Oct 1, 2014
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I'm a senior in high school and i want to pursue a career in the dental field, preferably an orthodontist. I'm going through the college process right now. I'm thinking of attending Rutgers, majoring in business administration or criminal justice. I have a few questions though:

What's the average debt coming out of dental school with undergrad school combined?
Do recent grads struggle with student debt?
Is it hard living a smooth life right after dental school or will you have to constantly be on the edge due to the loans?
What's the average pay for newly grads?
 
Apr 25, 2014
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Average debt depends entirely on what undergrad and dental schools you choose. There's a huge range, probably anywhere from 120k (public and public) to 500k+ (private, private).
New dentists do not struggle. You're a dentist. It just takes some years to pay off those loans.
Average pay for new dentists also depends on many factors (establishing a new practice v joining a practice, part-time v 6 days/week). It's not like you get a raise every year. Dentists tend to receive 30% of production (right? please correct me if I'm wrong). After some experience, you'll be able to work faster and increase your production.
 
Oct 1, 2014
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Average debt depends entirely on what undergrad and dental schools you choose. There's a huge range, probably anywhere from 120k (public and public) to 500k+ (private, private).
New dentists do not struggle. You're a dentist. It just takes some years to pay off those loans.
Average pay for new dentists also depends on many factors (establishing a new practice v joining a practice, part-time v 6 days/week). It's not like you get a raise every year. Dentists tend to receive 30% of production (right? please correct me if I'm wrong). After some experience, you'll be able to work faster and increase your production.

Thanks man for the reply :)
 
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Jun 16, 2014
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Don't do criminal justice... LIKE DON'T. Do expect to have a few issues with the DAT since your background won't be strong in the sciences. You'll have to study hard to make up the advantage that science majors will have on you.
 
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Don't do criminal justice... LIKE DON'T. Do expect to have a few issues with the DAT since your background won't be strong in the sciences. You'll have to study hard to make up the advantage that science majors will have on you.

I've been lurking for awhile now, and most threads say that you'll have a better chance of getting into dental school if you dont major in sciences
 
Jun 16, 2014
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I've been lurking for awhile now, and most threads say that you'll have a better chance of getting into dental school if you dont major in sciences
You know those students are a minority right? The majority of students that get in are science majors (which has SEVERAL specific areas). You have a better chance of getting in by doing lots of hours and volunteering in your community than being a business major.
 

grivacobae

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I've been lurking for awhile now, and most threads say that you'll have a better chance of getting into dental school if you dont major in sciences
Not sure if he will have a better chance per say, they don't really prefer a major over another, as long as you complete one you have interest in so that you'll get a high GPA. They do like diversity so it could hold some weight, probably does to an extent though, they won't choose a Finance major 3.4 GPA over a Biology major 3.8 GPA solely on their major difference (all other factors being equal).
 
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You know those students are a minority right? The majority of students that get in are science majors (which has SEVERAL specific areas). You have a better chance of getting in by doing lots of hours and volunteering in your community than being a business major.

Alright, thanks for the info
 
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Not sure if he will have a better chance per say, they don't really prefer a major over another, as long as you complete one you have interest in so that you'll get a high GPA. They do like diversity so it could hold some weight, probably does to an extent though, they won't choose a Finance major 3.4 GPA over a Biology major 3.8 GPA solely on their major difference (all other factors being equal).

Yeah that's what I meant
 

grivacobae

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Yeah that's what I meant
Just choose a major you enjoy and excel, and start volunteer work early, like freshman year early, as well as shadowing if you can fit that in, but GPA always comes first so don't let the other things drag you down. I used to be on the track to Finance major
 
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Oct 1, 2014
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Just choose a major you enjoy and excel, and start volunteer work early, like freshman year early, as well as shadowing if you can fit that in, but GPA always comes first so don't let the other things drag you down. I used to be on the track to Finance major

Thanks bro, my orthodontist said to ask my dentist if I can shadow him but im too shy to ask lol
 
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grivacobae

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Thanks bro, my orthodontist said to ask my dentist if I can shadow him but im too shy to ask lol
Man tell me about it, I wasn't shy asking them over phone but when I went in, I was terrified haha. I just cold called and luckily on my first call the Dentist was awesome about it and let me start shadowing the next week! Aside from shadowing general dentist, you should also shadow your orthodontist, more exposure is always good and also another option when LOR's are gonna be needed. Good luck and go for it!
 
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Man tell me about it, I wasn't shy asking them over phone but when I went in, I was terrified haha. I just cold called and luckily on my first call the Dentist was awesome about it and let me start shadowing the next week! Aside from shadowing general dentist, you should also shadow your orthodontist, more exposure is always good and also another option when LOR's are gonna be needed. Good luck and go for it!

Thanks, going to call my dentist and I see what I can do. Good thing is, he's very young and a recent grad so I'll have better chance of him saying yes
 
Aug 22, 2013
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Definitely would say don't major in criminal justice. It's so far off from dental school prerequisites. If you like science id say major in that because it'll be better dental school and DAT prep and minor in something like criminal justice. Your minors and extracurricular activities can show plenty of diversity. Don't pick a random major just to try to be different. Good luck ! :)
 
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I'd say pick a major that balances inclusion of the pre-reqs so you don't have to use a lot of extra time and that can be applied as a back up in case you don't get into school and/or change your mind later
 

futuredoc2019dds

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Everyone here is right. Dental schools don't "prefer" applicants that are majoring in something that is not a science. However it probably will place a little weight if they are looking at a very similar applicant (similar extra curricular activities, volunteering, shadowing, GPA, etc.) that's majoring in a science. Content is the major key to success. If you have awesome academics, DAT, lots of shadowing and volunteering, and a strong drive to become a dentist that is shown in your application through your personal statement, etc. you should be fine with getting accepted.

Quick note: I know a handful of people that major in a non-sceince because it's an easier major and it would boost up their GPA. BUT you need to remember that AADSAS (the application portal) calculates a science GPA in addition to other GPAs so that schools can see how you do in your science classes compared to those "GPA booster classes". Also, if you do end up pursuing a non-science degree, DO NOT only take the pre-req science courses listed on the school websites. This show that you're doing the bare minimum to try and get into dental school and shows little interest in the science field.
 

Daneosaurus

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Everyone here is right. Dental schools don't "prefer" applicants that are majoring in something that is not a science. However it probably will place a little weight if they are looking at a very similar applicant (similar extra curricular activities, volunteering, shadowing, GPA, etc.) that's majoring in a science. Content is the major key to success. If you have awesome academics, DAT, lots of shadowing and volunteering, and a strong drive to become a dentist that is shown in your application through your personal statement, etc. you should be fine with getting accepted.

Quick note: I know a handful of people that major in a non-sceince because it's an easier major and it would boost up their GPA. BUT you need to remember that AADSAS (the application portal) calculates a science GPA in addition to other GPAs so that schools can see how you do in your science classes compared to those "GPA booster classes". Also, if you do end up pursuing a non-science degree, DO NOT only take the pre-req science courses listed on the school websites. This show that you're doing the bare minimum to try and get into dental school and shows little interest in the science field.
The bolded is precisely why most people major in either chemistry or biology.
 
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I wish I knew what I wanted to do in high school. I didn't realize I wanted to go into dentistry until the age of 32
 

Daneosaurus

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I wish I knew what I wanted to do in high school. I didn't realize I wanted to go into dentistry until the age of 32
I was 20 when I figured it out. However, it wasn't until until I was 25 that I could start working towards my goal.
 

Mascota

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You don't need to major in one of the sciences to be a competitive applicant. The dental schools I interviewed at really liked that I was a Spanish major. I was able to discuss different cultures, beliefs, languages and how they impact dentistry with my interviewers. I even did part of my interview at Case Western in Spanish. As far as the DAT goes, If you work hard and get the right study materials you'll do just fine - it's a standardized exam after all. I got a 22AA/23TS/24PAT - I got nine interview invites (turned down two) and got accepted to six schools. So go ahead major in what you like/what you think will be useful after dental school.

That being said...you'll still need to do a few things to "prove yourself"

1) Take more than just the prerequisites - not just to show schools you're serious, but for your own sake once you're in dental school.

2) Do AT LEAST two semesters of 12+ credit hours of sciences with your majors courses while still getting good grades. This will show that you can probably handle the work load in dental school, which is what the schools really want to see.

Lastly, the 2014 ADEA Official Guide to Dental School shows people majoring in nonscience majors basically have the same if not a higher rate of enrollment than science majors i.e. Biological science major 48.7% rate of enrollment vs Business, Management, Marketing majors 51.6% rate of enrollment.
 
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