With exams out of the way it is time to look at improving your CV to make you as desirable as possible to Dental Schools. Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Adding extracurricular activities that look good on the CV if you’re lacking in this department e.g. Duke of Edinburgh awards, volunteering, fundraising
  2. Get your CV in order and make a few notes of what you’d like to include in your personal statement, including past achievements, strengths, qualities etc.
  3. Work experience

One of the commonest reasons for candidates not being asked for an interview is a lack of work experience in dentistry. However, contrary to popular belief, work experience is not difficult to come by. Make some phone calls, send some (polite) letters and emails and I can guarantee that  you will find people who are more than willing to accommodate a student on work experience!

What type of experience should you look to gain ?

  • NHS dental practice- Essential work experience, this should make up the bulk of your experience of clinical dentistry
  • Dental Laboratory- It might be your only opportunity to get hands on with dentistry and put your dexterity to the test, so you’ll probably have a great time
  • Orthodontics- You won’t have a clue what’s going on and it’s a bit like watching paint dry but you might see some incredible results in short periods of time
  • Community Dental Care- Treatment of individuals who cannot undergo treatment in the general dental care setting, such as very young children, disabled and elderly or housebound individuals
  • Maxillofacial surgery- This type of experience is hard to come by but can be mind-blowing!
  • Private practice

**If there is a dental hospital nearby you may be lucky enough to see all of these elements of dental care under one roof**

 The key is to get out there and hassle people for work experience; ask your own dentist, ask any family friends who are dentists or simply turn up at a dental surgery and ask at the reception! What’s the worst that could happen?!

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