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Dentistry in the USA

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If you wish to apply/ learn about Canada License process (made easy since 2011) CLICK HERE

You are a foreign dentist. Only thing that stands between you and prosperity (dentistry is one of the best paying professions in USA) is the license to practice. BUT

GOING TO USA... Is it a Blessing or Curse....READ NOW  


Do you need full information about practicing in USA or for further studies? Full info with all the contact details helps you to get all exam materials and other details. This will help you succed and get you great scores. You need info which has all the details such as:

Admission to the US
Dental Licensure rules in Different states
Basic Dental Education
Advanced Dental Education opportunities
Other Educational Opportunities
Limited Opportunities for Employment

ALSO read CAN Foreign Dentist practice In INDIA ?

You may also look at the following links.

National Board Dental Examination Program
About NDBE
Postdoctoral Application Support Service (PASS)
Western Regional Examining Board
Study Guides for NDBE
American Student Dental Asso.

Another useful resource


Colleges which offer Advanced Standing Program (DDS/DMD) to foreign trained dentists require atleast NDEB Part I. Most of the dental schools which offer this program require atleast 83%. (It is Percentile not Percentage, make sure you understand what Percentile basis is) . To cut down the competition, the number of applicants and various other reasons some dental schools are also asking for NDEB Part II now. 

US state boards do not care where you get your DDS/DMD as long as you get one they are satisfied. Some states do not require DDS/DMD to practice in their states, BUT.... THESE STATES REQUIRE THAT A FOREIGN TRAINED DENTISTS SHOULD HAVE HAD ATTENDED AT LEAST 2 YEARS OF ADVANCED TRAINING IN DENTISTRY IN US.... which would mean the applicant either should have had completed a specialty program in dentistry which is recognized (permitted) in US.

AEGD (Advanced Education in General Dentistry) is a university based one to two year program which is similar to Internship in India. GPR (General Practice Residency) is similar to AEGD but is "MOSTLY" in a hospital setting. As in US, the DMD/DDS program is only 4 years instead of 5 years as in India (which means US graduates of DDS/DMD) do not have to go through one year internship at the end of there course to get an degree. This is the reason why for most dental students opt for these programs after DDS/DMD here in US for experience.

ADVANCED STANDING PROGRAM: The dental schools which offer this program have increased in the recent past and also the number of seats is also increasing. Similarly the competition is high and so they look for high scores in NDEB exams. Although ADA web site does not mention the new schools which offer the program, sending a e-mail to the dental school admission office. Bank loans and financial help information is provided by the dental schools. The banks or lender organizations ask for a co-applicant or a guarantor who is a American Citizen or at least a Green Card holder who has a good credit. This requirement is waived if you already have a green card or citizenship of US. The average annual percentage of these loans range from 6.00% to 9.00% presently and is dependent upon the Federal Interest rate or another Federal rates published quarterly in financial reports in US. Also for the people who are either citizens are green card holders of US, are eligible to get Federal Loan. The loans I have mentioned above are private loans. The federal loans charge a annual percentage rate (APR) of around 5% presently. 

APPLICANTS WHO HAVE HAD ALREADY MASTERS IN DENTISTRY FROM INDIA or ANY OTHER COUNTRY: The licensing rules remain the same for these specialists as mentioned for the BDS graduates. The state rule does not change for specialists if they have done it in another country as for as I know.

For more specific info Read on ..........

The following points need to be taken care of:


1) For NBDE Part 1: Follow simple rules: Study Kaplan Material, which includes Dental Decks; 10 years Question papers and Review notes. Since new pattern has started from January 2007, make sure you have latest decks and other study materials like Remembered questions, Clinical Vignettes and Illustrations. In case, you don�t understand a topic, always refer your books which you studied during your BDS/MDS.

  Apart from Kaplan material, you need a new latest book which is among hottest seller   

  these days: First Aid to NBDE Part 1. This book is a short concise guide to write your

NBDE Part 1. In case of further guidance and how to obtain these books you can always contact me.


2) The cost of appearing in Computerized NBDE Part 1 is US $250. Apart from that

Transcript Evaluation costs another US $125. Please have a Visa or Mastercard

International Credit Card by this stage, otherwise you are just delaying your long

application process by going to banks and wasting your time unnecessarily. Many

universities accept only Credit card. So, have one as soon as possible.


3) Obtaining US Visa is the biggest hurdle in your American dreams. Remember, a few

tips: Your confidence and the way you carry yourself is number one important factor. The interviewers at US embassy are personality readers and lie-detectors. Be truthful

in front of  them and never argue with them. Just answer clearly to whatever they say and never ever try to question their authority. B1/B2 category is for business/tourist visa and F1 is student visa.


4) If you score less than 85 percentile in NBDE Part 1, just forget your results and again take your exam. Admissions these days are highly competitive and you need greater than 87 percentile to stand a chance. Other thing you need to take is TOEFL iBT/ CBT (costing US $150) . Remember, TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years time while NBDE scores have atleast 10 years validity. Click HERE to see which are the easiest schools to get in to.


5)   Then follow the rigorous Application process:

  At this stage you need:

a) Your official NBDE Part1 and TOEFL iBT/CBT scores. You need 100 in TOEFL iBT or 250 in CBT.

b) 3 Letters of  Recommendation

c) A solid and professional Career Statement or Statement of Purpose

d) Transcript Evaluation Reports

e) Original Transcripts signed by Dean/Principal of your college/university

f) University/ Dental School selection depending upon your NBDE Part 1 scores and your GPA. Each application costs from US $75 to US $150.

g) Then if you get a call for interview�boom �.you have a great chance of making it. Again, interview needs strong communication and interpersonal skills.

h) In some universities, especially based in California, NBDE Part 2 and clinical skills are required; which needs clinical training. In my opinion, SHORT COURSES by ICDR can be really helpful for that aspect.

i) Then, if you get admitted to DDS/DMD program, you�ll need a co-signer (can be a relative or a friend) who is either a US citizen or Green card holder for your Student loan. Loans are very easy and long term like 15-20 years. The loan amount even covers your living expenses and if you have a spouse and children, they cover even that. Typically, yearly expenses are in the range of US $ 80,000 to one lakh dollar. So, a two year program will cost US $1,60,000 to US $200,000.

j) But here�s a good news after all the big expenses talk: DENTISTS and SPECIALIST DOCTORS remain the most lucrative and best salaried profession.

k) On an average, a dentist in USA starts from $ 100,000  to $ 1,25,000. In 2005,

5% Americans had an annual salary in excess of one lakh dollar or more. So, when you start your career in USA as a dentist, you straightaway belongs to upper 5% income group bracket in USA. That�s a big reward you get for all pains and hardships associated with being a dentist.

l) Above all, US unlike UK, has a stable work permit, read H1B, plans followed by

Green Card, and then US citizenship.

B) The second option is for MDS level dentists or BDS having good amount of work experience and research publications who want to do PG in US.


a) If you want to be a practicing dentist in USA, DDS is the only option.

b) But, in case u don�t want to do DDS and straightaway wants admission in MSD  or MS in Dentistry in fields like General Dentistry, Pedodontics, Periodontics; Operative Dentistry; Endodontics; Dental Public Health (Preventive Dentistry) ; Orthodontics; admissions are highly competitive , but possible.

c) Foreign dental graduates are not eligible for MSD in Oral Surgery.

d) Orthodontics is again very tough to get into.

e) Majority of PG degree courses have NBDE Part 1 and Part 2 as admission criteria. These courses are equivalent to MDS in India (you can check DCI website) .

f) Most of these programs are two to three years on duration and need very strong academic and professional documentation.

g) Expenses are less as compared to DDS; range is from $ 20,000 to $ 70,000 per annum.

h) Jobs after completing your PG are in dental schools as faculty/research. But believe me, pay scales are even better than DDS�yes, its in excess of $1,50,000 and above.


C) The other option for DENTISTS and DOCTORS is to do Masters in Public Health (MPH) or Masters in Hospital Administration (MHA) . These courses don�t cost a bomb but again, salary levels are low as compared to dentists/physicians/specialists. But these degree courses does offer a good living in USA�as compared to rich living associated with Dentists/Doctors (as per US Standards) . The main thing needed is GRE and TOEFL and work experience. The fees for a typical two year course ranges from $ 22,000 to $ 45,000.

On getting admission, you apply for F1 (Student visa) . But all this again needs strong documentation. The best part is US Immigration laws permit you to work 20 hrs /week on-campus during fall and spring and 40hrs/week during summer. Effectively, your earnings can take care of your monthly expenditure and also, you can get scholarships also to make your education free of cost, but everything needs to be planned before time and application deadlines are very strictly adhered by universities.

this info is provided by Dr Satpreet and Dr Sharma from USA,to ask them questions: email to

Kaplan may do tests in India, check on their website.

In what is being hailed as yet another landmark decision in Minnesota, the state dental board has unanimously voted to adopt the Canadian dental exam, making it the first state in the U.S. to endorse nonpatient-based licensure exams for dentists. The role of live patient-based exams as part of the dental licensure testing process has been debated in the U.S. for years. Proponents say it is the only way to truly appraise a dental graduate's clinical competency, while opponents say there are serious ethical issues associated with this part of the testing process. CLICK FOR MORE

Some Common Questions and their Answers
Question :I have done four years BDS but has not completed internship. Got married and went to USA, what are his options now ? Can he join a DDS or any other pg course ?

Answer: You must complete your internship without it your degree is not complete and technically you are not a graduate.

Question : I am doing dentistry in India, can I write national board in US before completing internship?

Answer: Dental students in USA can write national boards part 1 after their 2nd year but part 2 can only be done after degree. I suggest that it is best that person does complete the degree and do the part 1 as this is a crucial score and a person must score 95 percentile or more for better future.

Question :sir right now i am in year 2 of bds.i was goingthrough nbde exams and various procedures one has to undertake for migrating to usa. sir i looked at the course for the nbde part1 exams it pretty much covers the course one studies till 2nd year in bds course here. so sir is it recommended that i clear the nbde part1 exam after i clear my year 2, or give part 1 and part2 after i finish my bds here. second query that i have, is that can one migrate to usa as a dental hygienist and after one gets citizenship and ndbhe for dental hygienists in usa,is there any lateral entry for people to do bds course.

Answer: I recommend taking National boards after BDS and preparing really good for it and it is better to score really high if one has to get in Dental school here for DDS program. Coming to USA as hygienist is not acceptable. You can immigrate to Canada as a denturist and then after green card of canada you can come to USA. For now concentrate on BDS in and have good understanding of the Dental subjects.

Question: My sister completed her BDS from India. She is planning to pursue her career in the US and hence plans to appear NBDE. I live in Dallas, Tx. My family will be visiting me this August. Can my sister appear NBDE on a visitors visa? I have heard that 2 IDs are required for appearing the suggest me the way out.

Answer :Visitor visa is no problem for National Boards. Second ID could be issued by Taxas state afetr you show your passport, You can also try a credit card with picture or an International driving license or try Indian driving license. State ID will be the best.
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