You may be able to prevent two of the most common diseases of modern civilization, tooth decay (caries) and periodontal (gum) disease, simply by improving your diet.
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To become a dentist, you need a bachelor's degree with a strong science foundation: biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics are crucial. Admission to dental school, which lasts four years, requires high grades in college and a competitive score on the Dental Admission Test. After graduating from dental school, you'll have to take licensure examinations required by the state in which you wish to practice. Specialization requires another two or more years of school or a clinical residency program.
All that education is a good investment. Dental practices have a high likelihood of success, and the demand for dental care is growing as public awareness of the importance of maintaining good oral health increases.
Reviewed: January 2012
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