The Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT) : What We Know So Far

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Last year, the American Dental Association (ADA) introduced a new exam called the Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT). This was in response to the lack of scores from other standardized dental exams such as the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) Part I/II and the dental colleges having switched to using a Pass/Fail system. Advanced dental/specialty programs are now signing up to use the ADAT as the means to quantitatively compare applicants in an objective manner. Therefore, foreign dentists applying to advanced dental programs and dental graduates applying to specialty programs may have to take this additional exam as a part of the admission process.

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From Engineering to Army Dentistry: An Interview With Army Captain Pamela Cotton, DDS

Army Pledge

Some people know what they want to do with their lives from an early age. Others, like Army general dentist Captain Pamela Cotton, DDS., take a rather twisty path to get there.
Cotton majored in engineering in college, a far cry from her current profession of dentistry. But the real-life experience of her first career quickly fell short. “I worked for a few years as an engineer, and it was nice, I liked it, but it was still the same as sitting behind a desk. I didn’t get to work with a lot of people,” she explained to SDN last fall at the University of California Davis Pre-Health Conference (UCDPHC). “So I decided to go back to school.”

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Maximizing Your Predental Experience

Being a dentist is a lifelong dream for many people. Yet few are able to make this dream a reality. Year by year, the application pool for dental schools has become more competitive, and selection committees have a more difficult time choosing the best candidates. As the number of applicants increase, it has become more vital to stand out from among other applicants. Strategically planning your undergraduate years can significantly increase your chances of acceptance at your dream dental school. Looking back at my experience, this is the advice I would give a friend to maximize the experience and overall results to yield the best outcome.

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How To Keep Calm and Succeed on the DAT

DAT Week

This article originally ran on ASDA’s blog, Mouthing Off, on July 20, 2016.

Is the DAT stressing you out? You’re not alone. Preparing for the DAT is probably the most intimidating part of the dental school application process. But don’t get lost in counting cubes or memorizing reactions! Below are tips on how to succeed at the DAT and stay calm at the same time.

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Dentistr-e Sports: The Intersection of Dental Training and Video Games

Originally published in Contour, March 2017, the magazine of the American Student Dental Association. Learn more at ASDAnet.org/contour.
During a state visit in 2011, Barack Obama was greeted by Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who then handed him a video game. “The Witcher 2” was developed in Poland, and Obama explained it as “a great example of Poland’s place in the new global economy.” The list of video games name-dropped by a head of state is, not surprisingly, short. Most media outlets didn’t report on the gesture, but its impact was tremendous in the gaming community.

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My Top 5 DAT Study Tips

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This article originally ran on ASDA’s blog, Mouthing Off, on Feb. 3, 2016. ASDA encourages all predentals to join us in celebrating DAT Week 2016 and becoming a member of the association. 

Remember studying for the SATs? Or maybe you don’t because you didn’t need to. Now we’re older and smarter, and have made the decision to pursue dentistry as a career. With that though comes its own set of preparation, most notably the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This past summer, I prepped and took the DAT. This exam is certainly no SAT, and anyone who’s set on taking it has to prepare. In my preparations for the DAT, I acquired some helpful strategies and tips that I have compiled into five simple steps to help you succeed on the DAT.

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A Timeline For Your Ultimate Predental Experience

This article originally ran on ASDA’s blog, Mouthing Off, on Dec. 2, 2015. ASDA encourages all predentals to join us in celebrating Predental Week 2016 Feb. 21-27 and becoming a member of the association. 
Yesterday was dental school acceptance day – the first day that dental schools start extending offers. If you aren’t quite at the point where you’re checking the mail for your acceptance letter, here are some tips on creating a compelling application.
There are endless opportunities available for predental students to enhance their applications. Most students are aware of the basic elements needed for applying to dental school: a great GPA, a high score on the Dental Admission Test, dental shadowing hours. These components are surely respected, but there are also other avenues available to leverage your experiences. It is important to discover, participate in, and highlight all potential prospects during your undergraduate career. As an enthusiastic predental student embarking on your journey toward the application and acceptance process, here are several recommendations to consider:

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Dental school the second time around: An IDP student perspective

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Mouth.
Each year, dental schools across the United States graduate students who were already dentists. Coming from different backgrounds and nations, we are termed IDP, or International Dentist Program, graduates. ID Programs in the U.S. are one of the most incorporating and intensive dental programs around the globe. However, the realization of second graduation involves a different set of struggles that the traditional dental student might not be aware of.

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Making a first impression on your patients

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in February 2015 issue of ASDA News.
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Many are quick to judge those they meet, including dentists, based solely on what they see. These initial opinions can be hard to change. Non-verbal aspects like hairstyle, clothing, posture and jewelry are often used when developing these early judgments. Some studies show that people trust appearance cues more than actual information about a person. As dentists, it is important to recognize that patients may draw conclusions about us based solely on that first interaction. What we wear to the office that day could help or hurt our patient-doctor relationships.
Dentists’ office-wear in the United States can range from conventional to casual. If a dentist is employed by another, the owner of the practice will likely dictate acceptable attire. But when self-employed, you make the decision. Some dentists prefer the relaxed ease of scrubs. Others prefer a coat and tie. Most traditional for dentists is the time-honored white coat over classic business wear, while dental assistants and dental hygienists typically wear scrubs. Over time, American dress has become more casual, however, patients can still hold onto their own expectations of professionalism when it comes to their doctors.

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Refuse To Take No For An Answer: How I Got Into Dental School After 6 Tries

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By Travis Barr, DDS

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in December 2014 issue of ASDA News.
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For me, the road to dentistry has been more like a grueling endurance race. The ride consisted of three DAT tests, 19 drafts of personal essays and six application cycles in a row—not to mention three-and-a-half years of chair-side experience as a dental assistant, umpteen semesters of graduate courses and some intensive on-the-job training in the roles of husband and father.
I was not what you’d call an ideal candidate. I started college on a football scholarship as a defensive end in Peru, Nebraska, and I was more concerned with making weight, winning games and having a good time than I was with books and grades. Even after I transferred to the University of Northern Colorado, it wasn’t until my junior year that I started thinking seriously about my future and my academic performance. By the time I graduated the following year, I was proud of how far I’d come. I’d turned my performance around, raising my GPA from 2.0 to 3.2 and earning a biochemistry degree while holding down a full-time job and a tutoring position on campus. I had met the girl of my dreams, and I had set my sights on what seemed to be a perfect career for me: dentistry.

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5 Golden Nuggets of Advice From a 3rd Year Dental Student

 This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared on ASDA’s blog, Mouthing Off.
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School is back in session! You know what that means? Another year of late night studying, junk food binges, red-eye lab sessions and caffeine runs to Starbucks. Each year of dental school presents its own challenges, and it never gets easier. But that doesn’t mean you should be discouraged or stressed over it. Just starting my D3 year, I do not consider myself to be a seasoned dental student. However, I do feel there are a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve acquired over the past two years of dental school that are worth sharing. They have proven to be of benefit not only to me, but also to a majority of my classmates. Here are Jay’s keys to success in dental school:

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Partner Blog Spotlight: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming a Dentist

Mouthing Off is the official blog of the American Student Dental Association. ASDA members post three times each week on topics such as dental licensure, personal finance and student debt, dental school life and dentistry in pop culture. Mouthing Off is almost entirely student written with the occasional post by a dentist or financial expert. Whether you’re a predental trying to get into dental school or you’re a dental student looking for some career advice, Mouthing Off is a great resource to visit again and again. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find on Mouthing Off:

5 things I wish I had known before becoming a dentist

For fourth year dental students, graduation is just around the corner. In this post, the dentists who wrote “So You Want to be a Dentist?” offer some advice they wish they’d had before graduating dental school.

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20 Questions: Andrew Read-Fuller, DDS, MS, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Dr. Andrew Read-Fuller is a dentist and resident with the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital/UT Southwestern Medical Center, with a focus on the broad scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery, including dentoalveolar, orthognathic, cleft and craniofacial, and cosmetic surgery, as well as facial trauma and head and neck cancer. Read-Fuller received his bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University (2005), and, most recently, he is a graduate of the UCLA School of Dentistry, where he received his doctor of dental surgery (DDS) magna cum laude (2011) and his master’s degree in oral biology (2011). He is currently active in the Resident Organization of the American Association of Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Dr. Read-Fuller was active with the American Student Dental Association during his time at UCLA, serving as vice president, executive committee member and president of the UCLA chapter. He has earned numerous honors and awards, including the Dr. William S. Kramer Award of Excellence –Omicron Kappa Upsilon (2010), Pierre Fauchard Academy Scholarship (2010), California Dental Association Foundation Scholarship (2010), Webb Family Scholarship –Outstanding Leadership (2009 – 2011), UCLA Affiliates Academic & Leadership Scholarship (2008 – 2010), and ADA Foundation Academic Scholarship (2008).

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What You Should Know Before Your First Interview

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of ASDA News.
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Interviewing is a stressful experience. Knowing some typical interview formats and the expectations of your interviewer can help put your mind at ease while pursuing acceptance into dental school.

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20 Questions: Jean Paul Schmidt, DDS

Native to Costa Rica, Dr. Jean Paul Schmidt is a practicing general dentist in Heredia, Costa Rica in the Naos Medical Plaza. He is also the teaching dentist for VIDA volunteer, a non profit organization which offers free dental, veterinary, and medical services in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. After graduating from colegio nuestra senora de sion , Dr.Jean Paul Schmidt obtained his DDS from Universidad Latina in 2007. He completed the one year social fellowship through the government, practicing dentistry in an under serve community,Perez-Zeledon.

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My Most Influential Predental Experience

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in June 2013 in mouthing off, The Blog of the ASDA.
As far as career choices go, dentistry has only recently come into my life. As a boy I wanted to be Batman, but over time I realized I wouldn’t have sufficient funds to run my evening escapades (not to mention, keep up the daytime billionaire guise). Then I settled upon engineering. Through engineering, I discovered my true passion for crafting and restoring balance in people’s lives. It was my desire to create that motivated me to make a life changing decision to pursue dentistry.

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20 Questions: Adam C. Shisler, DDS

Adam C. Shisler, DDS, is a dentist in private practice in Houston, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences/zoology from the University of Oklahoma (2006) and a doctorate of dental surgery from the University of Texas School of Dentistry (2012). Dr. Shisler is currently completing a postgraduate pediatric dentistry residency, which he expects to complete in 2014. He has completed externships in pediatric dentistry with several graduate programs, including The University of Texas School of Dentistry (UTSD) at Houston, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and Tufts in Boston.
Dr. Shisler was the president of the American Student Dental Assoc. at UTSD and was acknowledged with numerous awards in 2012, including Texas Dental Assoc. Outstanding Senior Award, International College of Dentists Student Leadership Award, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Predoctoral Student Award, American College of Dentists Student Leader Award, American Student Dental Assoc. Award of Excellence, and Dept. of Prosthodontics Heinz O. Beck Award of Excellence in Removables. Dr. Shisler is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Assoc., Academy of General Dentistry, Texas Dental Assoc., Texas Academy of General Dentistry, and Greater Houston Dental.

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