Schools for Aspiring Prosthodontists
Review the career path to becoming a prosthodontist, from applying to dental school to completing specialty training in prosthodontics. Find out what you'd learn during your prosthodontics training. Read about the licensure requirements for dentists, and check the qualifications for getting certified as a prosthodontist.
If you are looking to become a prosthodontist, you have a few options of degree programs offered at the graduate level. You can learn more about these programs by looking over the article below. which will discuss where programs are offered, outcomes of the programs, and licensing information.
How Do I Become a Prosthodontist?
Prosthodontics is a dental specialty and training is offered after you have completed dental school. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), students interested in enrolling in a dental school need to hold a bachelor's degree; however, the BLS also notes that some dental schools will allow you to matriculate with only two or three years of undergraduate study (www.bls.gov). In this instance, you complete your bachelor's degree requirements during the early part of dental school.
In either case, the BLS asserts that you must sit for the 5-hour Dental Admission Test (DAT), sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA). Once you've passed the DAT, you may qualify for admission to a dental school. Dental school usually lasts four years and contains an internship requirement. Completion can lead to a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).
What About After Dental School?
Once you've completed dental school, you're eligible to sit for the written and clinical National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) for licensure to practice as a dentist. Successful completion of education and licensure requirements makes you eligible to apply for admission to a prosthodontics program.
You may want to use the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) PASS program to apply to a prosthodontics program. PASS stands for postdoctoral application support service. This is a centralized application service that provides a standardized application format.
What Can I Expect in a Program?
Depending on the school, a program can consist of 33-36 credits and take about three years to complete. Schools may give you the option of pursuing a certificate of advanced graduate study (CAGS), Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD) with a concentration in prosthodontics. A master's degree program includes the completion of a thesis or a graduate research project.
Typical courses in a program include head and neck anatomy, complete and partial dentures, endodontics, implants, treatment planning, maxillofacial pathology, denture prosthodontics and restorative dentistry. Programs include clinical and didactic instruction. Because of the large amount of in-person and clinical work required, there aren't any online programs in prosthodontics. However, schools generally provide online access to research libraries as well as online versions of professional journals and publications.
Which Schools Offer Postgraduate Certificate Programs in Prosthodontics?
Various colleges and universities allow students to earn a postgraduate certificate in prosthodontics. These are a few of them:
- Boston University provides a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Prosthodontics program
- University of Washington has a Certificate in Prosthodontics program
- Tufts University hosts a Postgraduate Prosthodontics Certificate program
Which Schools Offer Master's Degree Programs in Prosthodontics?
A multitude of schools also offer master's degree programs in prosthodontics, including the following:
- Nova Southeastern University houses a Master of Science in Prosthodontics degree program
- University of Michigan delivers a Master of Science in Prosthodontics degree program
- University of North Carolina has a Master of Science in Prosthodontics degree program
What Are Some Licensing and Certification Opportunities?
Licensing and certification are two separate things. As the BLS mentions, all states and the District of Columbia require you to be licensed to practice dentistry. Although some requirements vary by state, you may be able to fulfill the written portion of the requirements by completing the NDBE.
While it's not required, it's advisable that you become certified. With a graduate certificate or degree in prosthodontics, you may be eligible to sit for the 3-part certification examination administered by the American Board of Prosthodontics (ABP).
Prosthodontic education can be found in postgraduate certificate and master's degree programs. These programs will give students a chance to take certification exams, which can also enhance your career.