Getting into dental school

Applying to dental school is not a mystery, nor is it a marathon. The key is to prepare. ADEA’s Associated American Dental Schools Application Service (ADEA AADSAS®) simplifies the process by allowing students to submit one single application to all of the dental schools to which they apply.

ADEA AADSAS is available to individuals applying to first-year entering classes at all U.S. dental schools and select Canadian dental schools. The program collects and disseminates verified application information, DAT (Dental Admission Test) scores and letters of evaluation to the schools chosen by the applicant.

The dental school application process can leave students feeling overwhelmed if they don’t prepare. The following tips will ease students’ worries and help them become viable dental school applicants.

Remind students to:

Apply early. ADEA AADSAS opens in June for applicants who are planning to begin dental school the following year. Individuals are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by the end of August.

Budget. Be sure to advise students to set aside money for application fees, supplemental fees for individual dental schools, interviews and a deposit to hold a spot at a dental school.

Thoroughly prepare for the Dental Admission Test (DAT). A critical and sometimes daunting component of the dental school application process is preparing for and taking the DAT. Study preparation can take as long as three to four months.

Double Check the Application is Complete. Applying early is important, but being thorough is better. Most application processes employ rolling consideration—so the earliest applications are the first considered, but only when all materials related to the application are also received. Make sure to remind students to research each school's requirements for coursework, letters of evaluation and receipt of official DAT scores to avoid being in a position where missing documentation prevents an admissions committee from reviewing a student’s file.

Help students to:

Connect the dots on manual dexterity. Precision is key to the work of a dentist. Procedures must be performed by hand on an extremely small scale. Understanding the significance of manual dexterity to a dental career will help students confirm if dentistry is the right fit. Students can find more information on manual dexterity  here

Prepare for dental school interviews. A successful interview can be the deciding factor in a student’s acceptance to dental school. Be active in helping students practice and prepare for their dental school interviews by hosting mock interviews.

Develop a compelling and comprehensive personal statement. Dental schools look for students to communicate their passion for dentistry and their commitment to becoming a dentist in their personal statement.