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
- Apply to dental school. You may be able to apply to your choices by using the American Dental Education Association Application Service. Most dental schools are members of this service, however, it’s best to check with the school.
- Buy a DAT Review Guide
- Take the Dental Admission Test (US) or the Dental Aptitude Test (Canada)
- Visit the schools to which you’ve applied.
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.