La Miraflorina

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Hi,

This is the first time I've wandered over to the Dental forums. Actually, very recently, I've been considering going into dentistry instead of medicine. I know absolutely nothing about the application process, DAT, school length or curriculum or even the difference between DDS and DMD. Can anyone explain all of this to me?!?

Thanks :oops:
 

IWuvTeef

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before you even consider applying, you should shadow a dentist to see if you actually like it. you wouldn't want to be stuck in a career you'll end up hating...
 

mobius

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I think medicine is the way to go... no doubt about it you are on the right track. I try to encourage everyone that is premed to stay on track, dont get sidetracked by other fields such as dentisry. besides as everyone knows they have the highest suicide rate :)
 

ecdoesit

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Definitely get tons of dental office shadowing time.
Otherwise, you will get slammed by adcom(admission committee) at the interview.
This is an important decision to make.
You may want to share why and why not you want to be a physician and dentist.
Dentistry is somewhat different than medicine, as people will point out.
 

Sprgrover

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La Miraflorina said:
Hi,

This is the first time I've wandered over to the Dental forums. Actually, very recently, I've been considering going into dentistry instead of medicine. I know absolutely nothing about the application process, DAT, school length or curriculum or even the difference between DDS and DMD. Can anyone explain all of this to me?!?

Thanks :oops:
There are lots of past threads here dedicated to the same topic as your post. I'll fill you in on some simple details, though. You don't have to have a degree in biology to matriculate into dental school and the prereqs for it are almost the same as medical school. Dental schools aren't ranked, so if you decide to go onto dentistry you'll have to do your own homework as far as which school will be right for you - and I don't advise you make a posting on here asking members to rank schools or prestige as it will only result in a hailstorm of egos and opinions. The DAT is the four-hour long aptitude test that all applicants must take, and it is available for you take almost every day of the year. If you have questions about it, its content and layout, seek out Kaplan's DAT blue book (available at Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc.) as it is laid out in the same format as the test. You're not tested over physics but there is a Perceptual Ability Test (the dreaded PAT) which is more difficult and mind-boggling than what Kaplan makes it out to be. Despite what some dated material might say about a 17 being 'the avereage' score for the DAT, try to aim for a 19+ as average DAT scores have been increasing for the past few years and a 17, or even an 18, just aren't cutting it like they used to. Dental school is four, long years (only the University of the Pacific has a three year program). Dental applicants must send one application to a central clearing house called AADSAS (American Association of Dental School Application Service) which usually does a good of messing things up for a high price. Unfortunately you have to go through them as every U.S. dental school utilizes their service and waits for your application to arrive from them. Once in dental school the first two years are usually spent dealing with science courses and a bit of clinical experience, then the remaining two years are mostly dedicated to the clinical sciences and other aspects of dentistry. I have heard from people both on SDN as well as out in the off-line world that dental school is more difficult and time consuming than medical school. An oral surgeon explained it to me as simply collapsing the eight years of medical school into four. After you have taken parts I & II of the national boards you will graduate with a DDS or a DMD depending on which your school uses. There is no difference at all between the two, it merely represents two ways to call the same thing. One does not have more clinical experience than the other, etc. Currently there are no mandatory residencies in dentistry, although residencies in general dentistry do exist and are very popular with some students. As other posters have pointed out, if you are considering a career in dentistry one of the first steps you should take (other than joining us in this corner of SDN) is to go shadow a dentist. Watch him/her at work, ask questions about the lifestyle, commitments, postivies and drawbacks to the profession. Ask him/her about the dental school experience, what classes would be best to take during your undergraduate years in preparation for the road ahead, how to prepare for interviews and navigate the application process. I learned a lot from the dentists I shadowed and they really helped to point me in the right direction. If you have any questions about some of the things I listed run a search as everything that I mentioned has been discussed at length sometime in the past on SDN.

I'm excited about my future career and I hope you make an informed decision you'll be happy with years to come. I wish you the best in your future endeavors and decisions! :thumbup:
 

Tzips

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La Miraflorina said:
Hi,

This is the first time I've wandered over to the Dental forums. Actually, very recently, I've been considering going into dentistry instead of medicine. I know absolutely nothing about the application process, DAT, school length or curriculum or even the difference between DDS and DMD. Can anyone explain all of this to me?!?

Thanks :oops:
Some really quick answers:

Application process - pretty much the same as for med schools, except you use AADSAS instead of AMCAS. Same lousy service though :rolleyes:. The secondaries fees are a weensy bit cheaper, though.

DAT - bio/chem/ochem similar to MCAT, if a bit easier; no physics; reading comp section is just reading and questions, no essay; has a PAT - perceptual ability test - that the MCAT does not.

School length - four years (with the notable exception of UoP, which is three) plus residency. As of now a residency is not required in most states (besides NY and CT, I think, which require a 1 year GPR/AEGD before you can practise).

Curriculum - In most schools the layout is something like two years didactic (which may be harder than years 1 and 2 of med school, because some d-schools require you to know all the med stuff plus exttra dental) followed by two years of clinic.

Difference between DDS and DMD - absolutely none, it just depends on which "type" each school has historically given out. This has already been discussed in (too much) detail on this thread.

BUT, before you even consider doing something this major, take IWuvTeef's suggestion and go shadow a dentist to see if you'd really prefer it over medicine. This is too important a decision to base on feelings or hearsay alone. If, after much research, you DO think that dentistry is right for you, come back here and we'll give you better answers.
 

Tzips

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Oops, Sprgrover, looks like we both had the same idea :D ...

So, what he said, with just one correction: by 2009, NYS will require at least a one-year GPR/AEGD in order to get a lisense, and I think CT will as well. Sigh.