According to About.com, eight years of secondary education is required to become a dentist. This education is comprised of a four-year bachelor's degree and a four-year dental school graduate program.
Possessing a bachelor's degree in science is helpful for admission into a dental program. Due to the competitive nature of dental school programs, the applicant must successfully pass the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) and fulfill any other requirements set forth by the program.
Successful graduates of dental school receive either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Both designations are virtually the same in terms of education and training.