Do Dentists Go to Medical School

Dentists do not need to go to medical school to complete their degrees. They can complete their training at a dental school after graduation.

Do Dentists Go to Medical School

A dentist doesn’t need to go to medical school to become one. They need to complete their training and certification from a dental school. A dentist’s primary focus is to increase awareness about the importance of oral health and hygiene. They generally deal with problems related to the mouth, jaw, and teeth.

Sometimes, they can also perform teeth, gums, or bone surgery. Every person should go for a regular dental checkup to maintain their oral health and prevent them from developing dental problems.

A dentist can deal with problems related to the mouth, teeth, and gums and also provide care for overall health and the connection of oral health to the rest of the body. Dental students also study human anatomy and physiology, including all body systems, as part of their comprehensive education in dental school. They must complete their dental school training to study and learn more about oral health and hygiene.

While dentists typically do not need to attend medical school, those pursuing specialties like oral and maxillofacial surgery may undergo medical training as part of their residency. However, the first-year syllabus is quite similar in medical and dental schools. From the second year onwards, the study area is very different in both schools.

What Education and Training Are Necessary to Become a Dentist

Do Dentists Go to Medical School

Do Dentists Go to Medical School – Education and Training to Become a Dentist

While many dental schools require a four-year bachelor’s degree for admission, some programs may admit students after completing certain prerequisites or through combined accelerated programs. You may want to major in any science-related subject to meet the requirement. Some dental schools also offer a pre-dental curriculum. Under this program, you can study physics, biology, chemistry, physiology, and human genetics.

After completing the bachelor’s degree, you must take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). When choosing a school, you must be sure that it is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). The degree from a dental school takes around four years to complete.

A dental school offers two degrees: a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). You can choose either to become a dentist.

Can a Dentist Go to Medical School

Though there are a few similarities between medical school and dental, they have very different work areas.

Usually, there is no need for a dentist to go to medical school. After graduation, they can be admitted to dental school. It takes around eight years to complete university and dental schooling. After becoming a dentist, they can study further to pursue any specific dental field (for example, orthodontics, endodontics, etc.).

On the other hand, aspiring doctors must attend medical school after university to complete their studies. They also have to intern to receive their degrees in any specific subject of their interest and competence.

But after becoming a dentist, if someone wants to be an expert in oral and maxillofacial surgery and oral medicine, they can always join a medical school. After completing their dentistry degree, they can enroll in an MD-integrated program to receive a further medical (MD) degree.

Therefore, a dentist must not attend medical school to complete their degree. But if they want to pursue a medical degree in any specific area of oral medicine and surgery, they can apply for med school after completing their dentistry.

Can Dentistry Be Considered a Medical Field

Dentistry is a specialized branch of medicine focused on oral health. Health and dentistry are two different sectors of work, and dentists’ and doctors’ training systems are entirely different.

Dentistry is considered a part of the broader medical field, specializing in oral health. Though there may be certain similarities in their first year of college, the focus of these two professions is quite different. Their only common aim is to serve human beings.

Where Do You Need to Study to Become an Oral Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons often complete additional medical training, including earning an MD degree, as part of their residency programs. Oral and maxillofacial surgery residency programs, which include surgical training, typically last 4 to 6 years, and some programs integrate medical school leading to an MD degree. During this period, they can learn about different techniques of dental surgery.

They also learn how to find the appropriate solutions for complications during dental surgery. This way, they can gather experience under the supervision of the hospital and complete their degree simultaneously.

However, after graduating from dental school, an oral surgeon can sometimes attend a medical school for advanced education and training.


Doctors and dentists are two different professions with different roles and responsibilities. A dentist does not need to attend medical school to complete their degree. But if a dentist wants to study further and receive advanced training in surgery or medicine, they can be admitted to a medical school after completing their dentistry degree.

See Also

Best Medical Schools

Non Clinical Jobs for Dentists

How to Become a Dentist

HHS Grants for Dentists

Endodontist vs Orthodontist

Dermatology Schools

Dental Implant Grants

Current Version
October 4, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 18, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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