A Doctor of Dental Surgery is a degree given to a dentist after completing a four year course of studies at an accredited dental college.
Becoming a DDS starts with going to college. Most dentists receive a bachelors degree in science from an accredited college or university before applying to dental school. A lot of college graduates apply to dental schools so only the best students are able to get into a dental program. In addition, many dental schools have closed in the past 10 years and fewer spots are available making it even more competitive to get in.
To apply to a dental college a student has to next take the Dental Admissions Test and provide the dental college recommendations from their college professors. Most dental colleges require an admissions interview before finally accepting a student.
During their dental studies dental students are required to take the National Boards part I and II. The National Boards are written tests. Part I asks questions from the dental students basic dental studies and Part II is an examination about clinical dental topics. Most dental colleges require dental students to pass these examinations before being given a DDS degree.
Passing the National Boards Part I and II and graduating from an accredited dental school is not enough to practice Dentistry. The dental graduate must next take the state dental boards and apply for a state license after passing the state board. Many states are now participating in regional boards rather than giving individual examinations.