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Please give advice Pre-dental (international high-schooler)

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Purplelel99

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Hello everyone,

I am in my senior year of high school and am following the British pattern system (A-levels) in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics. I plan to become a dentist and work in the US.

I am a US citizen and a Pakistani, and I know I can either do:
(1) 4 year any undergrad in the US + 4 year DDS in the US (Total 7 to 8 years)
Or,
(2) 4 year BDS in Pakistan + (2 to 4 years) DDS in the US (Total 6 to 8 years)

I am leaning towards doing a BDS in Pakistan because (1) I feel like it's a better degree to hold than a random undergrad degree (Which most likely, for me, would be a science degree), and (2) It would probably take me less years to get to a DDS.

My questions:
(1)Is there any disadvantages not doing my undergrad in the US and applying traditionally?
(2) What happens to all the prerequisites I need to complete to get into US dental schools? and the GPA score? are they not required if your undergrad is a BDS?
(3) Do I have to do DAT?
(4) Is there an equivalency process I will need to go through after a BDS? If so, how long is it?
(5) Are my chances to a dental school in US decreased if I do a BDS instead of an undergrad in US?
(6) What exams will I have to do? and are there any extra exams I need to do after a BDS?
(7) what is the equation of being a licensed dentist/ specialized dentist in US with BDS, please correct the following equation if I'm incorrect:
(4 years BDS from Pakistan)+(NBDE part 1)+(DAT??)+(2 years DDS in US)+(NBDE part 2,3)= Licensed dentist

For specialization is the following equation correct?:
Licensed dentist + (US dental school for specialization) + (specializing license exam?) = Specialized dentist?

Thank you for reading my post, any advice would be greatly appreciated! :happy:
 
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kavityking

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Hello! It is indeed a tough decision to make. If you go to the US for an undergraduate degree, you will have to perform very well in order to keep up a competitive GPA, as well as getting a good score on the DAT, to get into dental school. However, if you complete your BDS degree in Pakistan, you will then have the opportunity to apply for the International Dentist Programs (IDP), or Advanced Standing Programs in some universities, where you will re-do 2 or 3 years of dental school again, in order to gain a US DDS/DMD. As with any other program, the IDPs are also competitive to get into, and most (if not all) will require you to have passed your NDBEs before admission. You will also need to have maintained a competitive GPA during your BDS program. After completing the IDP program, and with passing your NBDEs, you are eligible for licensure as a general dental practitioner throughout the USA.

If you are a US graduate, or a graduate of an IDP program, then your equation for specialization is correct, and you can apply for a specialist license all over the USA. If you are a foreign-trained dentist with a US-based specialty degree, then the equation is different. Some states allow you to get licensed as a specialized dentist after graduating from a US-based specialty program even if you did your dental school abroad. Other states are more demanding, and require a US DDS/DMD to practice regardless of where you got your specialty degree. It all depends on what you want to do and where you want to practice in the end.

Best of luck on your dental journey!
 
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oralcare123

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There are two different paths for you, as far as I know.
First is to do all your education in the US, predent and dental school. Advantage would be that you will get usable degree after undergrad and more chances to be admitted to the dental school on your first try
Disadvantage would be that it will cost you much more, compared to the second path. You would have to take DAT
The other way would be to get your BDS degree at home and then apply for the IDP in the US. It should cost less and take less time, but only if you take your study seriously and have high GPA. Make sure your dental school is recognized in the US. You would have to take NBDE 1and 2, TOEFL
1 There might be. Ask on the predent forum and inquire in schools
2 If you already have foreign dental degree you will be applying to the IDP and they don’t need prerequisite courses. Your credentials will be assessed and if they have enough courses and hours, they will be approved
3 Yes, if you decide to study in the US
4 Equivalency process is only available in Canada to get Canadian license. I believe it’s 5 exams and about 15 K in cost, twice a year
5 Yes. Pakistan and India have the most candidates. To keep programs diverse schools limit the number of candidates from those countries
6 For regular program it’s DAT and TOEFL, depends on the school and for IDP NBDE 1 and 2, TOEFL
7 Depends on the school, but most often
Regular: 4 predent + 4 DDS/DMD + 2 specialization
IDP: 4 BDS + 2 IDP + 2 specialization
 
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Purplelel99

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So what I understand is:
* BDS GPA are taken into account (Do you know how it is calculated? or does it depend on the university?)
* I need to take the DAT before applying to IDP (after my BDS)
*Also I have to take both NBDE 1 and 2, before applying to IDP
*There is not equivalency process for US, so I can apply for IDP immediately after BDS (with the DAT, NBDE 1,2 and TOFEL.)

Oralcare123, you say
Advantage would be that you will get usable degree after undergrad and more chances to be admitted to the dental school on your first try
but I feel like a BDS would be more useful than a life scienc/ biomed degree, am I wrong? because I think I can do dental assisting in some states with a BDS.

Thank you kavityking and oralcare123 for replying. :)
 

Purplelel99

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Also If I go through pre-dent in US/Canada and then apply to dental schools in US/Canada, when do I do the NBDE exams?
 

kavityking

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So what I understand is:
* BDS GPA are taken into account (Do you know how it is calculated? or does it depend on the university?)
* I need to take the DAT before applying to IDP (after my BDS)
*Also I have to take both NBDE 1 and 2, before applying to IDP
*There is not equivalency process for US, so I can apply for IDP immediately after BDS (with the DAT, NBDE 1,2 and TOFEL.)

Oralcare123, you say but I feel like a BDS would be more useful than a life scienc/ biomed degree, am I wrong? because I think I can do dental assisting in some states with a BDS.

Thank you kavityking and oralcare123 for replying. :)
You don't need the DAT to apply for the IDP, as it is only needed for admission into the full dental program at US universities. Your degree, NBDE and TOEFL are enough for IDP admission. The "equivalency process" is required before admission, but it is basically all paperwork. You will need to send your transcripts and degree to an evaluation institute like ECE (Education Credential Evaluators) or WES (World Education Services), where they will evaluate everything and will certify that it is equivalent to a DDS/DMD. This will allow you to apply for the IDP program. The credential evaluators will also convert your grades to the US GPA system, which is what the universities will use as reference.

To answer your question on when to take the NBDE, some people take part 1 after they are done with the basic sciences (mostly after second or third year of the BDS program), and then take part 2 after completing the program. Others choose to take both part 1 and 2 after graduation, so it is totally up to you!
 
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oralcare123

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So what I understand is:
* BDS GPA are taken into account (Do you know how it is calculated? or does it depend on the university?)
* I need to take the DAT before applying to IDP (after my BDS)
*Also I have to take both NBDE 1 and 2, before applying to IDP
*There is not equivalency process for US, so I can apply for IDP immediately after BDS (with the DAT, NBDE 1,2 and TOFEL.)

Oralcare123, you say but I feel like a BDS would be more useful than a life scienc/ biomed degree, am I wrong? because I think I can do dental assisting in some states with a BDS.

Thank you kavityking and oralcare123 for replying. :)
In the hypothetical situation when you would not ever be able to get into dental school, US science degree would be more useful, then BDS from Pakistan. Of course, if you plan to live in the US
 
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oralcare123

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So what I understand is:
* BDS GPA are taken into account (Do you know how it is calculated? or does it depend on the university?)
* I need to take the DAT before applying to IDP (after my BDS)
*Also I have to take both NBDE 1 and 2, before applying to IDP
*There is not equivalency process for US, so I can apply for IDP immediately after BDS (with the DAT, NBDE 1,2 and TOFEL.)

Oralcare123, you say but I feel like a BDS would be more useful than a life scienc/ biomed degree, am I wrong? because I think I can do dental assisting in some states with a BDS.

Thank you kavityking and oralcare123 for replying. :)
You don't need DAT for IDP
You can take NBDE while still at your school, I believe second and forth years.
Toefl is valid for only 2 years, so take it just before applying, of course if you are sure to get over a 100
Keep in mind that ECE and WES only do evaluation and only ADA makes a conclusion if your education and your education institution is equivalent to a US degree
 
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Purplelel99

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In the hypothetical situation when you would not ever be able to get into dental school, US science degree would be more useful, then BDS from Pakistan. Of course, if you plan to live in the US
Oh I see.

You don't need DAT for IDP
Ok so I don't need the DAT, so really, there are no 'extra' exams I need to go through just the TOFEL instead of DAT, if I take the BDS route.

Also can I apply for both 'IDP' courses, and normal 4 year DDS courses to increase my chances of getting into dental school?

Thank you for your help :)
 

oralcare123

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Oh I see.


Ok so I don't need the DAT, so really, there are no 'extra' exams I need to go through just the TOFEL instead of DAT, if I take the BDS route.

Also can I apply for both 'IDP' courses, and normal 4 year DDS courses to increase my chances of getting into dental school?

Thank you for your help :)
The “extra” exams would be NBDE parts 1 and 2. Those are going to be your entrance exams. And they are difficult, considering that you take them without going to US dental school first
On the other hand you should keep in mind that IDP programs may be cancelled by the time you graduate. Probably not for the residents, but something to think about
 

Purplelel99

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The “extra” exams would be NBDE parts 1 and 2. Those are going to be your entrance exams. And they are difficult, considering that you take them without going to US dental school first
On the other hand you should keep in mind that IDP programs may be cancelled by the time you graduate. Probably not for the residents, but something to think about
Why would it be extra exams? Doesn't anyone who wants to practice in the US (regardless of there education route) need to do it (just like the USMLE for med)?
Also I haven't found anything online about IDP programs getting canceled in the future :unsure:
 

oralcare123

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Why would it be extra exams? Doesn't anyone who wants to practice in the US (regardless of there education route) need to do it (just like the USMLE for med)?
Also I haven't found anything online about IDP programs getting canceled in the future :unsure:
Because you will have to take them before actually attending a dental school, not during like regular students
No one is going to tell you stuff like that in advance. It is somewhat naive to think that this route will be open forever
 
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