Becoming a Dentist

Did you know it is never too soon or too late to become a dentist? As long as people have teeth there will be a need for dentists. But what does it take? What type of personality? How much education?  In today’s blog, your Lake Forest Dentist, Dr. Fondriest fills us in on becoming a dentist.


What Does a Dentist Do?

The field of dentistry is expanding to include things it never did before. At one time dentists mainly diagnosed problems affecting the teeth and gums. Today dentists are involved in the detection of diseases; aesthetic improvements via cosmetic procedures such as complete smile makeovers; surgical restoration of the teeth and gums due to trauma, disease, or other issues; and public education and prevention of dental diseases.


Dentists can attend school for anywhere from six to twelve years or more. In the majority of cases, students must have either a two or four year degree before entering dental school. Dental school is an additional four, and to become a specialist in one of the eight dental specialty fields a minimum of two additional years is required depending on the field.

A dentist’s education consists of such courses as:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Pathology
  • Histology
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinic application
  • Practice management

Dentists are required to pass a national exam to become accredited as well as being licensed in their state.

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.

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