For Indian/foreign dentists to practice in America,DDS is a must and then again DDS is not all that easy. Here is a little information that will help the aspiring ones settle down easily. Certain colleges in the US that offer Advanced Standing Program (DDS/DMD) to foreign trained dentists require at least NDEB (National Dental Examining Board) Part I. Most of these require a score of at least 83-85%. To cut down the competition, the number of applicants and various other reasons some dental schools are also asking for NDEB Part II now.
Now there are certain points that every aspirant should be well versed with, to make it big in the new land. Fortunately, US state boards don't pay heed to the name of the college from where you got a DDS/DMD Degree. To practice in some states, the same is also not mandatory, however they may require you to have had attended at least 2 years of advanced training in dentistry in US... which means that the applicant should have completed a specialty program in dentistry which is recognized (permitted) in US.
ADVANCED STANDING PROGRAM: The dental schools that offer this program have increased in the recent past and the number of seats has also increased consequently. None-the-less, the competition is still high and they look for high scores in NDEB exams.
Although ADP web site does not lists schools that offer the program, sending e-mail to the dental school admission office will help you get all the required basic info. The dental schools provide all the financial help information, when approached.The banks or lender organizations ask for a co-applicant or a guarantor who is an American Citizen or at least a Green Card holder with a good credit.The average annual percentage of these loans range from 6.00% to 9.00% and is dependent upon the Federal Interest rate or another Federal rates published quarterly in financial reports in US. People who are either citizen/Green card holders of US, stand eligible to get the Federal Loan. The loans mentioned above.
US DDS/DMD Aspirants Please Go through this......
The following points need to be taken care of:
1) For NBDE Part 1: Follow simple rules: Study Kaplan Material, which includes Dental Decks; 20 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.
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.
US DDS/DMD Aspirants Please Go through this......
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.
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 85 percentile or more for better future.
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