D1Bound

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Hello I was wondering if some people could give me advice about how "hard" dental school is. I recognize it's what you make of it and if you want to specialize then it is all the more rigorous because one must worry about grades. In undergrad, one must seek to answer the "why" question and apply knowledge for tests. Is dental school tricky like this? Or is it straight forward facts to memorize and know? Thanks
 
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Roy Williams

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Lots of memorization. The info isn't "hard" to conceptualize, what's hard is just the amount since you're in so many classes at once. So far it is a lot (more studying than undergrad for sure), but I'm not stressed and am keeping up with things without too much struggle. Still have time to do something fun a few times per week. Heard next semester is the hardest though so we'll see what happens.
 
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DOC YANKEM

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Completed my Summer semester with flying colors. Currently, 11 days into my Fall semester and I need to get used to the new schedule.

A little background before my acceptance; I double majored in Biochemistry and Philosophy in a four year undergraduate university. I received a full scholarship, because of my specialized high school credentials LOL. I applied to only New York dental schools, excluding Columbia due to personal reasons which I won't explain. I was accepted to NYU, Buffalo, Touro, but waitlisted at Stony Brook.

As a former Pre-Dent student, I knew Dental school would be a different beast. However with my prior undergraduate curriculum and high rate of acceptance for Graduate Schools, I BELIEVED that I would be well prepared. Touro had multiple medical schools and used their medical school professors to teach the dental classes in the science core classes (e.g. Biochemistry, Physiology, and etc.) BOY... some of the professors are TERRIBAD like any other academic institution. I had one professor who talked at the speed of a moving snail and another professor talking like a rap god. Luckily, most dental schools record the lectures and you are able to speed up or slow down the video. Touro paid another company to transcribe the lectures, and reading is a lot faster than watching...

I have to say that all classes will require you to memorize a fair amount of material. For quizzes, I can safely say 30-50 powerpoint slides was the average. Most exams were cumulative, but the ones that were not are in the science core classes like Biochemistry was easily 600-700+ powerpoint slides(12-15 lectures) per exam. Half of the classes are spitting back information and unfortunately whoever can remember the most in a few days before the exam will get the best scores such as "Growth Development and Aging" and Biochemistry. There will be SOME questions in a case scenario such as "A 62 year old male with myasthenia gravis experienced muscle weakness and took a drug prior to hospital admission. After discontinuation of the drug, his condition improved. What is the drug?" These type of questions will require you to not only know the details but also applying the knowledge. In theory, dental schools want to prepare you to be a dentist who is capable of assessing and treating as many patients. Just put in the work and be efficient in what you do on a day to day basis.
 
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SmileItsLife

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Completed my Summer semester with flying colors. Currently, 11 days into my Fall semester and I need to get used to the new schedule.

A little background before my acceptance; I double majored in Biochemistry and Philosophy in a four year undergraduate university. I received a full scholarship, because of my specialized high school credentials LOL. I applied to only New York dental schools, excluding Columbia due to personal reasons which I won't explain. I was accepted to NYU, Buffalo, Touro, but waitlisted at Stony Brook.

As a former Pre-Dent student, I knew Dental school would be a different beast. However with my prior undergraduate curriculum and high rate of acceptance for Graduate Schools, I BELIEVED that I would be well prepared. Touro had multiple medical schools and used their medical school professors to teach the dental classes in the science core classes (e.g. Biochemistry, Physiology, and etc.) BOY... some of the professors are TERRIBAD like any other academic institution. I had one professor who talked at the speed of a moving snail and another professor talking like a rap god. Luckily, most dental schools record the lectures and you are able to speed up or slow down the video. Touro paid another company to transcribe the lectures, and reading is a lot faster than watching...

I have to say that all classes will require you to memorize a fair amount of material. For quizzes, I can safely say 30-50 powerpoint slides was the average. Most exams were cumulative, but the ones that were not are in the science core classes like Biochemistry was easily 600-700+ powerpoint slides(12-15 lectures) per exam. Half of the classes are spitting back information and unfortunately whoever can remember the most in a few days before the exam will get the best scores such as "Growth Development and Aging" and Biochemistry. There will be SOME questions in a case scenario such as "A 62 year old male with myasthenia gravis experienced muscle weakness and took a drug prior to hospital admission. After discontinuation of the drug, his condition improved. What is the drug?" These type of questions will require you to not only know the details but also applying the knowledge. In theory, dental schools want to prepare you to be a dentist who is capable of assessing and treating as many patients. Just put in the work and be efficient in what you do on a day to day basis.
Was Biochem hard for you in dental school even though that was your major in UG?
 
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DOC YANKEM

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Was Biochem hard for you in dental school even though that was your major in UG?

Even though I was Biochemistry major in Undergraduate, most of the material were familiar. I had an "edge" over most of my classmates, but I still had to go through all the material. There were a lot of information that I did NOT know such as diseases, drugs, and contemporary dental related information. Some contemporary case studies mentioned in class were mere speculation because more scientific research was currently underway. One example is how Diethystilbesterol can be stopped in the inheritance cycle including third generations. Another example is a hypothesis for Parkinson's disease is caused by a defective E3 ligase resulting in an accumulation of neurotoxic proteins.

It's absolutely crazy how fast science is advancing faster than we can comprehend. Within a decade or even less, our scientific knowledge will either be incorrect or outdated. Part of becoming a dentist is having the ability to constantly learn.
 
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I agree with @Roy Williams the difficulty really comes with the amount of classes not so much the content.

Dental school isn't so easy that you can do nothing and still pass, but it isn't so difficult that people drop out left and right despite putting in a lot of effort.

It might be hard at first but after you get used to dental school it becomes more of an annoyance if anything IMO.
 
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TherealnorthOMFS

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The difficulty also depends on whether you want to specialize or simply become a gp. If your goal is gp then you dont have to worry about class rank, making your experience relatively less stressful.
 
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DOC YANKEM

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I agree with @Roy Williams the difficulty really comes with the amount of classes not so much the content.

Dental school isn't so easy that you can do nothing and still pass, but it isn't so difficult that people drop out left and right despite putting in a lot of effort.

It might be hard at first but after you get used to dental school it becomes more of an annoyance if anything IMO.

I'm not sure how many classes other dental schools are providing in a normal Fall/Spring Semester. Touro is 5-7 classes, depending if you count lecture and lab separately. It's not hard to pass, just study a few hours the night before the exam. There were times when I study 10+ hours a day for several days before the exam and received low 90s. I can't imagine how much it takes to study in order to get consistent 100s.
 

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Fall semester D1s at my school take 11 classes their first semester. That's not including lab or seperating lab and lecture. I could study the night before for some classes but for others it was just too much info to go through in one night if you're seeing the information for the first time.
 
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Roy Williams

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I'm not sure how many classes other dental schools are providing in a normal Fall/Spring Semester. Touro is 5-7 classes, depending if you count lecture and lab separately. It's not hard to pass, just study a few hours the night before the exam. There were times when I study 10+ hours a day for several days before the exam and received low 90s. I can't imagine how much it takes to study in order to get consistent 100s.
We take 7 classes in first, second, and summer semesters of first year and then take boards after summer semester ends. (So 21 classes total first year - not including labs as separate classes)
 

blablabla1

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It's easy if you study everyday and don't mind putting the effort in to study.

Basically if you have good time management and are willing to study for the vast majority of your free time, the exams themselves are easy because it's more content than comprehension
 
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D1Bound

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The difficulty also depends on whether you want to specialize or simply become a gp. If your goal is gp then you dont have to worry about class rank, making your experience relatively less stressful.
What about the GPR and AEGD specialties? Are the difficult to get into? I know that Ortho and OMS are the hardest. Right now all I'm after is to be a general dentist and dabble in some advanced procedures. I haven't ruled out perio, endo, etc. completely but I don't think I'm willing to go to much more schooling beyond the 4 years of dental school.
 

FanOfCostco

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What about the GPR and AEGD specialties? Are the difficult to get into? I know that Ortho and OMS are the hardest. Right now all I'm after is to be a general dentist and dabble in some advanced procedures. I haven't ruled out perio, endo, etc. completely but I don't think I'm willing to go to much more schooling beyond the 4 years of dental school.

Gpr and aegd depends on the program. There are some easy ones and there are hard ones. For example VA programs are harder than some middle of no where ones.
 
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I think one of the toughest parts is balancing tons of memorization and trying to learn hand skills. Two very different types of learning.
 

8_man

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ez pz lemon sqz
 
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I either have a lot of free (procrastination) time, or I'm in for a rude awakening when we take Block 1 exams next week
Maybe you should work on a second degree with that free time? During dental school, I had time to earn my ph.d in league of legends in 4 years. I brag to my patients about my double doctorate all the time.
 
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SmileItsLife

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Maybe you should work on a second degree with that free time? During dental school, I had time to earn my ph.d in league of legends in 4 years. I brag to my patients about my double doctorate all the time.

Haha. My younger bro in high school Is attempting to get his masters on LOL right now
 
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8_man

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Haha. My younger bro in high school Is attempting to get his masters on LOL right now

I might need to drop out of my LoL masters program, im stuck in D5 elo hell
 
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ncide

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Thing about dental school is you don't really know if you have good hand skills or not. You can generally bridge the gap with hard work, but that's generally at the expense of your other schoolwork.

I know of some straight-A students that failed or nearly failed operative (about 20% of my class did before it was curved).

Then time management is the issue. Once the year is in full force, you will have several exams or practicals a week. Last week I had an exam on Tuesday, a practical on Wednesday, an operative skill check on Wednesday, an exam on Thursday, an exam on Friday. I will have a practical on Monday and Tuesday this week and another operative skill check on Wednesday, a quiz on Thursday, and an exam on Friday. Then we go at it with more exams and practicals after that week. It is marathon.
 
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ncide

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So I will have time to become a grand master in overwatch while in dental school???

All about that PUBG. Couple of my classmates play Overwatch. Gonna jump into Destiny 2 when it hits PC.
 
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blablabla1

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Thing about dental school is you don't really know if you have good hand skills or not. You can generally bridge the gap with hard work, but that's generally at the expense of your other schoolwork.

I know of some straight-A students that failed or nearly failed operative (about 20% of my class did before it was curved).

Then time management is the issue. Once the year is in full force, you will have several exams or practicals a week. Last week I had an exam on Tuesday, a practical on Wednesday, an operative skill check on Wednesday, an exam on Thursday, an exam on Friday, and I will have a practical on Monday and Tuesday this week and another exam on Friday. Then we go at it with more exams and practicals after that week. It is marathon.

I think your class is the exception rather than the norm when it came down to Operative though.

D2 definitely is rough
 

ncide

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I think your class is the exception rather than the norm when it came down to Operative though.

D2 definitely is rough

Other classes struggled too. Baechle is tough, and you guys will see as the year progresses. Luckily for you guys Brooks retired.
 

SmileItsLife

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Thing about dental school is you don't really know if you have good hand skills or not. You can generally bridge the gap with hard work, but that's generally at the expense of your other schoolwork.

I know of some straight-A students that failed or nearly failed operative (about 20% of my class did before it was curved).

Then time management is the issue. Once the year is in full force, you will have several exams or practicals a week. Last week I had an exam on Tuesday, a practical on Wednesday, an operative skill check on Wednesday, an exam on Thursday, an exam on Friday, and I will have a practical on Monday and Tuesday this week and another exam on Friday. Then we go at it with more exams and practicals after that week. It is marathon.
You're schedule is intense! How do you manage?
 
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DOC YANKEM

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Thing about dental school is you don't really know if you have good hand skills or not. You can generally bridge the gap with hard work, but that's generally at the expense of your other schoolwork.

I know of some straight-A students that failed or nearly failed operative (about 20% of my class did before it was curved).

Then time management is the issue. Once the year is in full force, you will have several exams or practicals a week. Last week I had an exam on Tuesday, a practical on Wednesday, an operative skill check on Wednesday, an exam on Thursday, an exam on Friday, and I will have a practical on Monday and Tuesday this week and another exam on Friday. Then we go at it with more exams and practicals after that week. It is marathon.

Sounds pretty much like any other dental school. There will always be many weeks of having quizzes/exams/practicals every day. Expect to fail at some point in the four years, but stay positive and enjoy the journey.
 

DOC YANKEM

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Everything so far seems manageable. It's actually not that bad until you realize you haven't touched dental anatomy

I thought Dental Anatomy and Occlusion wasn't too bad... Just know the KEY characteristics of each tooth(with the exception of the 3rd molar) and the general trend as you go posterior from the central incisors. There will be some exceptions, but if you constantly look at teeth then it will make more sense.
 

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For me, if I think I'm specializing or not, I have to put in the same amount of effort. For some classes, it's impossible not to. You can't just say "oh I'm not specializing so Im going to shoot for an 80 and only study X, Y, Z". Most of this stuff is bio or anatomy, meaning it's memorization for the most part. You don't know what they might ask, and you either know it or you don't. Either way, at least for the important tests, I think you have to put in about the same effort as all the other students. When it comes to quizzes, homework assignments, sure I guess you could blow those off and still do ok. However, why would you want to?? Those are usually the easy points!
 
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For me, if I think I'm specializing or not, I have to put in the same amount of effort. For some classes, it's impossible not to. You can't just say "oh I'm not specializing so Im going to shoot for an 80 and only study X, Y, Z". Most of this stuff is bio or anatomy, meaning it's memorization for the most part. You don't know what they might ask, and you either know it or you don't. Either way, at least for the important tests, I think you have to put in about the same effort as all the other students. When it comes to quizzes, homework assignments, sure I guess you could blow those off and still do ok. However, why would you want to?? Those are usually the easy points!



Great point here. I know when I went to dental school .... I was looking to be a GP. 2 years in .... I realized I did not care for GP procedures and I really enjoyed what the orthodontists were doing. Luckily I had Aggietxdent's attitude. Hence went to ortho residency.

Point is .... don't burn your academic bridges by "sliding" or "just getting by". Do the very best that you can so that you will have options .... if you need them later.
 
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Michael_Scott

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Dental school is hard. not impossible.
if you get into dental school, then you can handle it.
You just need a good support group of friends or family. Thats more of a determining factor in getting through dental school.
You can't get through as a loner because you need to chill with family or friends every now and then to relieve stress. Also, friends help you study and you help them.
So..in short, dental school is hard but nothing crazy.
 
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Big Time Hoosier

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Does anyone here know anyone with kids and are in dental school? Particularly a toddler?
This will definitely up the difficulty factor. Trust me. But, it is still doable. You will have to become a master of time management. Regardless of what's happening in school, never forget to make time for your family!

Big Hoss
 
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Daneosaurus

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Does anyone here know anyone with kids and are in dental school? Particularly a toddler?
I have 2 kids, ages 9 and 6. My wife is also in a graduate program. It is definitely intense.
 
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Incis0r

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Dental school is hard. not impossible.
if you get into dental school, then you can handle it.
You just need a good support group of friends or family. Thats more of a determining factor in getting through dental school.
You can't get through as a loner because you need to chill with family or friends every now and then to relieve stress. Also, friends help you study and you help them.
So..in short, dental school is hard but nothing crazy.

This is huge. A good support network can make a very big difference in helping tackle and making those four years very doable.
 
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