Dental schools provide various levels of education and training for students to pursue careers in dentistry. Students who wish to work as dentists will need to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees and complete post-graduate training. Virginia is home to many schools that provide the necessary education for students to become dentists or pursue another specialized career in the field of dentistry.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University operates a School of Dentistry in Richmond. The school offers a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) degree at the graduate level and the bachelor of science in dental hygiene at the undergraduate level. The DDS program takes four years to complete and emphasizes classes in three categories, including basic sciences, clinical sciences and social sciences. Graduate students can also specialize in fields such endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and oral and maxillofacial surgery. Each year, about 2,500 students apply to the program and about 100 are accepted.
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry 520 North 12th Street Box 980566 Richmond, Virginia 23298-0566 804-828-9196 dentistry.vcu.edu
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia offers a general-practice dental residency, a one- or two-year program that helps recent graduates gain professional experience. The program was established in 1974. Applicants need to graduate from an ADA-accredited school of dentistry. Application materials must include transcripts, letters of recommendation, National Board scores and a student essay. Students will learn how to function within a hospital environment, provide general anesthesia, provide care for economically underserved patients and develop other skills. The school takes great pride in hiring faculty from a wide variety of fields, including an orthodontist, periodontist, endodontist and oral surgeon.
University of Virginia Department of Dentistry P.O. Box 800740, Charlottesville, VA 22908 434-924-1774 healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/dentistry
George Mason University
George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, allows undergraduates the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science with a pre-dental concentration. The four-year program is intended to prepare students for applying to graduate-level dental programs after graduation. The program’s curriculum emphasizes coursework in natural sciences, mathematics, ethics, and health-related issues. Students take courses in chemistry, biology, physiology, ethics and physics, among other pre-medicine topics.
George Mason University 402 Enterprise Hall MSN 5D3 703-993-1436 ncc.gmu.edu/index.html
Gary Beckner has worked as an English teacher for the past decade. His current professional interests include medieval literature and the poetry of Ezra Pound. He is writing a chapbook of poetry that focuses on personal reflection, symbolism, and the writings of Jacques Derrida.