How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Dentist?


Quick Answer

A doctorate in dentistry generally takes a minimum of seven or eight years of post-secondary education. The education of most dentists follows a four year undergraduate degree, admission to an American Dental Association-accredited dental school program and four additional years of study including significant hands-on experience.

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Full Answer

Some dental schools offer accelerated dental programs that cover undergraduate and graduate work together, taking seven years inside of a traditional eight. During the dental school program, candidates must pass the two parts of the National Board Dental Examination. Part one is typically taken during the second year, while part two is taken in the fourth and final year. Additionally, a regional board exam is required for practice in all states except California, Connecticut and Minnesota.

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