Steps to get into Dental School

In High School

  • Take a college prep course of study. Include math and the sciences.
  • Talk to your guidance counselor about local people which will give you insight into a dental career:
    Dentists, hygienists, dental assistants or dental laboratory owners.
  • Visit with these people and spend time in their offices. Most of these professionals will be excited to help you.
  • Visit the High School section at SDN to network with peers and get specific advice
  • If you have in mind certain colleges to attend, look on their websites for a pre-professional advising department. There you will find links to course requirement lists for pre-health professions students.

Preparing Yourself In College

  • Follow the pre-health or predental course of study recommended by your college. This will include science requirements – usually biology courses, chemistry and calculus.
  • Check with the dental schools where you want to apply for specific courses they will require for admission. You may need to add some courses to meet a school’s requirements. A degree in science is often not necessary.
  • Find your college’s health professions advising committee or pre-professional advising department. You can start by asking in the Biology Department. This committee will help you to assemble the necessary letters of recommendation and help you complete your application process on schedule.
  • Participate in the SDN Pre-Dental Student and DAT Forums to keep up-to-date on the latest news and advice.
  • You may ask or be assigned a member of the committee to be your predental advisor.
  • Visit your own dentist and ask him or her questions about a career in dentistry. Spend a day in his or her office and see what private practice is all about.
  • Check the Dental Students Network Careers Page for links to the American Dental Association, which provides information on dental careers.

When You Decide To Get Serious

Go to the Checklist

After you’ve read these ideas on how to get into dental school, click here to view the checklist for admission to dental school. Then view these selected links for information about dental school and dental careers.
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15 Responses to “Steps to get into Dental School”

  1. Rick says:

    Dentistry is one of the best fields to get into to. There will always be a demand for dentist. Because of the things we now consume, we will always have problems with our teeth.

  2. Kunal says:

    Dentistry is definitely not an advisable career path considering the surplus of dentists already. In the future, dentists will have a very hard time getting jobs. If you want to get into the health profession, study medicine instead and become physician. The salary is better, and you will always be needed.

  3. kevin says:

    hey how to start off as a dentist..is being a dentist good ..do u get pay ..like how mush

  4. Latoya says:

    Dentists do get better pay than general practitioners don’t be fooled… There is nationally a shortage of dentists now as the ratio of dentists retiring each year is significantly larger than the number of graduates from dental schools.. Get your facts straight before you make sily comments

  5. Latoya says:

    If you really want to make such comments, join a Medical Forum instead kumar/kumai. The US and Canada are short on dentists on a whole, so its an excellent career path for aspiring dentists and dental surgeons. I’m a 1st year dental student and also a registered dental hygienist.. I would know :)

    • May says:

      hey im actually graduating as an rdh this may and i was thinking strongly about dental school how did it go? and wat r the steps to take after hygiene?

    • Rhadara Escolin says:

      I’ve been working as a hygienist for 4 years now and I am back at school because I want to pursue dentistry. What steps and advice do you have for me? thanks!

    • Niks says:

      @latoya Cud u guide me,on how do i get to do my dds from the Us,i mean is there any specific exam thai i have to give,as a foreign student? I have already done my bachelors in dentustry and am looking forward to do the masters.

  6. Molly says:

    Do you have to take cal 2 to get into dental school?

  7. cbomb says:

    no, you do not have to take cal 2 to get into dental school

  8. sali says:

    dear sir
    i am a p.r in canada and i have completed my degree in veterinary medicine,but i donot like it and want to change my field and study dentistry.i would be grateful if you tel me what shoul i have to do?
    sincerely

  9. Shilpa says:

    I am considering dental school (next year). I did B.S. in Biological Science (2001), certificate in Biotechnology. I was in Research for about 6 years. Then I got my MBA (2010) – working as consultant (part-time). To be honest, I missed science while I was in Business school. That is why I am considering dental school. Where do I start? I need to take Anatomy and Physiology I and II. Do I also need to take organic chemistry? Its been over 12 years since I had Organic Chemistry. And ofcourse I need to study for DAT. Any recommendation on how to study for DAT. Any advice will be helpful.

    Thank you,

    Shilpa

    • Neha says:

      Hello Shilpa,

      I am in the same place in my career as what you have described. I got my MS in Biotechnology, worked for two years and the got my MBA. I always wanted to be a dental doctor as well but could not develop my career in that direction because of several other constraints. I would really appreciate if I can get in touch with you to learn from your experiences in this direction that may help me kickstart my career in dental as well. If it is OK, could you please let me know your contact number or email?

      Thanks,
      Neha

  10. RDH says:

    Hey Latoya,

    My Fiance is a RDH in Toronto, Canada and shes looking to goto dentistry. How did you do go from RDH to DDS? Are there any “direct entry” programs out there?

    Thanks!

  11. Natalie says:

    I’m a high school student and i plan to major in dentistry i was wondering after high school should i look for a 4 year dental college ad apply there or should i look for a college that does pre-dentistry before going to a four year college?