Advice to Pre-Dentals!

One of the biggest steps toward your dental education is the process of preparing for and applying to dental school. As a current D1 coming out of this process pretty recently, I remember how overwhelming but incredibly exciting of a time this was! As this application cycle slowly gets closer, here’s just a few of the many things that I would keep in mind as a pre-dental getting ready to apply to dental school! 

  • Be involved in a wide variety of things that you are passionate about!
    • It might seem like dental schools care the most about dental-related experiences, like lots of shadowing, and while this is definitely important to make sure that you know what the career is like, it’s also equally important to show dental schools what makes you a unique applicant through the things that you are truly passionate about. Be involved in a variety of things, from dental experiences to completely unrelated experiences, and schools will see your passion through the things that you do.
  • Start preparing early so you can apply early!
    • I know everyone says to apply early, but they do because it’s actually important! Don’t wait till the last minute to start your personal statement, collect letters of recommendation, or take your DAT. Applying early increases your chances of landing an interview at your top schools, so try to make sure that one part of your application isn’t holding back the whole thing! You can collect letters of recommendation in advance and hold them securely on websites like Interfolio, and continually work on editing your personal statement so you can have something you are truly proud of to submit.
  • Talk to dental students from schools you are considering to know what the school is like!
    • I knew I wanted to go to UCSF for dental school since my first year of undergrad, and even so, I still talked to current students before fully committing to the school. Where you receive your dental education will completely shape your experience, and every student wants something different out of dental school. Whether you are focused on a specific specialty, passionate about Public Health, interested in research, or whatever the case may be, you want to know that the school you decide upon is one that will fit your needs and interests.
  • Finally, enjoy the process!
    • Applying to dental school might seem overwhelming, but looking back on it, it is really one of the most exciting times as a student. Try not to get too stressed out or compare yourself to other applicants. Every applicant will have a different experience going through this process, but everyone ends up where they’re supposed to be.