interest in the dentistry profession.
Importantly, ensure you graduate with a high GPA as it is a crucial prerequisite for medical school admission. While in school, however, I endeavor to do some practical work in dentistry by shadowing a dental expert in any dental practice or department. The minimum recommended time frame that you should put into this is 100 hours.
2) Go for Clinicals in Dentistry
Proceed to another four years clinical program in dentistry. We highly suggest attending a reputable medical school, but that’s not compulsory. While in clinical, try out courses in dental practice areas closest to cosmetic dentistry, especially prosthodontics and orthodontics.
Upon completion, you should get your doctorate (depending on your country) in Dentistry or dental surgery. We strongly advise going for a further postgraduate course, this time specializing in any of the cosmetic dentistry-related fields like prosthodontics. This will strongly suggest to any employer that you have a strong affinity for cosmetic surgery.
3) Get Some Accreditation
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) is a leading body for cosmetic dentistry specialists in the USA and globally. They regularly organize training programs to give you access to top-notch expert knowledge from the best in the field. Notably, the training offered at the AACD is practical and hands-on.
Getting accredited by the Academy may require attending several workshops and taking written and oral tests.
4) Get a Job in the Field
You may not get a cosmetic dentist role instantly. It is a highly specialized field, and you need ample preliminary experience before you figure out how to become a cosmetic dentist. So you may need to get a job in the industry, probably as a general dentist, and then shadow and learn from cosmetic dentists working in your organization.
Being a specialist role, you need to sharpen your skills before dabbling in taking up cases. So start with basic aesthetic dentistry tasks like direct resin bonding before venturing into more complicated procedures. Taking the gradual approach makes learning less expensive and prevents encountering complications that may harm your career in its infancy.
The cosmetic surgery field looks appealing. The demand is high yet consistently growing. Moreover, the supply of experts isn’t sufficient, leaving enough room for you to thrive. Nonetheless, it is important to pay attention to good advice when starting. Contact us today to know more about our cosmetic dentistry, and we’ll help you find the procedure that’s perfect for your dental goals.