A career as a dentist typically results in a six-figure annual salary. The median salary for a U.S. dentist in 2018 was $156,240, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; dentists who specialize in fields such as oral and maxillofacial surgery and orthodontia typically earn salaries of $208,000 or more.
However, getting accepted into dental school is not easy. Only 55.3% of dental school applicants who sought admission to the 66 accredited dental schools in the U.S. for the 2018-19 school year actually enrolled in one that year, according to admission statistics from the American Dental Association.
The questions becomes what can set you apart in the competitive dental school application pool?
The answers are not revealed once you become a senior in college, but rather when you complete your senior year of high school. The top 5 things I recommend to our pre-dental students to guarantee at least an interview to dental school are:
1. Tons of volunteer experience outside of dentistry
2. Tons of dental shadowing and experience
3. Solid academic transcript. If you slipped up along the way, be sure to show a positive trend for at least 1 full year.
4. Create a personal statement that is worthy of publishing. Have a professional look it over and edit it.
5. Don’t take the DAT for granted. Sacrifice for a few months and get a score that is above a 21. You can do it and over 90% of the MDI Prep students score above a 20 on their DAT exam.