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Dental Assisting

Dec 5, 2019
Is dental assisting that beneficial for an update as a re-applicant? I feel that I’m already a very well rounded applicant, but how big of a difference can this job really be when it’s on your app? I thought of doing a masters but I have a good cGPA/sGPA (3.58/3.43) already, and my DAT is 19 AA/20 TS/19 PAT. This was my second time taking the DAT (first time was 18 AA/18 TS/18 PAT) and I’m not sure if I want to risk taking it a third time just yet with the whole pandemic going on.

Also with this pandemic going on, do you see the average stats for matriculating students dropping, or would it make more sense that it’ll be drastically higher since more people have time to take the DAT?
Last edited:


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2012
  1. Pre-Dental
1. Dental assisting may have been more beneficial in-between your previous round of application because you would be able to 'add-on' to your 2020-2021 application. Still, it wouldn't hurt to assist if you have time. I don't think it would make that big of a difference since I trained someone to be a dental assistant who was already accepted into dental school. The learning curve might be high when you first start now with all these PPE protocols.

2. Schools calculate DAT scores in many ways: most recent, average, and highest score. Unless you truly believe you can get 21+, I rather spend time with other activities rather than study for an exam.

I personally think the DAT scores will still remain the same. With Covid-19, a lot of people's ideal study spots like coffee shops or the library may be closed but the scores are 'scaled' which should account for this. Additionally, university exams may or not be proctored which can skew GPAs.
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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2017
  1. Dental Student
Dental assisting is helpful, but not that much for getting into school. The greatest benefit is when you work in clinic. If you're already familiar with the instruments or procedures that's a plus. However, eventually you'll learn all that so I would work on other things that would beef up your application like volunteering or doing something to show leadership skills.
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Dec 5, 2019
i think if you have free time getting a better DAT score would help way way more than assisting more. but with your stats you could probably make it in somewhere without a retake
I was able to pull 6 interviews with applying in mid-August. I only went to 3 of them for financial reasons. Got waitlisted at all 3. If I was able to pull that amount of interviews, is it really worth retaking it though?
Dec 5, 2019
i think if you have free time getting a better DAT score would help way way more than assisting more. but with your stats you could probably make it in somewhere without a retake
For sure retaking would be a lot more beneficial, but at the same time, there’s a greater risk taking that route. What if I don’t succeed in getting a higher score? I would be lost at that point, as it would be my third time taking it.


Membership Revoked
Jan 12, 2020
My honest opinion is those things don’t matter for the application but it wouldn’t hurt. It is a talking point for the interview. The invite for interview is mainly based on numbers and if the human who saw your app that day was in a good mood and threw your file into the invite pile. Everybody has similar stats so it’s luck of the draw. Nobody likes to hear that but it’s true.


Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2015
  1. Dentist
It’s too late to study and retake the DAT this cycle. So apply asap to give yourself the best chance this cycle. And apply broadly at 15-20 schools (at least 14). And apply smart, at schools who are out of state friendly to people from your state. Like people said before assisting won’t necessarily make your app look better, the primary reason you haven’t gotten an acceptance is likely due to applying late and not attending enough interviews. Borrow money, take out a loan, open a credit card, do what you have to do to pay for this cycle! The second reason is your GPA/DAT numbers are just average. So if you don’t get in this cycle I suggest an exhaustive study for the DAT and retake, which could take 3-6 months of intense study everyday using a variety of resources and strategies for every section.
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