What are Accelerated Dental Programs? How Can it Benefit Students

Are you a prospective student who has an interest in dentistry and you are looking for good as well accelerated Dental Programs that would offer you the opportunity to actualize your dream of becoming a dental doctor, then this article is meant for you.

It is also known that getting accepted into dental school is not easy. Only 55.3% of dental school applicants who applied to 66 accredited dental schools in the United States.

For the 2018-2019 academic year, they were already enrolled in one that year, according to admission statistics from the American Dental Association.

In this article, we will take you through detailed information on all you need to know about accelerated Dental Programs and how it can benefit you as a student.

Here is an overview of what to expect:

What to Know About Dental Program

A career as a dentist results in a six-figure annual salary. The Average Salary of a US dentist in 2018 was $156,240, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dentists who specialize in areas like oral and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontia generally receive salaries of $208,000 or more.

“Each dental school has different requirements and suggestions for applicants, and it is important that each applicant thoroughly research each institution they plan to apply to,” wrote by Naty López, assistant dean of admission and diversity at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in an email.

Before joining the College of Dentistry, a prospective dentist usually earns a bachelor’s degree and must complete basic undergraduate courses with biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical laboratories, according to the Dental Preparation Department section of the American Dental Education Association website.

Plus, some dental schools require undergraduate coursework in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, and English composition, according to the ADEA website.

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Aspiring dentists should also be aware that there is a dental school entrance exam, the Dental Admission Test.

This multiple-choice assessment includes science puzzles, math problems, spatial reasoning exercises, and reading comprehension questions. Scores range from 1 to 30, with 19 as the national average.

However, Lopez advises dental school hopefuls to remember that their competitiveness is not determined entirely by their academic statistics, such as their GPA and DAT score.

“Ultimately, schools are interested in applicants who show an interest in the field of dentistry, which includes a strong interest in science, competitive academic scores, passion for volunteering and service, and desire to help those in need,” says Lopez, who has a Ph.D. in health professional education.

What Are the Personal Qualities You Need to Excel as a Dentist?

Dentists say their profession requires a stronger spatial awareness and excellent hand-eye coordination because it involves performing delicate procedures in confined spaces.

A dentist based in New York City, once said, one sign that a person has what it takes to be a dentist is if he or she derives joy in building or crafting.

Those hobbies involve the type of artistry and dexterity that are necessary for dentistry as explained.

There is another indication that dentistry is a suitable profession for a person if they are fascinated by scientific progress that improves preventive dental care, as said by Dr. Edward Corel, vice president of clinical affairs for DentaQuest, a multistate network of dental healthcare centers.

One example of groundbreaking dental technology is an innovative method of identifying and addressing cavities early before the structure of a tooth has been compromised.

“We can hopefully treat disease at the earliest stage without waiting until it is having a devastating effect on the patient,” as said by Coryell.

Chern adds that dentists, like all healthcare professionals, must be understanding, compassionate, and calm.

Dr. Marc Lazare, a general and cosmetic dentist in New York City, emphasizes that dentists need to be versatile.

“With patients,” he wrote in an email, “you are not only their oral health care provider, but at times you are their therapist, health educator, and the quarterback who coordinates between other dental specialists and other medical providers.”

Lazar adds that dentistry requires strong skills for people. “The difficult part of working with teeth is that they relate to people, and they are all different,” he says.

“Each patient comes with their own history of dental treatment, phobia, fears, desires, physical restrictions, health problems, and neuroses.”

What are the Types of Dental Degrees and Dentists?

A dentist may have a DDS degree, a Doctor of Dental Surgery, or a DMD degree, which is a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine degree. These degrees are similar.

Dental school generally lasts four years, although the accelerated degree can take only three years. A graduate dental program generally includes scientific and clinical curriculum.

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Dr. Ronnie Myers, dean of the Touro College of Dental Medicine at New York Medical College, says that the dental school curriculum typically involves an abundance of hands-on practice, in part because all dental school grads are expected to be “practice-ready” on graduation day.

“Students have to be taught all the hand skills of procedures that they will be able to perform once they are licensed,” says Myers, who is also a professor of dental medicine.

According to the ADA, anyone who hopes to become a U.S. dentist must obtain a license to practice within the state where they intend to work, and every U.S. state requires that its licensed dentists pass the National Board Dental Examination.

Aspiring dentists can choose a career in general dentistry or focus on the dental specialty, in which case they must complete residency within this specialty.

The duration of the specialized dental residency depends on the specialty and its affiliated school, so the specialized residence can vary from two to six years.

The ADA recognizes 10 dental specialties

  • Dental anesthesiology: which focuses on pain mitigation and overall patient well-being during dental procedures.
  • Dental public health: which is about optimizing the dental health of a community.
  • Prosthodontics: which involves the creation of dentures and providing other treatments to address missing or deficient teeth.
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiology: which involves the use of data and imaging technologies like X-rays to identify injuries and illnesses.
  • Endodontics: which focuses on the pulp within teeth and often involves root canals.
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology: which centers on the diagnosis of mouth diseases using various techniques such as microscopic examinations.
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery: which entails performing operations in and around the mouth.
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics: which focuses on the prevention and correction of misaligned teeth and jaws.
  • Pediatric dentistry: which centers on the dental needs of infants and children.
  • Periodontics: which involves addressing gum problems.

How to Decide If Dental School Makes Sense

Dr. Krysta Manning, the owner of the Solstice Dental and Aesthetic Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky, says dental training is a “marathon, not a race,” so dental school prospects should understand the time commitment.

“Dental school is a four-year commitment, during which you are expected to spend approximately 40 hours per week in classes and clinics in addition to the time required to study for exams,” Manning wrote in an email.

“Due to the time commitment, it is difficult to keep adding jobs to supplement living expenses. Therefore, most students require loans not only for studying but also for living expenses.

The average dental school debt among dental school graduates in the class of 2018 who took out loans for students to finance their education was $280,410, according to ADEA.

Although the cost and time involved in dental training can be intimidating, the profession can be personally fulfilling and financially rewarding, Low says.

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“Despite being a financial and timely investment, the rewards of being a dental specialist are extensive,” he wrote in an email. “Patient care is very rewarding, and there is a financial guarantee that comes with being a dental professional.”

How Can Accelerated Dental Programs Benefit Students

These are the top benefits students can expect from attending accelerated Dental programs. Keep in mind that each program is unique, so some of these might not apply, but most of them certainly will.

1. Convenience of blended learning:

To facilitate faster learning, many dental schools are implementing online courses in the accelerated program.

Coordination of blended learning not only saves time but also adds maximum flexibility to already busy students.

2. Potential to save money:

By spending less time in school, students can save money on tuition. Shaving a semester or two off a degree can easily put another $10,000 or more in a student’s bank account.

3. Test out of pre-requisites:

To save more time, many accelerated dental programs require students to complete the basic requirements before beginning the basic curriculum.

To facilitate the process of completing the prerequisites, many dental programs allow students to take exams for some courses.

4. Looks great on a resume:

Accelerated dental programs are hard, not just academically, but from a time management perspective.

Employers recognize that a student who can succeed in an accelerated program will possess the willpower and organizational skills to succeed at work, too.

5. Get to your career faster:

For most students, education is only a means to an end, as the “end” is the beginning of a new career. Accelerated dental programs make it easier for Prospective dental student to reach their career goals faster.

6. Increased salary potential:

As a general rule, the more education someone has, the more money they can potentially make. Therefore, the easier someone can get a more advanced degree, the easier they can earn more money through career advancement.

What are the Pros and Cons of an Accelerated Degree Program?

The goal of an accelerated program is to get students out of school and into the workforce as quickly as possible.

As prospective students begin to choose an appropriate program for them, the Accelerated Degree Program option is often a consideration.

This often means weighing the pros and cons of the accelerated degree program for decision making.

How to Succeed in an Accelerated Dental Degree Program?

Now that you’ve decided to jump into an accelerated dental program, you’ll need to do whatever it takes to make the most of your education.

Here are some important characteristics that successful students share in Fast Track dental programs:

1. Be proactive:

Anticipating what to expect is an extremely important part of doing well in these programs. For example, anticipating when completion of the clinic will take place can allow dental students to make adjust their work schedules well in advance.

2. Set reasonable expectations:

Being realistic can help with the psychological challenges dental students will typically face, such as mitigating disappointment over a bad grade. It can also force students to make an adjustment before it’s too late.

3. Hit the ground running on day one:

Be prepared to hit the books immediately. Gone are the days where it takes a class or two for things to pick up and the learning to begin.

4. Stay organized:

In an accelerated dental program, staying organized is literally half the battle. Being fully prepared for an exam means nothing if you forget to log on at the appropriate time to take it!

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5. Don’t procrastinate:

In a traditional college or graduate school course, there’s usually a full semester to catch up on overlooked material. But this ability is diminished in an accelerated dental program.

6. Practice self-care:

Taking care of grades is important, but so is taking care of emotional and physical health. Don’t forget it is always okay to take some time off to relax or engage in fun activities.

7. Use support systems:

A good way to practice self-care and maintain good health is to take advantage of support systems. For instance, there’s no need to spend hours reinventing a study outline that you could have gotten via email in five minutes from a study buddy.

8. Find a mentor:

Mentors can provide valuable instruction outside the classroom. Having a mentor can also create a connection that can help with the future job search or even a graduate school application.


An accelerated program allows dental students to obtain their academic credentials in a shorter period of time than a traditional program. Incoming dental students spend less calendar time in class and can get to work in their chosen profession sooner.

This is good news for dental students and for other healthcare systems due to the increasing demand for medical professionals.

This means that healthcare organizations such as hospitals, clinics, and dental offices are in a constant search for graduates who have completed healthcare programs.

Accelerated Dental Program FAQs:

Is a 3.4 GPA good for dental school?

The ideal dental school applicant is meant to have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher. Many schools average Biology, Chemistry, and Physics (BCP) GPAs together. For these science courses, the average applicant should strive for a 3.4 GPA or higher.

Can you go straight from high school to dental school?

Some of them have high grades. Some dental schools will accept a small number of students through early admission programs with two to three years of college preparation. However, you should plan to earn a bachelor’s degree before starting dental school.

How Can Accelerated Dental Programs Benefit Students

1. The convenience of blended learning
2. Potential to save money
3. Test out of pre-requisites
4. Looks great on a resume
5. Get to your career faster
6. Increased salary potentials.

How Can I Succeed in an Accelerated Dental Degree Program?

1. Be proactive
2. Set reasonable expectations
3. Hit the ground running on day one
4. Stay organized
5. Don’t procrastinate
6. Practice self-care
7. Use support systems
8. Find a mentor

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