Dental Expert Answers - Student Doctor Network Wiki

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Below are some frequently asked questions that have been answered by SDN Dental experts.

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How can i easily crack my NBDE part 1 exams easily? I'm very tensed about it?Can anyone help me?


Dental decks and the NBDE Mastery app, followed up by ADA released practice exams, is a fairly tried and true method.

The greatest percentage of tooth loss in the first two decades of life (except natural loss of deciduous teeth) is due to

Please help me to find the answer??



dental school test files?

Hello, I'm a pre-dental student, and I'm shadowing dentists right now. One of my dentists was telling me about how he used "test files" to get through all the tests of dental school, and that his university didn't condone them, but they also didn't do anything to prevent test files. I was wondering, are test files a common thing in dental school, where first and second year students purchase old tests from upperclassmen and use them to study? Thanks!


This should be a question you ask other dental students. I think that the presence of such tests would be subject to the professor's consent depending on where you go.

Questions to ask prospective dental partners/boss as a new interviewing dentist?

Hello! I am a 4th year dental student coming close to graduation and have been wondering what kind of questions I should ask a potential employer. Some basic questions I've already written down are questions regarding the types of patients being seen, what an average day looks like, how many other doctors will be in the office in question... but what is the best way/when is the best time to go about asking about thinks like salary or production of the office? (so I can have an understanding of how the office is doing financially before committing to it)

Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated! Thank you!


Not many dentist experts here, but my father-in-law is a partner in a small practice and has had to interview partners in the past. Let me ask him and return to this question, chiming in with my own feedback as it relates to medicine.


How and when are patients scheduled? How many patients a day am I expected to see? Will there be someone reviewing my treatment plans or do I have clinical autonomy to treat? How will my reimbursement be structured? (ie, % of production or collections, daily minimum) Have you had associates in the past? How long did they stay? What was their typical production per day? Is there a non-compete agreement? How will patients be assigned to my schedule? Am I expected to recruit my own patients or will they be provided? What procedures do you do? What procedures will I be expected to do? Will I have choice of my own lab? Do I pay lab fees?

Hi, I'm very weak in Dental anatomy..can anyone suggest me some good material to deal with?


Here are some extremely helpful facts to memorize for your boards:

Dental school admission

Hi ,

So I did kinda bad in my first and second year ( mostly B's and C+'s with one D and one A) but perfect in my 3rd and fourth year ( all A's and A+'s) I haven't done my DAT yet but I'll try my best to get 22+ (scheduled for this Feb) and I have done dentistry volunteering as well. So would preforming poorly in my 1st and 2nd year lower my chances of getting into dental school or not really. I'm really worried and afraid that I don't get accepted into any dental school :/ I was thinking to stay extra year in my program and repeat all the courses with C+ in my first and second year and the one with D, am really confused and don't know what to do ANY HELP/ADVICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED :)

P.s: Please comment down the universities that you suggest me to apply for....


First, without a doubt, repeat the relevant courses where you got a D. You probably should repeat those courses where you got a C-plus, but getting an A should be the goal. Seek your predental advisors on your campus and get support from professors who have a better understanding of your challenging situation and write you supportive letters when it comes time to apply. Network with some schools where you think you have a great interest in and a strong chance to be considered. There are no guarantees in the admissions process, so get networking.

Medical and Dental School Stipend Program

A United States Army recruiter came to my school talking abiut the stipend program for us students. Students participating in the MDSSP program receive a current stipend of $2,200 per month. After graduation we will be recomissioned as Captains in the Army Reserve Dental Corps. Here is the catch. Military obligation is served in the Army Reserve after completion of dental school. "Participation incurs a one year obligation in the army reserve for every 6 months that the stipemd is received. Once in yiur reserve unit, you are eligible for an annual bonus of $25,000 and a student loan repayment of $250,000.

So if i take the stipend $2,200 every month for four years I am obligated to work one weekend a month for 8 years under the reserve and will be repayed $250,000 in loans.

Has anyone ever done this and can confirm that i will be eligible for the $250,000 loan repayment because some student told me becareful they can trick you if your job title is not on a certain list, you don't get and loan repayment. The recruiter will say yes I do get the money just so they can get me under contract even if i dont get the money. Can anyone confirm that I will get repayed.


I'm sure that the recruiters you talked to have contacts with people currently in the program and those who completed it. Ask them for help on your question.

Dental School SIM Clinic- is my school less organized than others?

I am currently a student at a 4 year accredited dental school in the US. Our ratio of professors to students in SIM clinic is 13.6 to 1. Wait times to have a professor look at your work and get a grade are around 30 min. It makes it hard to get all the required tasks done on time, let alone get help and tips on procedures to improve skills. Is this normal? Do all dental school sin the US have raitos and wait times like this?


It's hard to say because that depends a bit on what you are learning in SIM clinic and what the expertise is of the preceptors. I would ask this question in the Dental forums where there may be students who can give you better advice.

Urgently help needed for applying to dental schools

Hello everyone! I graduated from college in spring 2017 and since I’m off from school. My gpa is combined 3.7 and I majored in business administration for health professions. Previously I was shadowing for medical school but I changed gear to dental school. I started studying for it but due to some family issue I didn’t get to study for the dat completely. I only did pa qr and bio. I started my application but still need to get letters of recommendation, essay, personal statement, and shadowing hours at dentist office plus take the dat. I personally think it would take me 2 months from today to get everything together. Do you think it’s a good decision to apply now and take dat in end of August? Also when is the rolling admission for most dental schools? If I take the dat in the winter for example would I get in school by spring or is there a year gap from taking dat to getting admission? My main issue is that I don’t want to waste another year at home. I really don’t know how it works if I take the dat in the winter or spring then when can I get in school. When would my entire application be sent out? Is it only sent out in june or are they semester based where I can apply for schools in winter or spring rather than waiting till June and then waiting to hear back from schools. I m really devastated at this point n I know that I should have focused and done everything in a timely manner but I had to go back home and circumstances hindered me from studying and I’m back here. TIA


It's always best to check with your prehealth advising office at your undergraduate institution on what you are missing from your application. If you do well on your DAT, then you probably have a solid chance on admission, depending on where you apply and have advantages in the applicant pool (specifically if you qualify as an in-state applicant). Rolling admissions though favors the very prepared, so you might get a late fall or spring interview to be considered for the imminent incoming class (2019), so you would have to make your own decision on whether you are able to submit a strong application in a rush (which isn't easy to do), or wait it out to be a very prepared applicant for the following cycle (2020). Talk with your prehealth advisors and the ADEA GoDental resource to get a better idea of the application process and timeline.

hi i'm a dentist from inida ,want to know if aegd courses help me get license in the us? i'm in north Carolina

are aegd courses legaaly recoginized or dds the only way ?


This is a question specifically regarding licensure in North Carolina, so it varies from state to state. You should ask program directors in AEGD for their advice on this topic.

Dentist from Pakistan, want to practice in USA. Need guidance, please.

I am a dentist from Pakistan who wants to practice in USA. I have used google to look for ways to do just that but I am confused by different vague answers. I would really appreciate if somebody can guide me, step by step, on how achieve my goal of practicing in USA. Thank you for your time


The best thing to do is connect with dental schools in your area and ask about training for internationally trained dentists. Your best bet is networking with peers at local dental societies to see if there is someone in a similar situation to you who found a way to make it through such programs and somehow find you opportunities to keep your skills going.

Can i write that I've been using finger strengthening exercises for 10 years in the manual dexterity section?

As part of training exercises for deadlifting and other power lifts, I have been working on finger strengthening workouts for years and developed great finger strength and manual dexterity. Is this something I should put down in the manual dexterity section of the application?


That's rather unusual, so I hope you have something conventional to balance against it. Most dental school faculty are more concerned (as I observe it) with flexibility of fine motor movement over just strength alone.

Need guidance as i am totally lost

I have just moved to Los Angeles, California and i am dental graduate from INDIA. I have not got my GPA calculated and i fear, it will be on low side as there is a drop of a year in my course due to medical reasons. I am researching to how to go in clinical field. and, the more i read about NBDE and all, the more confused i get. I am also very confused that shall i put time and effort in DDS (which from my understanding in a long process) or shall i go for dental hygienist course or something. i am here on H4 visa, so i also wonder if one can study on that Visa or do i need to work on that too.

i am really lost and desperate for any valuable guidance. any help would be much appreciated.


ADEA GoDental has some resources to help you figure out what to do. Read more about your situation as a foreign-trained dentist at .

Help Applying/Chance Me Please!

I am a current dental student applying to Pediatric Dentistry Residency programs. My GPA is 91.35 and my updated rank has not yet been revealed, however this past semester it was 32/128, pending updated ranks. I have been extremely active in leadership, community service, research, etc. I have also received a lot of awards and scholarships for research, which is also in pediatrics. Letters of rec from director of the peds department at my school, peds faculty, pediatric dentist I shadow, and research mentor, and faculty I worked closely with. I have done three formal externships and two "observerships" in pediatric dentistry. I am planning to apply to 15 peds programs and I would love any input. Thank you!!


I hope that your peds program director writing your recommendation letter and any of the residents in peds should be able to give you a more informed opinion, but I think you should be encouraged if you are getting a strong letter from the director who is writing to his/her peers.

ADEA pass application process

Hello guys, I am a international dentist and I am filling the ADEA PASS application. What is the difference between comprehensive GPA and best result GPA? In my ECE report only appears grade average, so what type of GPA is it? What should I enter in my ADEA PASS application?


Your answers are probably best answered by the ADEA PASS instructions : . Have you contacted them by email or phone to answer your questions?

How long after dds application idp (at unlv, ucla, herman ostrow) do we get notified about interview call?

how many days/months after initial dds application do dental schools normally notify abt an interview? I am an international dentist and planning to apply to UNLV, UCLA and Herman ostrow school of dentistry, but i just want a general idea of when I could supposedly be called for an interview because I won't be in the United States 2 months after the application due to my wedding being held in my native country. Just wanted to know so i could plan accordingly.


Congratulations. I suggest contacting each program and explain your inavailability due to your wedding. Each program does its process a little differently from others.


Hello everyone, any of you know where I can get OMSSAT manuals please?


I think the main website for the exam is <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> , but there is a forum in SDN that might be more helpful: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> if you are looking for exam materials.

Can I go into Dental School?

Hello!I need help please!In first,I studied Law in another country and for that,I got here in USA a bachelor's degree in humanities.Now,I really want to study Odontology, but my question is if I have any possibility to be accepted in Dental School with an under-graduated in Humanities,cause I've been reading that is necesary a bachelor in a sience field.Is that true?Or maybe I need to complete some medical prerequisites?Please,what should I do?I need to know,thank you


You should go to the ADEA GoDental website for more information about applying to dental school. You must have prerequisites and recommended coursework as well as sufficient experience in the profession.

does the release questions of the NBDE form part of the actual exam ?

Hello!I need help please!In first,I studied Law in another country and for that,I got here in USA a bachelor's degree in humanities.Now,I really want to study Odontology, but my question is if I have any possibility to be accepted in Dental School with an under-graduated in Humanities,cause I've been reading that is necesary a bachelor in a sience field.Is that true?Or maybe I need to complete some medical prerequisites?Please,what should I do?I need to know,thank you


The American Dental Association usually has sample questions available from its website.

Should I retake the DAT?

Hi everyone, I just took the DAT last week and I don't know what to do in regards to retaking it. I have nobody to ask and I'm really scared I didn't do well. I was working full time while studying for the test and took it late June 2017. I earned a total science of 18 and average 18. These are my scores:

14 PAT, 17 QR, 18 Reading, 16 BIO, 17 CHEM, 23 ORGO, TS 18, AA 18

I'm really nervous about retaking it because if i repeat it, i cannot take it again until late September, and by that time I will be late already. I have a GPA of 3.8 and have volunteer hours done at a hospital and shadowed a dentist for over 150 hours. A lot of schools I looked into say they desire an 18 or above average, so is it really necessary in my case to retake it? I am just worried because since i am applying in this cycle (to begin class in the 2018 fall) I don't want to be late with applying since I would have to retake it in late September. I really don't want to bother anyone, but I just need advice since I don't know anyone to ask. I really appreciate your help and your advice. Please give me reasoning with your answer/opinion. Thanks in advance!


Most schools will desire 18's or higher on all elements of your DAT scores, which would include your PAT and all subscores (reading, biology, etc.). Some schools place more value in the DAT scores than others, so it's up to you to roll the dice and see if you get any interviews with the scores reported. My guess is that you would better serve yourself if you are confident you could reach consistent 20+'s across your report than to hold with what you have.

foreign trained dentist. residency options in the USA. do not wish to practice in USA

I am a foreign trained dentist. i have permanent registration in my country and two years of post graduate experience. i want to enroll in an Orthodotics residency program in the united states and return to my country, i do not wish to practice in the united states. do i still have to take the NBDE? and what are the options?how much would it cost per year?where do i start?


You will need to contact the departments where you may be interested in, but if you do not have the licenses to practice in the US, you would likely be able to just observe patient care. I'm uncertain if you would be charged anything for observing, but you may need to have records of immunizations or other documentation to give you the opportunity to just observe.

I am a foreign dental graduate, what are the states I can get a permanent dentist licence after completing an operative residency program?

I know that in Michigan, operative program graduates are taking an exam that allows them to take Dentist's license and practice general dentistry.


This is actually a topic in which there is a lot of change and discussion. For the most part you have to still take a licensure examination, but a few states are also making successful completion of a residency program an alternative. You are best served contacting your state dental board or ADEA's Health Policy Institute to see if they have a current list that fits the options you are looking for.

what kind of student am I?

I'm a US citizen, but i was born in the middle east where i am also a legal citizen. 2 years ago, my husband (who is only a US citizen) and I made a spontaneous radical decision to move back to our homeland and attend "the best" med school they have. For the reason being that the tuition is waaaaay cheaper with the cost of living. Eventually we want to transfer our credits back to the US. We gave them all of our (non-medical related) college credits and got accepted to the pre-med program. As of now, we've completed pre med and are halfway in the first year of the dental oriented program (its a english program for foreigners) It's a really bad school, like prehistoric. Although it does have a great reputation, a lot of the best doctors here graduated from this University. But the administration is very unhelpful. I cant seem to get any reliable information for our situation because it seems like there aren't many people who come from America with the intention to transfer back. We want to become dentists, and of course we’re willing to supplement anything this university is lacking once we’re back in America. But where can I get answers? Im more trusting of the American sources than the ones here, every time I try to find an answer to a simple question at this University, I get sent around from office to office, floor to floor… Is there anyone who can give me some advice? maybe a better source to get answers? Also, if anyone knows…. if a US citizen who goes to school in another country then tries to transfer those credits back to the US, are they considered a foreign student? Or since i have dual citizenship, in America AND in the country I am attending school. What would I be considered? (this school only wanted my US passport information since you have to have a foreign passport to qualify for their english program.) in a nutshell… I’m a very lost/confused med student that wants to be a dentist one day, I need some guidance.


I'm not sure if the US dual citizenship places the applicant at disadvantage when it comes to being a US-national, but I suspect it won't.

However, unlike undergraduate courses, transferring credits from a non-US medical/dental program to a US program doesn't happen. Usually dental schools in the United States will have international applicants (in this circumstance) start from the beginning. Citizenship doesn't really matter except for possible financial aid, but none of your previous course credits would apply towards a US degree.

The best resource is the official resources from ADEA: ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools and the ADEA GoDental website.

financial expenses for dds

Approximately how much will it cost to go for nbde 1 &2 and dds in usa? And is it necessary to have a greencard holder as witness while taking loan??


NBDE information can be found at . If you are planning on attending an international dentist program, you may want to go to the websites of the programs to see if there is any information regarding costs.

Indian Dental Student extremely keen on doing Postgrad in the US.

Im currently studying in a dental school in India. Im really interested in pursuing my further studies in the US after completing my graduation in India. ( i.e - Interested in doing my post-graduation in the US)

What exactly do I have to do and what procedures would I have to follow? I just know I will have to answer NBDE parts 1 and 2 and TOEFL. Thats all the info I've got. Dont know the when's,how's,where's etc.

It all seems really daunting right now, but this is a dream I'm not going to let-go of unfulfilled ! :')

Thanking you in anticipation!


You will likely need to gain admission to an international dentist program and apply through the ADEA CAAPID program: .

Studying in México with dual citizenship and practicing in the U.S

As a student I want the best education I could get. Been Mexican and a U.S citizen I have the blessing to study in the country of my preference. With this in mind, I have made my choice to stay in Mexico. My only concern is that I still want to practice dentistry in the U. S, I dont know if that is possible. Can I?


It's possible: you would have to train in the US for at least two years in an international dentist program before you can get licensed to practice in the US, so you'd spend another 2 years of training paying tuition (which is normally higher than traditional DDS/DMD tuition). You also have to still pass the NBDE before you can enter an international dentist program.

C & D in my transcript

I have only one C and on D grades in my transcript, and most of my grades are A with some B. Both thoes C, I had them from the same proffessor who I had a racial and religious argument with him that he dragged me into it. Unfortunately, he gave those grades later. How should I explain having them if they asked me in interview about it? I don't feel ok talking about him even if he hurt me.


I would ask your other evaluators (really the one you most confide in) on how you might best discuss the situation. You have to be very upfront and honest, but you may want to run by your answer in practicing with your evaluators or other advisors. If you never brought the situation up with your department chair for the course offered, then there's not much you can do.

When should I send my supplemental materials after completing my application?

Is it important to send the supplemental information as soon as possible or can I wait until nearly the due date to send it in?


The most competitive candidates usually send requested additional materials within a week and never wait until the due date. Interview slots are filled first-come first-served in most cases, so waiting to send additional materials puts you at risk of not getting a spot because you waited.

Dental Application Question / Opinion Needed

I am a BS Psych Major, Bio Minor; non-traditional student, 27yo - attended Stony Brook University after a 6 year gap between HS and freshman year. In my gap years up until present I have been a chairside dental assistant (general, endo, peds, oral surgery). Sci GPA 2.77, Cum GPA 3.04; have not taken the DAT yet (august 2016) applying this cycle.



You can always have hope, but you also must have a realistic view of how challenging it is to be a dentist. If you're just limiting yourself to being enrolled by this time next year, yes, it will likely be a challenge unless you really understand why you want to be a dentist. The profession wants individuals who truly can be successful caring for others' oral health needs, running a business, deep understanding of health and wellness, and strong hand skills. I am not sure what classes you have been able to take, but the bioscience coursework you have taken to prepare you for the intensity of classes you'll have in dental school is going to be something the schools will also likely focus on.

As such, you really need to be sure you have a supportive yet very realistic mentor to help you. If you are planning on applying in two or three years, your hope may be sustained with solid progress in biomedical science courses in a postbac program that is designed to strengthen this deficiency, especially with your science GPA.

Best 4-Year Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Programs?

Can anyone provide feedback as to the best 4-year oral surgery programs. Looking for a good broad-scope program! Any advice is appreciated! Thank you in advance!


Why are you looking at just 4-year programs? Have you talked with any oral/max surgeons their advice and why?

What should I major in if I want to go to dental school?

I want to go to dental school. Should I choose a science major or liberal arts?


There is no gateway major to get to any health professional program, but a strong foundation in biomedical sciences is required. Most dental schools generally favor well-rounded academic applicants as your skills in dentistry also depend on your aesthetic creativity; manual dexterity; management of self, finances, and others; and ability to empathize and connect with a diverse group of patients, health care providers, and peers. To this end, you will see many dental school prerequisites recommend sociology, psychology, statistics, art/music, or even business courses for strong consideration.

How much does it cost to go to dental school?

Besides the obvious things like tuition, what are the expenses I should anticipate? And how can I limit the amount of debt I have at graduation?


Every school has calculated its overall cost of attendance, which includes materials, student fees, and estimates for housing and food. It may need to be adjusted depending on other responsibilities you have (maintaining a car, family costs, etc.). You can limit the amount of debt you have by learning to live frugally and making sound financial decisions that limit other extravagant expenses and luxuries.

What’s the difference between a DDS and a DMD?

How does a DDS degree differ from a DMD degree? Does one do more surgery than the other?


Technically and curricularly, there is very little difference between DMD and DDS. The "DMD" is a better representation that dentistry is about taking care of a patient (dental medicine) as opposed to just mastery of surgical techniques (dental surgery).