Becoming a Dentist is never easy, and neither is becoming one of a certain speciality. A Prosthodontist is a Dental specialty that focuses on tooth replacement and restoration.
Step 1- Complete Undergrad and Receive a Bachelor’s Degree: Aspiring prosthodontists should complete prerequisite courses that are required by the dental schools they plan on applying to. Most pre-dental students will complete the Dental Admission Test (DAT) during undergrad after taking general chemistry, organic chemistry, and biology courses.
Step 2- Dental School: Receive a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery): Dental school is a 3–4 year program where students complete coursework such as dental anatomy, craniofacial biology, dental materials, epidemiology, etc. They will gain clinical experience by developing their hand skills in the lab and eventually working with patients under guidance of experienced dentists.
Step 3- Get Licensed: Pass the Integrated National Board Dental Examination (INBDE). This exam will replace the current National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) Part I and Part II examinations. The new test includes 500 items in comparison to the 900 items in the NBDE, and it takes one and a half days to complete. In addition, it is different from the current NBDE because it highlights more questions that relate science with clinical application, and it relies less on information recall. For example, questions on the INBDE may test on patient care concepts and how dentists approach the topic of dentistry. For more information on the INBDE and how it differs from the NBDE Part I and Part II visit: https://www.ada.org/en/jcnde/inbde/inbde-faq.
Step 4- Complete Residency: Once students graduate from dental school they will begin a minimum of 34 months in specialized training in prosthodontics. During residency students will be prepared to practice at the specialty level and utilize the newest advances in digital dentistry. This includes gaining experience in disease risk assessment and intervention, diagnosis, planning and treatment of various oral health conditions such as dental implant treatment and performing oral restoration.
Step 5- Become Board Certified: This step requires passing a four-part examination (a written test and three oral tests) that is conducted by the American Board of Prosthodontics. A prosthodontist is subjected to recertification every 8 years to insure they are up to date with developments in the field.
Written by: Noa Breitman