What Bachelor's Degrees Are Available in the Dental Field?

Students interested in earning bachelor's degrees in the dental field have the option of enrolling in dental hygiene or pre-dentistry programs. Keep reading to learn about requirements for these two degrees and get career information for graduates. Schools offering Dental Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Bachelor's Degrees in the Dental Field

If you're looking for a bachelor's degree program in the dental field, you'll find your choices to be somewhat limited. Options include dental hygiene programs that can prepare you for entry-level employment or help you continue your education if you've already received dental hygiene training through an associate degree program. There are also pre-dentistry bachelor's degree programs available to aspiring dentists looking to prepare for a doctoral program. Both of these options are profiled below.

Important Facts About Dental Degrees

Degree LevelsUndergraduate and graduate (applicable to dentists only)
Online AvailabilityFully
Prerequisite CoursesIntro to Biology and Intro to Chemistry
Possible CareersDental hygienists, dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists, prosthodontists

Dental Hygiene Bachelor's Degree

There are some dental hygiene bachelor's degree programs that offer entry-level training, though many are two-year degree completion programs that prepare licensed dental hygienists to advance in the field, move into sales careers or pursue teaching positions with community colleges and technical schools.

Curriculum for a degree completion program is often delivered online and includes general education courses as well as classes in areas like practice management, dental hygiene research and instructional methods. Entry-level programs require an additional two years of study and include clinical rotations and coursework covering dental materials, periodontics and pharmacology.

Pre-Dentistry Bachelor's Degree

Pre-dentistry programs include coursework designed to help you meet admissions prerequisites for a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) program and earn acceptable scores on the Dental Admission Test (DAT). These programs do not result in a specific degree, but are often available as tracks within degree programs in chemistry, biology or other field that includes math and science-intensive coursework. Courses often include biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and physics.

Career Info for Graduates

Aspiring dental hygienists who complete a bachelor's degree program could face favorable employment prospects once they earn state licensure. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 20% job growth for this profession for the 2016-2026 decade. As of 2018, dental hygienists earned an average salary of $75,500.

Students who complete pre-dentistry programs and plan to become dentists will also need to earn a doctorate and meet state licensing requirements before they're qualified to work. Job opportunities for dentists were expected to grow 19% between 2016 and 2026. These professionals earned an average salary of $180,590 in 2018, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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