Students often decide they want to become dentists at different points in their lives—some decide in middle school, while others don’t decide until their third year of college. Whenever you made your decision, you have to be sure to prepare yourself to pursue the dental profession. Shadowing a dentist is a crucial part of confirming your decision to become a dentist.
Shadowing: going to a dentist’s or dental specialist’s office to observe
procedures, learn terminology and techniques, observe different practice
environments and ask the dental professional questions about his or her journey
to practicing dentistry.
Dental schools like to see applicants with shadowing experience, as it shows that the student has a solid grasp of what is involved in the practice of dentistry. Shadowing a dentist will give you the opportunity to confirm and demonstrate your desire to
pursue dentistry and also help you picture yourself as a practicing dental professional.
Here are some questions you could ask the dentist or dental specialist you shadow:
- What do you like and dislike about your work?
- What do you find challenging about your profession?
- Would you still pursue dentistry if you could go back in time?
- What are some of the highlights of your work?
- What gets you excited about coming to work every day?
- If you were not practicing dentistry, what would you be doing?
- How do you balance work and family life?
- Do you participate in any community service?
- If you could change something about the practice of dentistry, what would it be?
- What did you think about your dental school experience? Do you have any advice?
- What was the most challenging aspect of dental school?