A Comparison Between the Dental Curriculum of Africa, North America, and Asia
The start of a career is to define how you would like it to be. It pays to know the definition of a career thoroughly before deciding on that. A dentist is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity, also known as the mouth which swallows food and drinks that then go down the esophagus and into the stomach.
A dentist is also referred to as a dental surgeon who is licensed to perform operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition in the purpose of trying to cure a disease, healing an injury or improving function or appearance of the oral cavity.
There are 10 dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.
- General Dentistry,
- Pediatric Dentistry,
- Public Health Dentistry,
- Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology,
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, and
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
How to Become a Dentist in Africa
Unlike in North American Countries which require a pre-dentistry bachelor’s degree, dentistry in Africa can be taken even fresh from secondary school.
A dental curriculum generally takes four years if instruction that gradually shifts from an emphasis on the sciences basic to dentistry to a clinically-oriented program.
In first year, the student is taught many of the basic sciences, which are the foundation for clinical dentistry which may include Biological Basis of Oral Health and Disease, an Introduction to Clinical and Preventive Dentistry, Oral Anatomy and Occlusion, and Oral Biochemistry.
Meanwhile, the second year may talk about Anesthesia, Oral Radiology, Pediatric Dentistry, Orthodontics, Prosthodontics, Preventive Dentistry and Clinical Nutrition, Oral Diagnosis and Medicine and an Introduction to Intra-Oral Surgery.
The third year embarks upon intensive clinical study of each of the various disciplines of dentistry including Ethics, Jurisprudence and Practice Administration and Clinical Practice. Then, the final year focuses more on application the basic knowledge and techniques already acquired, thus, a clinical practice may be required.
Fourth year curriculum may include elective programs, clinical conferences and hospital-based experiences.
How to Become a Dentist in North America
Just like medical school, dentistry in North America requires at least a Bachelor’s degree as well as the pre-requisite courses.
Dentistry in North America is equivalent to a 4-year course where the first two years are dedicated to didactic education as well as simulation courses.
While the second half of the entire term is focused on experience and training through direct patient care under supervision.
After the completing the 4-year course, students are required to get a license by passing the National Board Dental Examination or its equivalent.
Many regions further require licensees to successfully pass a regional board exam and Jurisprudence and Ethics Examinations.
How to Become a Dentist in Asia
Dental education in Asia is normally packed as a 5-year or 6-year post secondary education.
Most of the time, a six year course is divided into 2 years preparatory education and 4 years proper dental education.
Licensing is administered by a regulating body through a concluding examination before applicants earn the degree of being a Doctor of Dental Medicine.