Sep 20, 2017
Dental Student
Hey SDN,

This might not be the right place to post this, but I'm sure there're some dentists roaming this sub-forum and perhaps a few pre-dents/dental students who may be knowledgeable on this particular matter.

So I just found out that one does not have to specialize right out of dental school. Kind of shocked right here.

A couple questions:

1) Do you guys think it'll be better to specialize immediately after dental school or after working as a general dentist for a couple years? Obviously the norm is the former, but I'm sure there are advantages working as a general dentist for a couple years to see what you're comfortable with. Anyone have plans or presently have waited for few years before specializing?

2) While I'm not too keen on specializing right now, I do want to keep my options open. Everyone says that you have to "gun" to specialize. School just started and I'm looking at a few B's... Is specializing even at option at this point if I'm determine to do better from here on out?

3) I also just heard about the ADAT, and I believe it's a new standardized test. A few schools require it while some school will consider it if you want to enter their specialty program. If this test becomes more mainstream, do you guys think it'll help applicants like me (more average) by offsetting GPA (similar to dental school admissions with the DAT)?



7+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2012
You don't need to specialized right after school. I know a good amount of people who spend a year or two as gp to see what is out there before committing.

Yes you can still specialize with B. You just need to keep your gpa up. Being active in asda or ADEA would be good too because you can network at conventions and such.

Adat will help. It's just like applying to dental school again except the worst thing that can happen is you end up being a gp and making 6 figures for the rest of your career.


5+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2013
Resident [Any Field]
1) Endo typically prefers experience, the rest immediately after dental school. Some people may find an interest in something after dental school while some work for a bit to pay off loans before taking on new loans.
2) A few B's won't hurt but you definitely should lean for more A's than Bs.
3) Yes, definitely, right now the list isn't terribly long but should grow each year. It will be interesting to see how the ADAT will be used more and more in the upcoming years. and Careers/Files/ADAT_Program_List.pdf?la=en


2+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2015
Dental Student
From what my dentist told. Know what you want to do, so you can come into dental school with that mind set.
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