pma96

2+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2016
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Pre-Dental
How important is it to have done shadowing when applying to dental school? How many hours should I do? I have strong extracurriculars but most of them include officer positions, research, and volunteer hours in places not related to dentistry.
Also, how do I get to shadow a dentist? Do I just call/visit an office and ask if I can do shadowing?
 

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
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50-100 hours would be a good bet. Yeah you can call/ask and maybe ask your personal dentist too. I'm sure you can find an opening somewhere :)
 
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pma96

2+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2016
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332
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Pre-Dental

Charles_Darwin

2+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2016
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Pre-Dental
Of the 12 schools i'm applying to, I think only 1 or 2 say shadowing isn't required. But the rest want anywhere from 40-100, usually 40. It's very easy to find a dentist to shadow over summer/winter break and net ~100 hours!
 
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pma96

2+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2016
265
332
Status
Pre-Dental
Of the 12 schools i'm applying to, I think only 1 or 2 say shadowing isn't required. But the rest want anywhere from 40-100, usually 40. It's very easy to find a dentist to shadow over summer/winter break and net ~100 hours!
Thanks for the advice!
 

ncide

2+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2015
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Dental Student
My school requires 100 hours. That seems to be a good number to aim for to open up your opportunities.
 
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pma96

2+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2016
265
332
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Pre-Dental
My school requires 100 hours. That seems to be a good number to aim for to open up your opportunities.
Perfect! I'll try to do at least 100 hrs then.
 

gangazi

2+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2016
383
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Dental Student
i think shadowing is very important when you are filling out the supplemental applications for dschools... many ask about the shadowing experiences
 

joker937

UCLA SOD 2021
2+ Year Member
May 25, 2015
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Schools vary in what they will require. I've seen anywhere from 0 to 30 to 100. To be competitive, I would shoot for over 100! I personally did about 140 hours. Getting a position is pretty simple. About a month before you want to start interning/shadowing, call dentists in the town you will be at and explain who you are, if the doctor is available for an interview, if you can send the doctor your resume, etc. If your town is very impacted (like my college town - I called like all dentists in my town and only one gave me a spot since my college town has all these students competing for internships), then call dentists in towns bordering your city. It's easy if you have a car. When you call, be nice, pleasant, and genuine.

And even though you have all those hours for volunteering, extracurriculars, research - you STILL need to shadow dentists. It's a completely different requirement and section altogether on your dental school application when you eventually apply. That being said, continue with whatever you are doing and start shadowing!
 

redhotchiligochu

D3
2+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2016
658
707
USA
Status
Dental Student
How important is it to have done shadowing when applying to dental school? How many hours should I do? I have strong extracurriculars but most of them include officer positions, research, and volunteer hours in places not related to dentistry.
Also, how do I get to shadow a dentist? Do I just call/visit an office and ask if I can do shadowing?
Call your local dental society. Interestingly, I didn't discover this tip until I read the ADEA AADSAS directions pdf earlier this spring! Call the ADA or your state's dental association. They will connect you with a dentist who's an active member and he/she will show you around. That is actually how I accumulate the bulk of my shadowing hours.

Many dental schools "strongly recommend" shadowing hours (meaning NOT required). I personally know of students getting into d-school WITHOUT shadowing hours (or maybe 8-16 hours at the most) but they had insane stats (e.g. 3.8 GPA 24 AA) and research experience. For the rest of us mortals, having approximately 100 hrs of shadowing is a good bet, like many people above me said. Keep in mind some schools like UMN do require shadowing hours! Hope this helps.

Plus, without shadowing hours, how a
 

msd228

2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2016
7
1
Status
Pre-Dental
What sort of documentation is needed to prove you have done the shadowing?
 

Charles_Darwin

2+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2016
828
831
Status
Pre-Dental
What sort of documentation is needed to prove you have done the shadowing?
I think they just take your word on it, usually providing the contact info of the dentist is enough