Wisconsin Lutheran College offers a pre-dental program that provides the broad interdisciplinary training professionals need to adapt in the rapidly changing and growing field of dental medicine.
Pre-dental students may major in any academic specialty;
however, most pre-dental students choose to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree
with a major in biology, biochemistry, or chemistry, as
these majors most closely align with the required pre-dental course work and
provide the most complete preparation for the Dental Admission Test (DAT).
Most dental schools require the submission of DAT scores for admission. The DAT
is a computer-based multiple-choice exam that covers a wide range of biology,
chemistry, perceptual ability, reading comprehension, and quantitative
reasoning skills. In addition to DAT scores, many dental schools require a
minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, although competitive programs may seek out
applicants with 3.5 or higher GPAs.
Dentistry is a rewarding and well-respected health
profession that seeks to diagnose and treat disease and trauma associated with
teeth and tissues of the mouth. Dentists may choose from general practice or
from a variety of specialties. For example, orthodontists straighten teeth with
braces or retainers, oral surgeons operate on teeth and jaws, and
prosthodontists replace missing teeth with crowns or bridges.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics, the demand for dental services is expected to increase as the
baby-boom generation advances in age. For this reason, the job outlook for
dental professionals should be strong in the foreseeable future. In contrast to
most other health professions, a majority of dentists own their own business or
work with a few partners as associate dentists. Few career paths combine this
level of autonomy with the potential for high income.
A career in dentistry requires a Doctor of Dental Surgery
(DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from an accredited dental
education program. Highly respected programs near WLC include the Marquette University
School of Dentistry, the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, and
the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Dentistry.
Most dental schools require or recommend two semesters of
general chemistry, two semesters of general biology, two semesters of organic
chemistry with lab, a semester of biochemistry, two semesters of physics, two
semesters of calculus, and additional coursework in anatomy and physiology,
cell biology, microbiology, and genetics. Some programs recommend or may require
additional coursework in business, English, and psychology.
Pre-dental students at WLC will establish a curriculum plan
and register for courses with the guidance of a personal advisor.