Did you know that there are over 200,000 dental students in the U.S. right now? You might be thinking about applying to dental school. If so, many potential students have questions about dental school life that they want to know the answers to. Here are some of the most common questions, as well as their answers.
What is dentistry?
Most people realize that dentistry involves teeth, but what you might not know is that dentistry is actually a study of the overall oral cavities and maxillofacial area, as well as understanding their impact on the entire body. Dentists study, diagnose, prevent, and treat oral diseases and conditions. More specialized dentistry includes orthodontics and periodontics. Periodontists, for example, specialize in gum and bone issues and disorders.
Do I need to belong to the dental ADA?
ADA stands for American dental association, and no, you are not required to enroll in the association. About 70% of dentists are members, however, because membership confers certain benefits to the individual including long term professional development, access to the latest research, discounts, and advocacy. During the student years, membership is also very affordable.
What is the top dental school?
There are many top dental schools you can apply to. Some that consistently rank toward the top of dental school lists are the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California San Francisco, the University of Maryland, Harvard University, and the University of Florida. Getting great recommendations by renowned dentists will help, and look to see what specific programs are offering before making a decision.
What is dental school life like?
Trying to envision what the next four or so years will look like? A typical schedule will have a large block of classes five days a week, practical hands on experiences, and a lot of studying. You will probably see the sunlight a little less during this period, but it will, hopefully, be worth it in the end!
What is dentistry for you? Let us know in the comments!