I have never been a dental assistant - does this hurt my chances? :(

starsbeneathme

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2016
53
13
Status
Pre-Dental
I am currently applying and I was wondering how important being a dental assistant is. It just seems like most of the people I know who got accepted to/are attending dental school have assisted before (or atleast worked in a dental office in the office). I have never worked in a dental office -- as an assistant or at the front desk.

I have shadowed before, but I am a bit concerned because I definitely, 100%, do not know about the different procedures in dentistry as compared to someone who has worked in a dental office as an assistant or at the front desk. Also, sometimes I don't feel like I know about dentistry as I should :( Since dental assisting seems like such a commonality nowadays I am worried that my lack of experience will show to adcom.

If numbers may help make a difference:

GPA: 3.86
sGPA: 3.86

DAT
AA: 26
PAT: 20
 

Kingfish23

2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2017
513
650
I am currently applying and I was wondering how important being a dental assistant is. It just seems like most of the people I know who got accepted to/are attending dental school have assisted before (or atleast worked in a dental office in the office). I have never worked in a dental office -- as an assistant or at the front desk.

I have shadowed before, but I am a bit concerned because I definitely, 100%, do not know about the different procedures in dentistry as compared to someone who has worked in a dental office as an assistant or at the front desk. Also, sometimes I don't feel like I know about dentistry as I should :( Since dental assisting seems like such a commonality nowadays I am worried that my lack of experience will show to adcom.

If numbers may help make a difference:

GPA: 3.86
sGPA: 3.86

DAT
AA: 26
PAT: 20
:bang:
 
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Quinque

5+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2014
162
88
Status
Pre-Dental
Can't you just talk about what you've seen during your shadowing experience?
 

FanOfCostco

7+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2012
1,242
1,289
Status
Pre-Dental
How much shadowing hours do you have? If you are worried about terminology and such, maybe go shadow a little more and ask questions.
Best thing to learn that can't be taught in a text book is philosophy. As the saying goes, "ask 10 dentist their opinion and get 12 different answers." So ask questions about treatment, why treatment, why no treatment, etc. ask so many questions that the dentist pays you not to come back.
 
Dec 31, 2015
1,137
445
I am legitimately worried because I don't know enough about dentistry and will have a weak interviewwwww. Numbers won't always be a savior
Bro are you kidding me. You really think with your stats you won't get in? Also you're smart enough to know most applicants are undergraduate students with no dental experience other than shadowing so most people are in the same boat as you.
 
Feb 19, 2014
722
831
Minnesota
Status
Dental Student
I am currently applying and I was wondering how important being a dental assistant is. It just seems like most of the people I know who got accepted to/are attending dental school have assisted before (or atleast worked in a dental office in the office). I have never worked in a dental office -- as an assistant or at the front desk.

I have shadowed before, but I am a bit concerned because I definitely, 100%, do not know about the different procedures in dentistry as compared to someone who has worked in a dental office as an assistant or at the front desk. Also, sometimes I don't feel like I know about dentistry as I should :( Since dental assisting seems like such a commonality nowadays I am worried that my lack of experience will show to adcom.

If numbers may help make a difference:

GPA: 3.86
sGPA: 3.86

DAT
AA: 26
PAT: 20
I'm a year into dental school and I still don't know jack about many procedures. Dental assisting can be helpful but is not necessary. Don't fret your stats are great you should have no problems getting in.
 
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starsbeneathme

starsbeneathme

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2016
53
13
Status
Pre-Dental
Can't you just talk about what you've seen during your shadowing experience?
i couldn't tell you the most interesting thing i've seen while shadowing lol..i've seen basic things. but i don't think i've seen a treatment from start to finish because of the spacing of my hours lol
 
OP
starsbeneathme

starsbeneathme

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2016
53
13
Status
Pre-Dental
I'm a year into dental school and I still don't know jack about many procedures. Dental assisting can be helpful but is not necessary. Don't fret your stats are great you should have no problems getting in.
this makes me feel better :')
 

isso1418

2+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2016
142
55
Status
Pre-Dental
i'm from ny, so most of the schools in this state and schools in the northeast-ish area (upenn, uconn, unc, rutgers)
I think youre fine! You have good stats and it isnt common to be a dental assistant. Just relax and Im sure you will get interviews :)
 

Stanelz

RDA-->DMD
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2015
600
975
Status
Dental Student
Being a dental assistant is not so much important when applying to dental school as it is during clinical and after you open a practice in which it gives you a leg up on how to approach various procedures and patients
 
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Dentalco2020

2+ Year Member
Oct 19, 2016
105
57
don't be a PITA and just enjoy the ride. Your stats are fine and you will get in unless there's a huge red flag on your application.
Out of 100 students in my class, only about 5 were dental assistants or hygienists. You don't have to have that experience.

If you do have that experience, it will certainly help you learn certain things like taking radiographs, making models, etc, but it's definitely not a requirement.
 

1ysh

2+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2016
236
158
Status
Pre-Dental
Op, what's your TS
 
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starsbeneathme

starsbeneathme

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2016
53
13
Status
Pre-Dental
I guess it's less about not being a dental assistant, but more about not enough as much as i should about dentistry
 

shwayne

Science.
2+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2016
299
340
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Pre-Dental
lol check this guy out..
 
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Namelessking

2+ Year Member
Mar 5, 2017
75
57
Status
Pre-Dental
I am currently applying and I was wondering how important being a dental assistant is. It just seems like most of the people I know who got accepted to/are attending dental school have assisted before (or atleast worked in a dental office in the office). I have never worked in a dental office -- as an assistant or at the front desk.

I have shadowed before, but I am a bit concerned because I definitely, 100%, do not know about the different procedures in dentistry as compared to someone who has worked in a dental office as an assistant or at the front desk. Also, sometimes I don't feel like I know about dentistry as I should :( Since dental assisting seems like such a commonality nowadays I am worried that my lack of experience will show to adcom.

If numbers may help make a difference:

GPA: 3.86
sGPA: 3.86

DAT
AA: 26
PAT: 20
Extremely important. You're finished. Don't bother applying. Look into dental hygiene school.
 
OP
starsbeneathme

starsbeneathme

2+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2016
53
13
Status
Pre-Dental
I wish i could delete this thread lol. i am actually worried that i don't know enough about dentistry/procedures through my shadowing experiences (which i also attribute to never assisting before). i know i have strong numbers, but wasn't trying to brag. i was wondering whether the numbers could compensate for the lack of knowledge i have and a weaker interview. the interview is my biggest concern (though i hate interviews in general) because I am insecure in the dental-related knowledge I currently have.
 
May 17, 2008
2,922
3,217
Status
Dental Student
I wish i could delete this thread lol. i am actually worried that i don't know enough about dentistry/procedures through my shadowing experiences (which i also attribute to never assisting before). i know i have strong numbers, but wasn't trying to brag. i was wondering whether the numbers could compensate for the lack of knowledge i have and a weaker interview. the interview is my biggest concern (though i hate interviews in general) because I am insecure in the dental-related knowledge I currently have.
They don't really drill you on the specifics of dental procedures during an interview...the purpose of the interview not to quiz you about dentistry, it's to learn about your motivations/personality.
 
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