Top Tips For Handling Dental School Applications Like A Pro

It’s that time of the year again… the ADEA AADSAS application for dental school is now opened for the 2019 cycle. Applying to any type of graduate school can be intimidating. Be confident in yourself, your application, and what you can bring to the program. Who you are should shine through your application—make sure of that!

But first, take a step back and think of how far you have come! Whether you decided to pursue dentistry as a child, as a college student, or after your first career, take time to reflect on your accomplishments and know you are deserving. Having the right mindset going into this is crucial and will keep you sane through all the highs and lows in the months ahead.

Applications can be stressful, but do not be discouraged. Here are some tips that got me to where I am today!


1. EVERY WORD COUNTS.

When each response is limited to a number of characters or words, make sure every word adds something to your application! Use action verbs and show why you’ll be a great addition to their school, don’t just tell. For example, instead of listing your responsibilities, try showing what you have accomplished in each position.

2. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION.

Choose your letter writers early, give them plenty of time, and don’t be afraid to remind them of your deadlines. Additionally, make sure your letter writers know who you are as a person and not just a student! The strongest letters often speak about the applicant’s character and how they interact with others around them, not just how great of a student they are.

3. REVISE, REVISE, REVISE YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT!

Your personal statement is a chance for you to show your creative side, speak about your interests and reasons why you chose dentistry as a profession. Each person’s story is unique, and admissions committees want to read about that and learn more about who you are! Don’t be afraid to take risks, but always have a couple of people you trust read over your statement and provide feedback. I found it valuable to have both people in the dental field (dentists, dental students, pre-dents) and non-dental people (roommates, parents, English majors) critique and provide feedback! But don’t forget to stay true to your vision for the statement and don’t lose your voice if you are having people provide feedback.

4. APPLY EARLY.

Schools are on a rolling admissions basis meaning the earlier you apply, the smaller the applicant pool. This does not mean you have to submit your application immediately when it opens! Make sure your application is complete (letters of rec, DAT scores, etc.), proofread it, and submit when you are ready. And if you need more time for whatever reason, don’t fret! If you need that extra time for your application to stand out, it can be worth it.

5. STAY ORGANIZED.

Keep a spreadsheet going with each school you applied to, due dates, contact information, and supplementals. You could even create a new email address dedicated solely to dental school to keep all the information in one place. Or if you have Gmail, you could add a new label for “AADSAS” and help organize your important emails within your personal account!

So just take a deep breath, be confident in your application, and make sure your voice and passion for the field shine through your application. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious, but try not to stress out and trust the process!


About the author: Charlotte Etesse, DDS is foodie who loves to explore new cultures. Specializing in General and Cosmetic Dentistry in Los Angeles, California, Charlotte is passionate about creating positive change for her patients oral health and apperance. Follow Charlotte on Instagram!