Introduction to Dentistry


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Introduction to Dentistry

  1. 1. Things I Wish I Knew: Introduction to being Pre-Dental at Penn Penn Pre-Dental ASDA October 4, 2007
  2. 2. What is Dentistry? Definition:―Dentistry is defined as the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment (nonsurgical, surgical or related procedures) of diseases, disorders and/or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and/or the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body; provided by a dentist, within the scope of his/her education, training and experience, in accordance with the ethics of the profession and applicable law. ― (
  3. 3. What is Dentistry?
  4. 4. What is Dentistry Also involves systemic health! – Individuals with diabetes are at greater risk for periodontal diseases – Correlation between quality of life and healthy smile – A dentist can make a preliminary diagnosis of systemic disease because many systemic diseases and conditions have oral manifestations (ex. bulimia, drug use, cancer) US Department of Health and Human Services. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General-- Executive Summary. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, 2000.
  5. 5. What career options are available to a DDS/DMD? Private Practice (Majority of Graduates) Specialties (ex: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Endodontics, more!; ~20% Graduates) Academic Dentistry/Research Public Health Dentistry
  6. 6. Get Dental Experience! Most important in helping you decide on your career! Important to see a range of general dentists and specialists to get a broad view of the profession Contact your dentist, local dentists, county dental societies to find a dentist to shadow Penn Smiles Van  Try to assist if you can! Finally, some schools require shadowing hours or a letter of recommendation from a dentist (eg. Tufts)
  7. 7. Required Undergraduate Courses You can major in whatever you want, but you must complete pre-req’s: – One Year of Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics (all with lab) – One Year of English – One Year of Math (must be at least one semester of Calculus) – Humanities Classes These may be completed in any order, but it is most helpful to have taken the Organic Chemistry lecture before or during your junior year—I’ll explain You may take Orgo Lab (Chem 245) and Physics your senior year, although it is ―safer‖ to finish your prereq’s before senior year—I’ll explain
  8. 8. More on Courses Many Dental schools have additional pre-req’s that are not listed If you decide you want to apply, check with schools as early as possible for specific pre-req’s Biochemistry is becoming an ―unofficial‖ pre-req Business classes now will help you with practice management later—but are not required Study what you’re interested in!!!
  9. 9. The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) Multiple choice, computer based 4 hour 15 mins, plus optional 15 min break Sections: – Survey of the Natural Sciences (SNS)  Biology (40 q), General Chemistry (30 q), Organic Chemistry (30 q) – Perceptual Ability Test (PAT) (90 q) – Reading Comprehension (50 q) – Quantative Reasoning (40 q) – Academic Average Each section and sub-section is put on a 1-30 curve Some schools care about some sections more/less than other schools (ex: Penn and the PAT) No penalty for guessing (not like the SAT or MCAT) Only allowed to take 3x (new ADA rule!)
  10. 10. The ―Numbers‖ Question GPA National Mean GPA’s of 2005 Entering Class First Year Enrollees – Overall: 3.49 – Science: 3.41 National Mean DAT Scores of 2005 Entering Class First Year Enrollees – Academic Average: 18.9 – Total Science: 18.4 – PAT: 17.4 (
  11. 11. More on ―Numbers‖ There is about a ½ chance of getting into dental school, nationally (fluctuates with number of applicants per year) However, for individual schools, the number of applicants/seat varies from about 3 to 40 (Penn ~16)
  12. 12. The Application Process 55 US ADA Accredited Schools One ADA Accredited School in Puerto Rico—Hard to get into Each school has its strengths and weaknesses, and each person has individual preferences… (ex: cost of tuition) Do your research! Application Services – American Association of Dental Schools Application Service— AADSAS – Texas Medical & Dental Schools Application Service—TMDSAS – Handful of schools do not use either of these central services
  13. 13. More on Applying Career Services: – Mandatory workshop – ―Health Profession Advisory Board (HPAB) Packet‖  Committee Letter  At least 3 letters of recommendation: 2 should be science – Personal Statement Help – Strict guidelines to help you get everything in on time Timing is everything when applying to Dental School! (May 15th)
  14. 14. The Interview Show yourself off! Talk about your extracurriculars and dental experience Show off your people skills You’re interviewing the school as well!
  15. 15. You’re Finally In! First round of acceptances go out Dec. 1, rolling after Basic Dental School Curriculum: – First two years are didactic and not so much clinical – Last two years are mostly clinical – University of the Pacific3 year program National Boards: Part I after 2nd Year and Part II after 3rd Year Residency only required to practice in some states
  16. 16. Any Questions?? Feel free to e-mail the board any additional questions: Check the links on the web site: Stay tuned for the Dental Sibling Mixer event and for updates on the Penn Smiles Van!!!
  17. 17. Thanks forComing!