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10 Dental School Personal Statement Examples in

Including key tips for a strong dental school personal statement.

Dental School Personal Statement Examples

Before you start crafting your own stellar dental school personal statement, you must review some dental school personal statement examples. Why? These sample essays can help you brainstorm and reflect on what you would like to include in your essay. This blog dives into some dental school personal statement examples from our own past successful students, and then our  dental school advisors  will go over our proven strategies to help you create your own from scratch! As you review these examples keep in mind that these are final works and the result of multiple rounds of reviews by our admissions experts as part of our  application review  programs. Writing fantastic statements for dental school requires patience and multiple rounds of revisions before a perfect statement can be written.

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Article Contents 15 min read

Dental school personal statement example #1.

In the final moments of a key game in a hockey tournament, I jumped over the boards and onto the ice without putting my mouth guard back in place. It was attached to my helmet, but I had a chance for the puck, and I took it. Moments later, an opponent’s stick caught me in the face, knocking out my front tooth. Play stopped, and my team found my tooth on the ice. I looked to the bleachers. My mom was already on the phone getting initial instructions from our dentist for saving the tooth. Within 15 minutes, we were outside the clinic as my dentist unlocked the door, despite it being a Saturday night. As I was treated within half an hour, my tooth could be saved by stabilizing it as it healed. Until that moment, I thought of my dentist as someone I only saw every six months; I hadn’t seen her as a critical part of my healthcare team.

I realized from this experience that time is a factor in dental care, and thus a career in dentistry. My tooth was saved because I lived in an urban centre and had immediate access to care, not to mention the continuity of care I’ve had since I was a child. My mother is employed and has good dental coverage, but this is not the case for many. Without timely check-ups, both oral and medical issues that could be detected and prevented can become more serious conditions.

With this awareness, I have for the last 6 years volunteered in two ways. In the time since my hockey accident, I’ve worked with my dentist on a safety awareness campaign for young hockey players and their families, teaching about the necessity of mouth guards, as well as how a quick response to such injuries may help in recovery. I’ve also worked alongside dentists for the Smiling Children Foundation in vulnerable neighborhoods, where dental neglect is not uncommon, and continuity of care is rare. Recently, we set up a mobile clinic in a school, where I record personal information and take a medical history for each child. A young boy, 10 years old, complained of constant headaches and pain in his body. Upon examination, the dentist noticed his gums were dark purple in places and bled easily. Our team alerted a community doctor of a potential immune disorder, and the young boy was diagnosed and treated, returning to good health within months. That day, I learned that oral healthcare is holistic healthcare, and that it is a privilege to support those who may not have time, resources, or access to oral healthcare.

I have had this privilege in what began as dental shadowing and is now part-time employment, where I liaise between patients and insurance companies, manage team schedules, and comfort anxious patients. This might be as simple as holding a hand while the dentist performs the procedure. Or, I might hold a baby while the father sees the hygienist. I’ve learned to read an X-ray accurately, prepare the instruments needed for a procedure, and balance the books. I have been mentored by both a medical and business professional, and I have borne witness to our patients’ high and low points. I have worked hard to understand what goes into growing and maintaining a successful dental practice and feel capable to meet the challenge of the multiple roles required in this dynamic vocation.

It bears mentioning why my first-year grades are not what I’d hoped they would be. I joined a good number of co-curricular clubs with the intention of participating in our campus community and developing my professional skills. By midterm, I realized I had oversubscribed myself. Unfortunately, willpower and desire were not enough. My grades suffered as I tried to manage my responsibilities. By attending time management seminars and learning to manage time rather than be managed by time, I was able retrieve my grades. From 2nd year forward, I’ve maintained a 4.0 GPA while moving up the ranks of student organizations and taking an active role in a research project. Resilience is like a muscle that needs time, exercise, and perseverance to build.

From a sports accident, to volunteer work in an underserved community, to employment in a dental office and an academic career that shows both mistakes and recovery, I have thought carefully about what dentistry is. A dentist is part of a larger healthcare team, and a dentist can often treat not only a single patient over decades, but provide intergenerational care to a family. I aspire to dentistry to accompany my patients through life, 6 months at a time, offering compassionate, whole-person healthcare. (4,497 characters, including spaces)

  • Inciting incident: the moment that influenced the student’s outlook on dentistry as a career is highlighted in spades. Seeing the structure here as almost like a story, you’re taking the reader on a journey from point A to point B. For the personal statement, your opening should hook in the reader. This writer does this well.
  • Addresses weaknesses: the student mentions how their first-year grades weren’t what they’d hoped for. They acknowledge their faults and briefly outline the circumstances without making excuses before getting into the most important part: what they did to improve or learn from their mistakes. If you’re in a position to use your personal statement as a way to address gaps or inconsistencies, then you can follow the same rule.
  • Major experiences are detailed: you need to show the admissions committee that dentistry is the right career for you. The best way to do this is to describe clinical experiences, ideally in a dental setting. The student who wrote this sample described their experiences shadowing, being a part-time employee, and volunteering at a foundation. If you have many experiences like these, don’t simply list them off, but select a few to describe in more depth.

Want some tips for writing a dental school personal statement? Check out this video:

"Ready, Set, Bake,” shouted the host of Bake-Off. I was 16 and a contestant of a televised baking show. Our 6th challenge gave us 3 hours to perfectly bake the most decadent and timing consuming dessert: the mille-feuille – layers of puff pastry, filled with whipped cream and custard, and glazed on top. Despite being the only teenager in a field of contestants ranging from 20-70 years of age, I’d made it through several days of cuts for one of the spots on the show. I wish I could say that my dessert was a masterpiece, but as the timer counted down and I plated it, the filling oozed, and the pastry crumbled. I’d made to the Top Six, but the mille-feuille defeated me and I was asked to hang up my apron. As I reflect on this experience, the solo and team challenges, the practice to get on the show, the mastery needed to gain a top spot, I realize that I’m grateful even for the defeat, because I learned valuable lessons that helped me develop key qualities and skills that are in-line with the core competencies necessary for dentistry, my chosen profession. Both dentistry and competitive baking require innovation and excellence, communication and accountability, and the necessity of precision, focus, and a steady hand.

Both of my parents are dentists. While the influence of their careers on my own access to knowledge cannot be underestimated, I have been deeply cognizant of making an autonomous career decision. That decision is my own, but my parents have admittedly opened unique conversations around ethics, technology, and patient care to me. My earliest memories include attending dental conferences with them and being encouraged to explore the Exhibits Floor, where I learned about the newest dental products and treatments and “test drove” the latest innovations in dentistry. I developed an aptitude for predicting which products and technologies were gimmicks and which would effectively support excellence in patient care. This knack has made me something of an informal consultant for my parents and their colleagues, who value my insights on innovation and efficacy of new treatments.

While technology is at the forefront of change, what remains consistent over time is the importance of communication and accountability to provide excellent patient care. I’ve had the privilege to shadow Dr. Ann Lee, an oral surgeon, over the past 3 years. Among many things, she showed me that inherent in communication is accountability. Many of her patients are children and teens having teeth extracted for orthodontic reasons. The son of a family who had been Dr. Lee’s patients for over a decade arrived for a complicated wisdom tooth extraction. Despite familiarity with the family, the doctor painstakingly reviewed the extraction process to prepare them effectively. The procedure went well in the office; however, on the way home, the boy began haemorrhaging. An artery had been compromised during the surgery. I watched as Dr. Lee packed bone wax around the artery to stem the bleeding. What struck me about this experience was the standard of accountability to which the surgeon held herself, as she communicated with the family by phone, made a house call later that evening on her way home, and remained on-call over the weekend to ensure the safety and healing of the child. The family maintained their trust in Dr. Lee because of her open communication and sense of accountability. I also learned just how fragile and technical dental work is, requiring both dexterity and precision.

Volunteering in a dental brigade in Haiti, Mirlande, 6, taught me about vulnerability and trust. Mirlande was scared and reluctant to open her mouth for her first dental exam. I took her aside and, as she watched, I carved a perfect tooth from soap using dental instruments. I carved slowly and precisely, and then presented her with the gift. She put the tooth in her pocket and then allowed me to clean her teeth. I was immediately struck by the vulnerability of not only soft tissue, but of hearts, as she leaned back and opened her mouth in trust. This moment solidified my decision to become a dentist.

Though the earlier comparison between baking and dentistry is merely an analogy, it is one that suggests I have developed key skills and am aware of the core competencies a dentist must hold to best serve their patients professionally and ethically. Dentistry is my vocation, baking a hobby, but both speak to my investment in excellence, precision, and doing for others.  (4,500 characters, including spaces)

A dental school personal statement is your opportunity to show admissions committees who you are as a person and aspiring dental professional, aside from your CV, GPA, Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) score, and other quantitative data. As any personal statement essay, the dental school personal essay should be a narrative account that gives the admissions committee the opportunity to learn more about you than what can be conveyed in a dry document like a CV or transcript. 

For dental school  ADEA AADSAS  applications, the American Dental Education Association requires an essay of no more than 4,500 characters (including spaces), which must demonstrate your key personal qualities, aspirations, and reasons for pursuing a career in dentistry to the schools to which you are applying. This process isn’t as standardized in Canadian programs, so you’ll need to check the application requirements for the programs and schools to which you are applying to see if a personal statement is required. In doing so, you can also learn whether there are any specific requirements regarding the length of the essay, whether there is a specific prompt to which you must respond in your dental school personal statement, and whether there are any other application requirements.

Want some more personal statement examples? Watch this video:

Writing a Strong Dental School Personal Statement

If you're applying to  dental schools in Canada  or the US, a personal statement, or similar essay, is often required as part of your application package, regardless of whether you're applying through AADSAS or  TMDSAS . It’s important to craft a statement that draws from your experiences, such as your dental school extracurriculars. You can also refer to your dental school application experience examples , or even your dental school letter of recommendation for help. This blog will help you understand the key things you must do (and that you must avoid) in composing your essay, with dental school personal statement examples that demonstrate these strategies, so that you can draft the strongest, most compelling dental school personal statement possible.

1. Tell a story

Ideally, you will craft a story or detail a defining moment that helped you realize why this is the profession you want to pursue. Providing an anecdote or vignette – perhaps an experience you’ve had as a dental patient, an interaction you’ve witnessed as a volunteer or while shadowing a dental care professional, a story about someone you know, etc., – is often a useful way of giving the evaluators a window into your life and motivations.

2. Demonstrate why you’re a “good fit”

Your dental school personal statement should also express why you are a strong candidate and a "good fit" for the school and program, while stirring the interest of your reader. Review our blog,  dental school acceptance rates  to find out which schools are best suited for you. Admissions committees will review hundreds of these personal statements, so draw on the values of the profession and the mission of the institution to highlight your alignment with the vision and goals of this vocation, and do so in a way that is engaging and enjoyable to read. Again, narrative is a great way of doing this – people love stories and are often naturally drawn in by them. Bear this in mind as you begin drafting your essay.

Here are some more tips for writing a dental school personal statement:

3. Be authentic and readable

In your personal statement, you want to present your very best self, emphasizing your genuine passion for the field and your enthusiasm for working in a healthcare profession like dentistry. Don’t try to cram in complicated terminology or jargon, thinking it will make you sound smarter (it won’t – true experts know how to explain their ideas effectively to an audience of non-specialists), and don’t rely on clichés (e.g., “I want to help people” – this is a lovely desire, but it’s over-used and too generic). Use polished prose that represents your genuine voice and reasons for pursuing the profession, and write in a way that will be comprehensible even to those outside this particular specialization. This can take practice. You might go through multiple drafts of your essay before you’re confident in submitting it. If you’re having trouble getting to this point, consider dental school admissions consulting . 

4. Express your desired contributions to the field

Quite simply, you need to explain why you will be a good dentist, in both practical terms and in terms of devoting yourself to patient care. You need to show that you know how to become a dentist in terms of skills and experience; there will be other opportunities to address other aspects of your candidacy through things like the dental school manual dexterity question or the multiple mini interview (MMI) collaboration station . For now, answer the following questions: what does it mean to you to dedicate yourself to the profession and to patients? What experiences have you had with the dental profession so far, and how have these impacted you? What are your priorities as an aspiring dentist? Thinking through these questions, while also pointing to concrete experiences or accomplishments that support your responses, will help the committee see not just who you are now, but who you are working to become as you pursue the goal of becoming a dental professional.

Need help with your dental school application? Learn what our students say about our services:

Things to Avoid in a Dental School Personal Statement

Here are some key “don’ts” in composing your dental school personal statement:

1. Don’t summarize your CV

Your personal statement shouldn’t simply repeat information available elsewhere in your application materials. Referring to experiences discussed in those materials, for the purpose of expanding on them or contextualizing them, is fine. Just ensure that you’re actually doing that work and demonstrating the significance of the experience(s) you describe. For example, if your CV indicates that you’ve done volunteer work at a dental clinic or with an organization, it’s totally fine to discuss this volunteer work in your personal statement; however, that discussion must go beyond what is offered in your other application materials. Your dental school personal statement shouldn't be a dry recitation of events in your CV. It should be a persuasive and engaging work that draws on just a few select experiences that epitomize your interests, priorities, and the work you've done so far in working toward becoming a dentist. For example, instead of giving names, dates, and general facts about your experience as a volunteer, you can tell a story of a particularly meaningful accomplishment or interaction, reflecting on how it helped solidify your desire to pursue this career.

2. Don’t dwell on negative experiences

If you’ve overcome challenges or if there are less-than-ideal aspects of your educational experience so far (such as a term where your GPA took a dip), it’s fine to address these in a personal statement essay. However, it is crucial that you reflect on this from a perspective of growth, resiliency, and capacity for improvement, rather than focusing on the negatives. If your grades took a hit one term because of extenuating circumstances, by all means, take some time to explain this, if you think it will be helpful (and it often is). However, the discussion around the circumstances should be minimal – just a set-up for a more substantial discussion of what you learned, how you grew, etc. – and you shouldn’t use this as an opportunity to make excuses. Rather, briefly describe the event, own up to your mistake or misstep (if applicable), and then spend the most time explaining how you addressed the issue, how you moved past it, and why you will be a better future professional for having gone through it.

Probably the biggest mistake students make is to not take the personal statement seriously enough, waiting until just a few days before it’s due to even begin. You must begin early – a strong personal statement essay can take months and numerous revisions to be the best it can possibly be. You need to put a lot of thought into this document, as it is a very important component of your application. This is your chance – and often your only chance – to address the evaluators on a human level, prior to answering  dental school interview questions , including   MMI questions . So, rather than thinking of this as a chore, think of it as an opportunity to demonstrate your best self to the admissions committee. 

4. Don’t submit your dental school personal statement without getting expert feedback

The personal statement isn’t just about what you’ve done, it’s about who you are – what your values are, what your priorities are, what your reasons for pursuing this profession are, and how all of these things align with the discipline and school you are approaching with your application package. Getting expert feedback from those on the “other side” of such applications, those who have gone through the process successfully or those who have been part of admissions committees, will give you incredibly valuable insights into how to make your own personal experiences stand out and work for you most effectively. At this stage of your professional development, you face a wealth of “unknown-unknowns”; i.e., things that you don’t even know to look for or consider, because it's likely that you simply haven’t been exposed to the field or the process long enough or in an official capacity. This can be a considerable hindrance, so don’t try to take on this task alone. Seek out expert feedback, and do so early enough that you can review, revise, and implement any necessary changes to make your dental school personal statement the best it can possibly be.

8 Dental School Personal Statement Examples

Dental school personal statement example #3, dental school personal statement example #4, dental school personal statement example #5, dental school personal statement example #6, dental school personal statement example #7, dental school personal statement example #8, dental school personal statement example #9, dental school personal statement example #10.

  • Starting too late. Getting your personal statement right requires multiple edits and revisions. If you start working on your statement too late, you risk running out of time for proper revisions and edits, leaving a rushed, sub-par statement. Remember, your personal statement is a direct reflection of who you are as a person, and who you'll become as a dentist. It's not something that can be, nor should be rushed.
  • Showing instead of telling, for example, saying “I'm a great listener” instead of demonstrating that you're a great listener through real examples in your essay.
  • Focusing on too many experiences. In general, it's best to discuss 2-3 experiences in your personal statement. You should be able to discuss each experience in-depth, and reflect on what you learned from a particular experience. Too many experiences crammed in doesn't allow you to really expand on each experience and doesn't provide an in-depth analysis of how this experience was transformative on your path to becoming a dentist.
  • Listing information that's already found in your application materials. Your personal statement is not a list, instead, it should be a story of your journey to dentistry.
  • Jumping around in time. Your personal statement should be in chronological order, beginning with your initial interest in dentistry and evolving to your absolution that dentistry is the right career path for you. Jumping around in time makes for a disjointed essay that will come across as confusing to admissions committee members. In addition, you want to ensure that you utilize strong transitional sentences, as these tie together paragraphs and aid in the overall flow of your essay.
  • Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Mistakes and errors in your personal statement are harmful because they tell admissions committees that you're not detail-oriented, you rushed your statement and because of that, you don't really care about it, or their program. Ensure your statement is reviewed multiple times, ideally with a professional's help, to ensure your essay puts your best foot forward and is free from any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • Boasting. While you can certainly highlight a few key accomplishments in your statement, such as finishing at the top of your class or raising money for a good cause, it's important that you are tactful in how you phrase your accomplishments. You always want to be humble, and think about what an achievement means to you and why. Lastly, it's a good idea to reflect on what you learned from your achievements and how that can translate in your career as a dentist.

While the majority of your personal statement should be about you - your experiences and how they relate to your decision to pursue dentistry, you can certainly include information relating to another person. For example, you could mention a family member's struggle with a disease, a patient's story, or a conversation with a dentist. As long as you circle back to why this story is significant in your pursuit of dentistry, what you learned from the experience or even how an experience changed your point of view.

Your personal statement must adhere to the ADEA's character count of 4500 characters, including spaces. However, this doesn't mean that you must include this many characters. As long as your essay is below the count, it's most important that you focus on creating a powerful, in-depth essay that proves to the admissions committee why you want to be a dentist and why you would be suitable for a career in this field, then it's perfectly acceptable.

Your personal statement is one of the most important aspects of your entire dental school application. It will serve as your introduction to admissions committees – letting them know who you are a person, who you are as a candidate, and essentially, that you're suitable for a career in dentistry. A poorly crafted personal statement can result in rejection from dental school, so it's essential that your statement is both engaging and memorable to secure you an invitation to interview.

No, remember, this information will be included elsewhere in your application, so it's not suitable to include this in your personal statement.

  • Brainstorm ideas.
  • Create an outline.
  • Focus on body paragraphs first using a maximum of 3 experiences.
  • Ensure you SHOW what you learned (don’t tell) by using examples.
  • Write your conclusion.
  • Write your introduction last.
  • Attention-grabbing introduction: Not just a thesis statement, but something interesting to draw the reader in, like a quote or a story.
  • Transitions: These should lead from one paragraph to the next, creating flow. Use linking words such as however, additionally, also, next, etc.
  • Strong examples: This way you are showing, not telling.
  • Clear and direct language: Your language does not have to be fancy, what's most important is that it's easy to read and follow. For example, “utilize” is one of the most over-used words in academic essays and “use” works just as well.
  • Conclusion: This should summarize your main points, but also leave the reader with a compelling closing sentence that makes them want to find out more about you. For example, include a call back to your opening anecdote and highlight how far you have come.

Dental school personal statement editing, just like medical school personal statement editing , is very important. Begin by writing the BEST first draft you can and then begin your edit. Don’t write something of average quality, half-done, or way over the character limit. Trying to work from these copies will only create confusion and delays. Next, you should read your essay out loud to yourself sentence by sentence to ensure it flows well and to catch any grammatical errors. Each sentence should be contributing to the overall point. If you find yourself repeating your thoughts in multiple forms, think about paring your sentences down. Quality is more important than quantity.

Next, repeat this process 2-3 times. Resist the urge to keep tinkering over and over again. There are multiple strong ways to word sentences and express your thoughts. There are probably even multiple experiences you could highlight and have an equally strong personal statement. However, obsessing over each sentence and word once you have written a strong statement will just lead to changing too many things, delays, you feeling nervous, and sometimes even a weaker essay than you started with!

Yes, you can definitely mention experiences in your personal statement that are non-academic or not related to dentistry. A strong experience to mention should be one that taught you important skills and that influenced your decision to pursue dentistry. Personal experiences can also have a strong influence on which profession you pursue, so you can definitely mention non-academic experiences.

It’s certainly normal to want input from others when we are crafting personal statements. A strong reviewer is one who has experience and expertise with professional school applications and has helped other students before. For example, someone with an advanced degree like a practicing dentist or other professional. Even though you may feel tempted to ask friends and family, you may want to refrain from this, as they are often invested in your success and may find it hard to be objective.

Try to find someone who does not know you so well so they can give objective guidance. The other thing you want to avoid is having “too many chefs in the kitchen.” Too many different people reviewing your statement is only going to pull it in too many different directions, ultimately leading to confusion and even more delays. And again, some students might feel more comfortable using a dental school admissions consulting service for this aspect of their application.

Just like you would address this during an interview, your statement can address areas of concern by following these steps:

  • Take responsibility.
  • Explain mitigating factors.
  • Don't make excuses.
  • Share strategies for what you learned and how you would avoid a situation like this in the future. 
  • Make sure you end on a positive or proactive note.

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Have a question ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions.

Yutika Maharaj

Hi there Do you have any sample personal statements for a foreign trained dentist applying to ADEA PASS and ADEA CAAPID. Thanks

BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Yutika! Thanks for your comment. As an international applicant, your personal statement should follow the same structure and contain pertinent info about yourself and your application. Use these samples to construct your own, unique narrative!

It is remarkable, very good information

Thanks, Code!

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dental hygiene personal statement essay

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How to Write a Dental Hygiene Personal Statement Essay

Table of Contents

A dental hygiene personal statement essay is a lengthy, well-researched work detailing the candidate’s desired experiences, talents, and goals.

The essay helps the admissions committee evaluate your education, employment experience, and character before making a decision.

When applying to dental hygiene or dental therapy programs, the personal statement can make or break your chances of being accepted. This article explains how to write a compelling personal statement and gives an essay for your inspiration.

What is a Dental Hygiene Personal Statement Essay?

A personal statement essay for dental hygiene shows your background and other parts of your life that have influenced your career choice .

It includes information about your formal training, professional experience, volunteer work, extracurricular pursuits, interests, and aspirations.

To succeed in writing your statement for dental hygiene, it is crucial to be truthful. Whenever you find yourself at a loss for words, try posing the following queries:

  • Why do I want to get a degree in dental hygiene?
  • How will this change my life when I graduate from dental hygiene school?
  • Why pick dental hygiene over others?

10 Guidelines for writing a Compelling Dental Hygiene Personal Statement

These steps are meant to assist in shaping your statement to be convincing. Use it as a guideline to write an effective personal statement.

woman with silver and yellow hoop earrings

1. Pique their Curiosity

The purpose of the personal statement is to pique the curiosity of the admissions’ committee. You’re hoping that a meeting with them will result in an interview. Show them rather than tell them who you are.

Share some personal tales that show your optimism, attention to detail, confidence, empathy, manual dexterity, and communication abilities.

2. Write Early and Often

Your statement will be stronger if you begin working on it early. You must give yourself enough time to think through what you want to include and how you want to organize the content. You should write as many drafts as possible to create a framework for the final draft.

Get going at least six months before the target date. Your writing abilities will determine your statement preparation time. You must sit down and devote time to brainstorming, outlining, and drafting.

3. Think It Through and Make a Plan

Where do I even begin? Start by considering what you want to say in your statement of purpose. In your resume, highlight the experiences that best illustrate who you are and why you want to work in this field. Choose an interesting first sentence that intrigues the reader and makes them want to learn more about you.

To get the creative juices flowing, here is a quick reference guide:

  • Remember to jot down significant milestones and life lessons that helped shape your route to a dental career.
  • Write out your best qualities and the things that inspire you.
  • Reflect on the significant individuals in your life and how they have influenced you.
  • Besides school, what other interests or experiences have helped shape your decision to become a dentist?
  • For a career in dental hygiene and therapy, what attributes in yourself make you a strong candidate?

4. Proofread Your Work

Be sure to run a spell and grammar check. Grammatical errors must be avoided at all costs.

Avoid using the future tense too often, and ensure the past tense is used consistently. Use formal language and avoid “I’m” and “don’t.”

5. Ensure its Well-Structured

Your statement must paint a vivid picture of your passions and skills. Avoid employing a plethora of different subjects in your statement. This is because it can make it harder to understand who you are.

Take care to ensure that your paragraphs logically lead into one another. It’s challenging to convey your unique personality when limited to a few characters but do your best.

6. Prove it with Examples

Instead of saying it, prove it. Remember that you will be required to provide evidence for all the claims you make in your statement.

Don’t just write, “I’m fantastic with people and always try to make them happy.” Instead, “During my volunteer work, I realized how much I enjoy interacting with others. My communication skills will assist me in future patient interactions.”

7. Tell the Truth

Try to tell the truth. The best policy is honesty, so keep that in mind. Do not, under any circumstances, plagiarize a personal statement, whether it be from the Internet or a friend. Every school has a method to verify that your statement has not been plagiarized.

8. Show Passion

Have a positive attitude toward regular dental care and any necessary dental treatment. Dental schools across the country are looking for eager and committed students.

You should demonstrate that you have used your time and initiative to prepare for university by accumulating as much relevant experience as possible. It shows that you’re willing to take the initiative, which is what will set you apart.

9. Strive to Be Distinct

Be noticeable. Discuss your accomplishments and how they set you apart from other applicants. If you want to study dental hygiene and treatment, discuss how your volunteer or part-time work has prepared you.

Universities care more about your personality than your dental credentials. They want to hire people who will do whatever it takes to get noticed. So, don’t be afraid to discuss your accomplishments and share your pride. It’s fine to bring up dental-related things, but don’t limit yourself there.

10. Have Your Personal Statement Reviewed

It’s a good idea to have someone else read over your statement. Having someone else look over your work, whether a friend, parent, or teacher, might help you see things from a new angle.

It would be beneficial to reach out to someone presently enrolled in a Dental Hygiene school and have them provide feedback.

Dental Hygiene Personal Statement Essay

This INK essay shows how to write a compelling dental hygiene personal statement. Use this essay to help you determine your unique selling points!

I have always been passionate about dental hygiene ever since I was a child. Growing up with cavities and bad oral health made me understand the importance of proper care. This has driven my commitment to promote preventative strategies to help others maintain healthy teeth and gums.

My personal experience has instilled in me an empathic approach to dentistry, allowing me to better connect with patients on a human level.

I am highly knowledgeable when it comes to dental knowledge and can easily converse with both patients and colleagues alike. In addition, I possess an acute attention to detail which helps ensure that all procedures are carried out safely and correctly.

Furthermore, I can keep abreast of new advancements in the field by utilizing advanced technologies such as digital x-rays or intraoral cameras.

My expertise, empathy, and enthusiasm will prove invaluable to any prospective employer. I would be delighted to join your team of skilled professionals to develop my skills further and contribute to improving the quality of life.

A dental hygiene personal statement essay is a compelling statement of your strengths and interests . Keep it concise and clear without missing a detail.

How to Write a Dental Hygiene Personal Statement Essay

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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The personal statement is one of the most important parts of the ADEA AADSAS ® (ADEA Associated American Dental School Application Service) application. It gives a dental school’s admissions committee the opportunity to assess your motivations and decide if you will be extended an invitation to interview. Often, it takes a long time to write it, and individuals may feel lost on how to approach it. I will help guide you on the path to successfully writing an effective personal statement. 

You should be very clear on the statement’s purpose. Apart from being clear on the dental or dental hygiene program and/or university’s mission focus, you should also be aware of and communicate what you want to achieve by becoming a health care provider. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What drives you to be a dentist or dental hygienist?
  • What will you achieve by becoming a dentist or dental hygienist?

These questions are important and should be answered within the personal statement. If you have clear answers, you will have a clear vision of the content of your personal statement’s purpose.

The next step is to define the content before you start writing the essay. It should revolve around your personal story, which could start from anywhere you like. For example, you could start when you chose to pursue this profession, or you can start from the present and explain how you’re investing time in and outside of school into building yourself into a better future dentist or dental hygienist. The beginning should be impactful , but do not sit on the beginning statement too long. Rereading and editing will help you get there. Sometimes, you might need to write the whole essay to identify a clear beginning statement.

After a decent beginning, focus on the rest of the story. Remember, it is a personal statement and it should be personal. Convey your story in an interesting manner. Project your personality. The admissions committee knows your GPA and have your CV/resume. What they want to know is who you really are. Add anecdotes from the journey that brought you to dentistry/dental hygiene. Add experiences from your personal life that highlight certain qualities essential to being a successful health care provider. If there were any dentists that you admired, shadowed or worked for who encouraged you to follow suit into dentistry, make sure you highlight the characteristics you admired in them.

Concluding statements are important, too. There should be a delightful epilogue to your essay summarizing the intent, while throwing light on the future and how completing the dental program will put you in a better position to help the community overall.

Use of Language

Judging the quality of your grammar is not the admissions committee’s goal when they read personal statements, but it serves to your advantage if you are meticulous with the words you choose. Certain avoidable grammatical or syntax errors may shift the focus of the reader from the message to the mistakes. It is important to reread and edit out such mistakes. Doing so also conveys your sincere efforts toward making a successful application.

Sentence structure is also important in making a script that flows well and keeps the reader’s attention. Small, interrupted sentences may not allow the reader to follow your thoughts through the punctuation marks, while long, complicated sentences may leave the reader stranded and confused with no closure. We often do not realize these mistakes as we write because the focus is not on sentence structure but on the content. Make sure you go back and read the essay thoroughly to make it easy for others to read. Follow up by using the most suitable conjunctions and transitional words and phrases.

Give yourself plenty of time for the writing process. Always try to start the personal statement early and do not leave it for last. Take a day off, sleep well, focus and write the first draft of the personal statement. At this point, do not think of the word limits and grammar—simply put your heart on paper and then, forget about it. Reread and edit it, afresh. Repeat the process three to four times and then seek help from an advisor or your friends and family. Let at least three to four trusted people read it and ask them to give their opinions and criticisms. Make sure they understand what you are trying to convey in the first place, then consider all their suggestions. Make edits per your liking and, at this stage of editing, lock down the major content of your essay. If your reviewers’ suggestions are contrasting and confusing, it is okay to make two separate drafts and elect to use the one that appeals to you the most. Edit and re-edit the draft you like the best and ask the reviewers to review the new version(s) again. You can always get new people to review it as well.

After you are happy with the content, focus on the language and presentation. Ask the reviewers to read it again and submit it after you feel confident about it. While taking suggestions from others, remember it is your personal statement, so stay true to yourself and do not sway from being yourself to impress others.

Good luck! 

About Anirudha Agnihotry, B.D.S., D.D.S.:

Anirudha Agnihotry_headshot_220x287

Anirudha Agnihotry, B.D.S., D.D.S.

General Dentist/Clinical Researcher

Private Practice, California

Dr. Agnihotry graduated from Manipal College of Dental Sciences with a Bachelor's in Dental Surgery (B.D.S.) degree in 2012. After a one-year clinical internship, he joined the faculty in the Operative Dentistry and Endodontics Department in Mahatma Gandhi Dental College, where he also maintained a faculty practice. After that, he moved to Divya Jyoti College of Dental Sciences and Research in the Public Health Dentistry. There, Dr. Agnihotry worked setting up community outreach clinics and school oral health programs as well as training dental students. In 2014, Agnihotry moved to the United States and completed a post-graduate certificate training in Restorative Dentistry and following that, worked as a researcher in the same department at the University of California, Los Angeles. After that, he enrolled in an intense accelerated program to obtain his Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree in two years, graduating in 2018. He is currently practicing general dentistry in California.

Dr. Agnihotry has been in dentistry for 12 years, as a student and a teacher at times. He has published 12 international scientific research papers, presented in international conferences, is a referee for six international scientific journals and has also written a textbook chapter. His focus is patient-centered outcomes and secondary research with clinical outcomes in focus. Apart from dentistry, he enjoys swimming, playing squash, running, biking, barbecuing and takes a keen interest in all art forms.

  • Dental Hygiene
  • Community Health
  • Dental School
  • Post-doctoral Education
  • Summer 2022
  • Spring 2022
  • Winter 2020
  • Spring 2020
  • Summer 2018

dental hygiene personal statement essay

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Top 10 tips for Dental Hygiene and Therapy Personal Statement

dental hygiene personal statement essay

1. Stick to the Personal Statement Word Limit

Firstly, your personal statement is only a one-page essay, which must not exceed 4,500 characters, (including spaces, numbers, letters, etc). Your personal statement gives the university a clear picture of who you are and, most importantly, why you want to pursue a career in Dental Hygiene and Therapy.  

2. Show Examples of Interest in Dental Hygiene and Therapy

The aim of the personal statement is to get the university’s admission team interested in you. You are wanting them to invite you to an interview. Try not to tell them who you are, show them with examples. Bring up interesting stories from your everyday life, which portray your best qualities and try to relate them to Dental Hygiene and Therapy, for example, optimism, attention to detail, confidence, empathy, manual dexterity, and communication skills. 

dental hygiene personal statement essay

3. Start Writing Early

Starting early. The earlier you start the better your personal statement will be. It is important to give yourself plenty of time to create a solid plan of what you are going to include and the structure of it. Write as many drafts as you can, this will help build a template ready for the final draft. 

Make sure to start 6 months before the deadline. The time you need to prepare for your personal statement will depend on your writing skills and your availability to sit and take the time to produce ideas, plan and write it up. 

4. Plan and Brainstorm

How to start? Firstly, try to begin brainstorming ideas and topics to include in your personal statement. Make sure to focus on key experiences, which will tell your story and help you realise why this is the profession/career you want to pursue. Make sure to choose a memorable opening, something that will draw the reader in and keep the reader engaged and wanting to know more about you.  

A quick go-to on how to start brainstorming  

  • Ensure to make a list of events and experiences that reflect on the evolution of your path to a career in dentistry. 
  • Make a list of your strengths and things that keep you motivated.
  • Think about key people and how they have inspired you.
  • Think about the message you wish to convey in your personal statement. 

Essential questions that need to be thought about before writing your draft: 

  • What have you learnt from your experiences? 
  • What will you contribute to Dental Hygiene and Therapy?  
  • How have your hobbies and academic experiences influenced your desire to pursue a career in dentistry?  
  • What personal qualities do you have to make you a good Dental Hygiene and Therapist? 
  • Why do you want to study Dental Hygiene and Therapy?  
  • What inspired you to apply for Dental Hygiene and Therapy?  
  • What do you find attractive about Dental Hygiene and therapy that no other career has to offer?  

When preparing for your first draft of your Dental Hygiene and Therapy personal statement, make sure to spend some time on it, as it will make the writing of your personal statement so much easier.  

When writing about personal qualities, be honest, as it is important to be yourself. Here are some important qualities to include: 

  • Artistic  
  • Empathetic  
  • Attentive to detail  
  • Great communication skills 
  • Confidence 
  • Great interpersonal skills 
  • Professionalism
  • Good ethic 
  • Hard-working 

5. Check Grammar and Spelling

Ensure to check grammar and spelling; it is essential to avoid any grammar inconsistencies. 

Ensure to also pay attention to the past/present and future tense and make sure there is not too much switching between them. Keep it professional and try not to use “I’m” or “don’t.”  

Clarity and flow 

It is essential that your personal statement MUST show a clear picture of your interests and strengths. Too many themes in the personal statement could make it confusing and cloud the bigger picture of who you are as a person.  

Make sure that each paragraph flows into the next one. This can be a challenge, especially when trying to fit so much information into a minor character limit, but try your best to add what you feel is the most important and show the reader YOU! 

6. Show don’t Tell

Do not say it; show it. Remember that everything you bring up, whether about yourself or interests in your personal statement, needs to be backed up. For example, do not just say, “I’m great around people and a people pleaser.” Instead, try and say, “throughout my volunteering, I realised my enjoyment of interacting with people and how my communication skills can help me with future patient interactions.” some other examples may include: 

  • General Dental Practice Placements (2 weeks recommended)
  • Dental Technician Placements (1 week recommended)
  • Online course for Dentistry 

If unsure about your skills or interests, brainstorm and draw some of those connections. It is also great to get friends and family members involved, as a second opinion counts. Try to think of qualities that no other student will write down, remember that you need to stand out and you are up against hundreds of other applicants wanting the same place on the course. 

7. Be Honest

Be honest. Understand that honesty is the best policy. No matter what you say, always tell the truth.  

It is also important not to copy anyone else’s personal statement, even if it is an online one or your friend’s personal statement. This counts as plagiarism, and all universities have a system to check that plagiarism has not occurred within your statement.  

8. Show Enthusiasm for Dental Hygiene and Therapy

Be enthusiastic about dental hygiene and therapy. All these universities are looking for someone passionate and enthusiastic about dentistry. You want to showcase that you have gone out of your way, in your own time, to gain as much experience before starting university. It illustrates initiative and it’s what will make you stand out. If there aren’t specific dental examples where you have done this, sign yourself up so that you can include this in your statement. It all has to be true so don’t start making things up as they might catch you out in your interview stage! Remember, that universities are looking for someone who wants to learn and show dedication.

9. Try to Stand Out

Try to stand out. Talk about what you have done and how your experience stands out compared to others; an example could be you do lots of volunteering work, which can be formal or non-formal or that you have a part-time job, and how these skills are transferable for the degree in Dental Hygiene and Therapy.

To stand out does not need to be dentistry specific, as universities just want you to be yourself and show that you are not the same as every other applicant. They are looking for those who go beyond to make themselves stand out, so brag a little and tell them how proud you are of yourself and all the things you have achieved. Some topics you may bring up can be related to dentistry, but be sure to expand. 

10. Get a Personal Statement Check

Get someone to check your personal statement for you. Ask someone to check over your work, even if this is a friend, parent, or teacher; it is always great to see what others think of it and get a unique perspective. If you know anyone studying Dental Hygiene and Therapy, it may be worth contacting them and asking if they could read it and give you a few pointers. Also, do not be afraid to ask if you could read their personal statement too. Seeking advice from current, past dental students will be instrumental, as they got onto the course based on their personal statements. 

My Personal Statement

As a qualified, GDC-registered dental nurse I ensure to maintain the NHS values and respect every individual equally. My favourite part is being able to interact with patients and aid their understanding of oral hygiene. Being able to communicate with a wide range of people of all ages and backgrounds is one reason why I enjoy dentistry, as well as the challenges and opportunities that it offers.

A favourite aspect of dental nursing is the satisfaction of treating patients using a tailored approach and seeing the end results. Being a dental nurse has made me realise the significance of understanding the physiology of the mouth and the whole body. Being able to relieve a patient from pain or enhance their confidence by improving their oral hygiene makes it such a rewarding career, and has encouraged me to progress further in the field of dentistry.

I have assisted with a wide range of treatments, for example, endodontic extractions and the preparation stage for crowns and dentures. From my experience assisting during surgery, I can appreciate how the hygienist’s empathy and communication skills help to build a rapport with patients, and the positive effect that being caring and compassionate has on their general wellbeing.

One of my most memorable moments whilst working with a hygienist was when I came across an extremely nervous patient. I helped them to relax by asking simple questions and distracting them with humour, which put them at ease and made them laugh. Interactions like this have helped me to appreciate the importance of empathy and adapting my communication strategies to suit the patient’s needs. My experiences with patients and the dental team so far have left me with no doubt that I want to be a part of this valuable and rewarding community.

As a dental professional, I make sure to strive for personal and professional excellence. I have faced many challenges with frustrated and anxious patients; however, my professional manner and respect remained consistent throughout. I have come up with different strategies to reassure anxious patients, such as offering a pre-treatment visit, to let the patient get acquainted with the staff and comfortable in the dental chair.

The GDC principles have come into action many times. One patient I remember was a boy who had little understanding of oral hygiene and was in a lot of pain. Due to his fear, he was unable to cooperate with the dentist’s assessment. Using a calm and friendly manner, I reassured him so that we were able to continue with the treatment. When I saw him again, he greeted me with a huge smile. Knowing that I made an impact on this boy and his oral hygiene is one of the proudest moments of my career so far. This experience helped reinforce the concept that effective patient-centred care and communication, as reflected in the GDC principles, with principles one and two; “put patients’ interests first”, and “communicate effectively with patients” are vital within dentistry.

Another important aspect is the ability to work closely with individuals in order to build a trusting patient-clinician relationship. I find it particularly compelling to witness patients gradually gain faith in the value of preventative care and education in oral health.

I am currently studying for an Access to HE Diploma. Exploring human physiology, anatomy, and the behaviour of drugs inside the body has made me all the more enthusiastic about applying my knowledge in dental practice.

Dentistry aside, I enjoy playing badminton and painting, both activities which have helped to develop my manual dexterity. I enjoy looking after my body using a holistic approach, incorporating diet and exercise such as yoga, to keep my body in good shape and improve my posture. With my experience as a dental nurse, adaptable communication skills, and drive to further my learning, I believe that I would be well suited to pursuing a career as a Dental Hygienist and Therapist.

As expressed, your personal statement needs to stand out, resemble you and most importantly show why you want to pursue Dental Hygiene or Dental Therapy. 

Frequently Asked Question

→what is a dental hygiene and therapy personal statement.

A dental hygiene and therapy personal statement is a written document that is required as part of the application process for admission to a dental hygiene and therapy program. It is an opportunity for the applicant to showcase their skills, experience, and personal qualities to the admissions committee.

→How long should a dental hygiene and therapy personal statement be?

The length of a dental hygiene and therapy personal statement can vary depending on the specific program’s requirements. However, most programs require a personal statement of around 500-1000 words.

→What should be included in a dental hygiene and therapy personal statement?

A dental hygiene and therapy personal statement should include information about your motivation for pursuing a career in dental hygiene and therapy, your relevant experience and skills, your understanding of the role of a dental hygienist or therapist, and your commitment to professional development.

→Should I include my academic achievements in my dental hygiene and therapy personal statement?

Yes, academic achievements can demonstrate your academic ability and potential, so it is important to include them in your personal statement. However, it is important to balance academic achievements with other relevant experiences and skills.

→Is it important to tailor my dental hygiene and therapy personal statement to each program I apply to?

Yes, it is important to tailor your dental hygiene and therapy personal statement to each program you apply to. This can involve researching each program’s specific requirements and highlighting how your skills and experiences match those requirements.

→How can I make my dental hygiene and therapy personal statement stand out?

To make your dental hygiene and therapy personal statement stand out, focus on specific examples and experiences that demonstrate your skills and abilities. Use active verbs and avoid generic statements. Additionally, make sure to proofread your statement carefully to ensure that it is free of errors.

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A dental school application essay, get accepted speak with an admissions expert today.

In response to popular demand, we are including a sample dental school essay. Note how the author reveals a lot about herself without overtly saying "I am this and I am that." She is obviously hard working and disciplined, probably compassionate and kind. Interested in dentistry for a long time, she has clearly considered other options. And she tells a good story . Our experts can help you tell your story just as effectively -- check out our AASDAS application packages here .

I could hardly keep myself from staring at the girl: the right side of her face was misshapen and bigger than the left. Only later did I notice that Cheryl, about nine at the time, had light brown hair, lively brown eyes, and a captivating smile. When she walked into the candy shop where I worked six years ago, Cheryl told me she was a student of my former fourth grade teacher with whom I had kept in contact. We talked then and spent time talking each time she visited. She became a very special friend of mine, one whom I admire greatly. At the time we met, I was taking honors and AP classes, working about twenty hours a week, and feeling sorry for myself. Cheryl's outgoing confidence and good cheer put my situation in perspective. Cheryl was strong, kind, and surprisingly hopeful. She never focused on her facial deformities, but always on the anticipated improvement in her appearance. Her ability to find strength within herself inspired me to become a stronger person. It motivated me to pursue a career where I could help those like Cheryl attain the strength that she possesses.

At the time, my initial interest turned toward psychology. Impressed with Cheryl's outlook, I overlooked the source of her strength: she knew that treatment will improve her appearance. Focusing on the emotional aspects of her illness, I volunteered at the Neuropsychiatric Institute. There, I supervised the daily activities of pre-adolescents, played with them, and assisted them in getting dressed. I worked with crack babies, autistic children, and children who had severe behavioral problems. I enjoyed interacting with the children, but I often became frustrated that I was not able to help them. For instance, a young autistic boy frequently hit himself. No one was permitted to stop this child. We had to turn away and allow him to continually strike and hurt himself until he tired.

I was increasingly disappointed with the lack of progress I saw in my volunteer work at NPI, but my job again pushed me in the right direction. During the fall quarter of my junior year in college, I left the candy shop where I had worked for nearly five and a half years, and I began working as a senior clerk in the Anesthesiology Residency Program. Ironically work, which frequently made study difficult, helped me find the right path. There I learned about the oral and maxillo-facial specialty, which will allow me to help people like Cheryl.

To explore my interest in dentistry, I volunteered as a dental assistant in Dr. Miller's dental office. Dr. Miller introduced me to various dental techniques. Although I was mainly an observer, I had the opportunity to interact with the patients. I came in contact with a diverse patient population with different problems and dental needs. I observed as Dr. Miller dealt with each patient individually and treated each one to the best of his ability. He familiarized me with strategies for oral health promotion and disease prevention. I learned a great deal from him, and as a result, my interest in dentistry grew.

I choose to pursue a career in dentistry after following a circuitous path. My friendship with Cheryl motivated me to enter a field where I can help the severely disfigured cope with their condition. Although I initially turned to psychology, I found my work at the Neuropsychiatric Institute to be frustrating and was searching for a different way to achieve my goal. Ironically, Cheryl had told me all along the source of her strength: the knowledge that her condition was treatable and improving. Through maxillo-facial dentistry I will help others with serious facial deformities have the same knowledge and source of strength.

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Personal Statement for Dental Hygiene

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Writing your Personal Statement for Dental Hygiene

A personal statement for Dental Hygiene / Dental Therapy plays a significant role in the application process for many programs. They provide admission committees with information on your academic background, professional experience, and personality traits to help them determine whether you’re a good fit for their program.

A well-written personal statement should highlight your strengths as a candidate and demonstrate how those skills would benefit the school’s curriculum. You should include details about your educational background, work history, volunteer activities, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and future goals. If you’ve taken courses related to dentistry, be sure to mention those too.

It’s essential to be honest with yourself when writing your personal statement for dental hygiene. If you’re unsure what to write, ask yourself these questions: 

What do I want to accomplish by applying to dental hygiene school? 

How will my life be different after dental hygiene school? 

Why should I choose this course?

This guide has you covered with 3 winning personal statement tips. As a bonus, I have included a personal statement written by a successful dental hygiene applicant. This guide can also help those applying to dentistry, dental hygiene and therapy, and dental nursing. 

If you’re looking for a more detailed guide to beat the competition, then purchase my guide by clicking below.

Table of Contents

  • Tip 1 – Scope of Practice
  • Tip 2 – Skills
  • Tip 3 – Reflection
  • Winning Personal Statement for Dental Hygiene
  • Overview of the statement

Tip 1: Understand a Dental Hygienist's Scope of Practice

A hygienist’s Scope of Practice includes every role or procedure that can be legally carried out under the General Dental Council License.

Roles – Research the different roles of dentists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, and periodontal specialists- this will show off your background research and understanding. Then integrate the roles you’ve researched into your dental hygiene personal statement.

If you have shadowed a hygienist, mention their roles in education, advocating, and treating patients. This isn’t somewhere to list roles but rather to express how this role appeals to you.

Showing your understanding is a big part of the statement. The admissions team won’t give out an offer to a highly competitive program if you haven’t made an effort to do some background research.

Principles – Look into the General Dental Council standards – These are 9 principles each dental professional must abide by. Mentioning one or two of these in your dental hygiene statement will give you brownie points.

1. Put patients’ interests first 2. Communicate effectively with patients 3. Obtain valid consent 4. Maintain and protect patients’ information 5. Have a clear and effective complaints procedure 6. Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients’ best interests 7. Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills 8. Raise concerns if patients are at risk 9. Make sure your personal behaviour maintains patients’ confidence in you and the dental profession

Dental Hygienist

Tip 2: Show Don't Tell

You must have gained various skills from college, work, hobbies, and other extracurriculars. Think about communication, interpersonal skills, empathy, leadership, teamwork, and resilience. Relate these skills to becoming a dental hygienist. Where and how did you develop these skills?

Matching your skills to the hygienist’s roles by showing your skills through your experiences

“ Dental hygienists play a significant role within the dental team, where they primarily educate patients on oral hygiene and healthier habits. This requires excellent communication skills to teach patients about the processes behind gum disease. To develop my communication, I have practised breaking down biological topics when tutoring younger students. ”

Why is this effective? You are stating the role of the hygienist (educator), then providing evidence of how they educate (causes of gum disease), and then explaining how you have developed this skill through similar methods (tutoring).

Within a few sentences, you have explained your understanding of the role, patient interactions, and efforts to help younger students.

Happy patient

Tip 3: Reflection

Reflection is KEY . Without reflection, your personal statement is just a story with a list of your experiences. Reflecting on those experiences will immediately make you stand out. This is your chance to show how you have developed into the perfect applicant.

Reflecting on what you have learned shows you are mature, intelligent, self-aware, and can be accountable for your actions.

Self-reflection will be a large part of your education and continuous professional development . Reflection involves looking back at your experiences, considering what you have learned from them, and how has it changed you?

If your experience is a fundraising event, what was your role, what went well, what didn’t go so well, how could this be avoided, and what would you do differently next time?

Recognising that you aren’t perfect and willing to grow is a valuable quality.

This will really add to your application. Don’t say, “ I am mature and can account for my mistakes. ” Instead, it would be best if you showed this through your experiences.

E.g. “ Tutoring was initially challenging for me. I did not know how to share my knowledge with the students. After some research and observing a fellow tutor, I started to plan ahead and create lesson plans the day before. I would include images, videos, and examples that helped the students understand the topic. I wish to continue improving my teaching methods as this will help me to educate future patients.”

These 3 Top Tips  are all you need to write a successful personal statement for dental hygiene.

Bonus point: Try to avoid mentioning anything very negative. If you HAVE to explain poor grades or a gap in your education, then keep it brief and support it with positive points before and after. 

Are you finding these tips helpful?

Check out my comprehensive 14-page Dental Hygiene and Therapy Personal Statement Guide

Writing dental hygiene personal statement

Successful Personal Statement for Dental Hygiene UK

“Empathy- a simple yet powerful emotion that allows us to connect with others. Dental hygiene encompasses a need for empathy. Hygienists are integral to the functioning of a dental team, where they must identify the causes behind gum disease. Not only do they determine the aetiology, but they will also explain this to the patient and create an oral hygiene plan that suit whoever is in the chair. Empathising and understanding a patient are essential in helping to make effective changes. If the dental hygienist advised a patient with rheumatoid arthritis and limited movement to use a manual toothbrush and floss three times daily, this would never be possible. Patient-centred care is a prized skill I have been developing through my employment, volunteering and hobbies. I have spent four months working as a medical scribe at the hospital, where I shadowed various physicians to help them note their discussions and plans. This was difficult initially, as I was not used to the medical language and did not understand many of the conditions. I struggled with the pace and decided to do some more extensive reading before I began each day. Soon enough, I was writing quickly, keeping up with the fast pace, and able to introduce myself to patients and understand their management plans. It was a bonus that I was able to build foundational medical knowledge and oversee how dental hygiene is managed with bed-bound patients. This helped me to understand that simple hygiene can be highly effective if done correctly. More recently, I have been able to shadow dental hygienists and dentists while they carried out consultations, dental scaling and deep cleaning. Two weeks within a clinic helped me to understand how the dentist worked with the hygienist, referring patients who required deeper cleaning. The hygienist would determine the patient’s hygiene methods first, and she would insist there was no benefit to cleaning if the patient could not understand that the cause of the gum disease was in their hands. I was inspired by how she broke down the processes behind periodontal disease by showing the patient in the mirror and relating it to a diagram showing the disease development. It was eye-opening to understand the risks of not treating the condition, and patients were now well aware of the need for better care. Aside from the patient interactions, I noticed how intricate the procedures were, the technique was very skilful, and I hope that my hand-eye coordination can someday reach this level. I currently sew many of my designs on clothing, which has helped me work in small areas. Observing the interactions between the staff made it clear that teamwork is necessary for a dental clinic. The receptionists would regularly work around the dentist and dental hygienist by following their instructions and informing the dentist of any changes or patient issues. This is similar to my collaborative research work, where I have worked with a team of student researchers to plan an experiment. Without each member, the investigation could not have gone ahead. We needed to plan, lead one another, help each other and offer advice and criticism. I have learned to accept feedback and improve based on this. I recognise that others may notice points for improvement that I had never previously considered. Hence, I highly appreciate feedback and am always looking to learn. Dental hygiene is the course that stands out to me. I am interested in the biological processes behind oral diseases and would enjoy spending a lot of time educating and treating patients. I wish to be a part of the preventive dental movement, where I can help my patients to prevent the cause before beginning invasive treatment. I feel that hygienists play a significant role in prevention, which is why I have chosen to follow this path where I can serve many patients every day.”

University Student

Each technique is used effectively in almost every single paragraph. This creates a powerful statement showing the student’s understanding of the hygienist’s role.

She was also able to relate each point to her extracurricular experiences and then reflected on what she had learned.

This helps us to see that she is highly self-aware and willing to be responsible for mistakes, but she also shows interest in taking feedback to improve.

This is exactly what is needed from a dental hygiene applicant. Even though this student’s grades were average and her experiences were nothing out of the ordinary, she comes across as intelligent and very empathetic.

Personal statement for dental hygiene, UK – How could the applicant have made it even better! In the introduction, she mentions volunteering which is later not touched upon in the statement. Volunteering would add to the existing extracurriculars, but it isn’t clear where or when she volunteered.

Later in the statement, she briefly mentions research and ties this into teamwork. However, we don’t know if the research was voluntary, what was she researching and what her actual roles were. It would be really interesting to learn more about this, and she could discuss whether she wishes to help with research in the future.

Leadership is briefly mentioned in the research part. This could also be expanded on as there are times when a hygienist must lead the receptionists, patients, and mentor others in training. She could have spoken a bit more about how the research team led one another.

How to improve the conclusion?

In the conclusion, she brings up new topics of biological processes. I always avoid bringing up new topics as it seems random and unclear to the reader. The applicant has still done a good job with the conclusion, as prevention does tie in with her theme of educating patients.

To make the conclusion even more powerful, she could’ve linked back to empathy . She could have then reminded us of her initial motivations and her extracurriculars.

Reminding the reader of your experiences is very important here; they can forget, and it helps to summarise the statement and shows your journey towards this application.

Example of an alternative conclusion: “ Empathy is the link that ties dental hygienists to understanding patients’ needs and abilities. From my work experience, scribing, and research, I have learned that we cannot help others without connecting to those around us. Education has proven to be the foundation for encouraging healthier changes in oral hygiene, and I hope to keep this in mind as an aspiring dental hygienist. I strongly believe this would improve patients’ overall dental health. I now wish to embark on this course with the knowledge I have built and hope to further improve my skills by treating patients of my own. ”

This personal statement for dental hygiene perfectly encompasses essential tips and techniques required to create a winning essay. Hopefully, this personal statement example will guide you in the right direction when writing your application essay. 

Remember- Scope of Practice, Show don’t tell, and Reflect.

Sentence structure, flow, spelling, and grammar are also equally important. Without flow and good transitional sentences, it becomes difficult to read, losing the admission tutor’s interest.

Therefore, I strongly advise getting professional help with the draft once it is written. Invest in your future now to maximise your chances of getting into your dream course.

Get help from an experienced writer Detailed and comprehensive Dental Hygiene and Therapy Personal Statement Guide Top 3 Dental Personal Statements  

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Dental Hygienist: Reasons for Choosing This Career Autobiography Essay

Choosing a career to pursue may not be as easy as one may wish to think. A number of persons have taken long to realize their ultimate careers yet some realize their potential early in life and make their career choices right away. As for me I have chosen to pursue a career in dental hygiene due to a number of convincing reasons.

When I was about 10 years of age, I used to take a lot of sugary food without knowing the risk that I was putting my teeth into. It was not long and one of my first premolar teeth started aching. The pain and agony which I had to undergo before it was removed was unbearable. This experience was to be an inspiration and a source of motivation for helping other people enhance their dental hygiene.

I have always desired to pursue a career in dental hygiene so as to enable me offer professional preventive care to the people. Having known the trouble through which the caregivers and the dental patients go through, I have braced myself for this challenging task that will see become an advocate fir dental preventive care across the states.

Being a dental hygienist can be quite demanding and I am convinced that I have the necessary qualities that keep me through the profession. I am a determined, open-minded, keen on details, considerate, and a prompt readiness to act under difficult situations. My desire has and will always remain be to do nothing less than perfect in all my endeavors.

This quality will be quite instrumental when it comes to sensitizing the people about the dangers of poor dental hygiene. Moreover, dealing with the patients requires a lot of precision since the oral cavity is one of the highly sensitive areas.

The past few years have seen an increase in the need for the promotion of dental care particularly the prevention of the various dental infections. This has put a lot of pressure on the dentists who must attend to the ever increasing number of clients. While dentists are always concerned with technical procedures, the services of a dental hygienist are sought so as to offer preventive care among other responsibilities that help in the treatment of patients suffering from dental problems.

Among the key stipulated responsibilities of dental hygienists which I think I can comfortably execute can be identified. The cleaning and polishing of clients’ teeth, as well as flossing the teeth of the patients are some of the crucial responsibilities. Sealing of patients’ teeth in order to prevent cavities is also a related duty. They are also expected to offer educative services to clients in order to keep them informed about the ways of enhancing dental hygiene and dealing with any emerging problems.

As a dental hygienist, one is also expected to take and develop X-rays before a dentist analyzes the structure of teeth for other treatment procedures. Dental hygienists are responsible for creating follow up charts for the patients. In general, the work of a dental hygienist involves assisting the dentists who are responsible for the more complex and technical procedures of dental care.

After receiving the first certification as a dental hygienist, I would like to diligently serve the community. However, with my desire to advance in the career, I would pursue further studies in this field, particularly to master’s level. This is in line with my long term dream of working in public institution programs like schools, clinics and research institutions or even as a teacher in a dental hygiene center.

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Dentistry Personal Statement Examples

Last updated: 05/10/2022

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Writing a dentistry personal statement that you’re proud of is hard.

Many students struggle to boil down their skills and experiences to just 4,000 characters and it is tricky to know where to focus. 

Example statements are a great way to gain this insight.

In this article, we cover the following:

  • Strong and weak dentistry personal statements 
  • A breakdown of other peoples’ successes and mistakes
  • Ideas for what to include in your own personal statement 

Once you've read this, check out dental interview questions to build on what you've learnt.

For an overview of personal statement writing, read our Personal Statement Guide for Medical and Dental Schools . This is essential reading and goes further than just examples!

Strong personal statement example

“I first became interested in studying dentistry between the ages of 12 and 15, when I visited my local dentist frequently to get my braces checked and tightened. 

I talked with her at length about the nature of her job and was struck by the huge impact she could have on the people she met daily. 

She actively improved the quality of life of every patient she encountered, and had to astutely apply scientific principles in a social setting in order to make patients feel at ease and achieve the best results. I was truly inspired by this experience and decided to investigate dentistry as a career.

In order to deepen my insight into the profession I carried out a week’s work experience in a local dental hospital. I saw how dentists of every stage were keen to learn, constantly assessing their performance and striving to improve. 

This drove home the importance of self-awareness and constant reflection, but also introduced me to the idea of lifelong learning which is something I find particularly attractive. 

During this placement I also took my first look inside a patient’s mouth and observed dentists constructing bridges, veneers and crowns. This exposed me to the aesthetic side of dentistry - a dentist not only aims to alleviate pain but can engage with the more cosmetic aspect of healthcare, something that most medical specialties cannot match. 

I organised a number of work experience placements in local dental surgeries, and throughout my shadowing was struck by the bonds dentists formed with their patients. They often had to utilise great communication skills and empathy to calm down or reassure anxious patients, and they worked hard to build up a rapport with everyone who entered the surgery. This encouraged patients to attend checkups more frequently and be more open about their worries, thereby improving the quality of care they received. 

As a result of my reflection on these experiences, I took up weekly volunteering in a local care home and reading to children in the dental hospital. These opportunities helped me become a far better communicator, as many of the residents of the care home were elderly or suffered from dementia meaning I had to adopt different visual or verbal strategies to get my message across. Many of the young patients in the dental hospital felt lonely and nervous, and by empathising with them I was able to help them relax and focus on the positives.

Outside academia, I play water polo and run in my school’s athletic team. Both of these sports have helped me become a better team player and I’ve learned that you can always achieve the best results by working efficiently in a team rather than going it alone. 

I am a particularly ambitious sportsperson and I’ve received the Most Valuable Player award in my waterpolo league for three years running, and have been a captain for four. 

As a captain, I am a decisive leader; In the heat of a match it’s important for me to make snap decisions and for my teammates to trust me. However, out of the pool I take every view into account and try to make sure that everyone has been heard and feels involved. 

I also try to identify the strengths and weaknesses of everyone in the team - myself included - so that we can play to our strengths in matches and work on our weaknesses in training.  

I think that the ambition, teamwork and leadership I’ve demonstrated through my sports will serve me well as a dentist, allowing me to work efficiently with others while constantly striving to improve personally. My participation in these sports has also allowed me to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Becoming a dentist would allow me to have a truly positive effect on the people I work with, while also challenging me and ensuring I’m always learning and improving. I believe that my work experience, volunteering and extracurricular activities have provided me with the skills and insight necessary to become an empathetic and effective dentist.”

Strong personal statement analysis

This example displays many characteristics of a good personal statement. 

  • Well structured.
  • The candidate comes across as well-rounded and motivated, without appearing arrogant.
  • There are some minor areas that could be improved, but overall we think that this personal statement would impress university assessors.


  • The introduction uses an anecdote to illustrate the candidate’s interest in dentistry. This is a good way to show how your interest in dentistry might have started, but it wouldn’t be suitable to write that you decided to apply to dentistry simply because you liked seeing your dentist as a child. The candidate doesn’t fall into this trap, and makes sure to highlight that this experience only inspired them to do further investigation into the career.
  • The candidate goes on to describe how they deepened their insight in the main body paragraph, adding cohesiveness.
  • The candidate also demonstrates some good insight into dentistry by discussing the unique blend of social skills and scientific knowhow required by dentists.

Main body paragraphs 

  • Variety - the candidate’s three main body paragraphs discuss some of their work experience placements, volunteering roles and extracurricular interests. 
  • Quality over quantity - they focus far more on individual experiences while going into more detail, and avoiding lists (although they witnessed a huge number of things during a week of work experience, they choose to focus on a couple of key experiences).
  • Insight - the statement demonstrates insight into the profession on multiple occasions. They talk about the prominence of lifelong learning, the aesthetic/cosmetic side of dentistry, and how building a rapport with patients can lead to better outcomes.

Re-read the example, consider how the candidate: 

  • Reflects on their experiences 
  • Built on their experience
  • Demonstrates relevant skills
  • Demonstrates that they are ready for the challenges inherent in dentistry


  • Short, brief, and succinct. It doesn’t introduce any new information.
  • The candidate doesn’t really speak enough about why they chose to study dentistry over medicine. They mention the dual focus on health and cosmetics, but could mention some other factors as well - for example, the fact that dentistry is more specialised from the start of the degree than medicine.
  • They could show some more awareness of current news in the dental world.
  • The candidate could also speak a little more about the challenges dentists face in the workplace and how they would cope.
  • Discussion of paid employment would also have been beneficial.
Find more in-depth advice, tips and examples in our Personal Statement Course .

Weak personal statement example

“Dentistry has fascinated me from a very early age, as to me it seems like the perfect combination of practical and mental challenges. This has become even stronger since my brother found work as a dentist, having recently graduated from manchester University.

For the past 4 years, I’ve been looking after a local elderly lady who sometimes struggles to go shopping or carry out her daily tasks. This has helped me appreciate the satisfaction one can gain from helping others, and inspired me to pursue a career which will allow me to improve the lives of those around me - like dentistry!

As a result of my interest in medicine, I studied biology, physics and maths at A-Level. 

I’ve also carried out a variety of work experience placements over the years. During my GCSEs, I spent a week volunteering in a local NHS surgery, which exposed me to some of the challenges dentists face; they were often overworked, and had to deal with frustrated and anxious patients on a daily basis. 

I really enjoyed this experience, so I decided to take on another two week block at a dental hospital . While I was there, I shadowed receptionists, helping them to book appointments and organise the dentists’ timetables. I also managed to see dentists make diagnoses and watch a huge range of different dental procedures, from regular checkups to fillings and root canals. I spent time in the in-house dental laboratory, and was taken through the construction of veneers, crowns and bridges. I was also able to shadow dentists over a whole day in their life, seeing the admin and meetings they had to trudge through on top of the more exciting clinical work.

In my free time I enjoy playing the violin and listening to music. I am also a dedicated member of a number of sports teams, including basketball, tennis and hockey. I am proficient at both individual and team sports, showing that I can work well with others, but also self-motivate and set my own targets. 

I also enjoy watching films and socialising with my friends. More recently, I’ve really enjoyed keeping up with current dental news by reading the Journal of Dental Research and my brother’s old copies of the British Dental Journal.

Looking to the future, my great ambition is to work within the dentistry profession, where I believe I could have a really positive impact on the lives of the patients I work with. 

My work experience has set me up well to succeed, and I feel I have the desire and commitment to stick the course and become a successful yet empathetic dentist”

Weak personal statement example analysis

  • Likely not to score well
  • It isn’t nearly long enough (2520 characters) 
  • It hasn’t been proofread and contains errors
  • Did the candidate genuinely want to study dentistry from a young age? If it is true, it implies that they made this important decision based on an emotional impulse as a child.
  • Being inspired to go into dentistry just because your sibling did is also not recommended. Just because it was right for them doesn’t make it right for you. 
  • The mention of helping an elderly neighbour is good, but too brief. This is a great experience to reflect on and use to demonstrate both your motivations to study dentistry and your suitability for a caring role.
  • At no point in the statement does the candidate explain why another caring profession wouldn’t be just as suitable for them. 
  • There’s no mention of anything particularly specific to dentistry.

Main body paragraphs

  • The first paragraph follows a list, with the candidate demonstrating that they have a real range of work experience placements (which is good) but without going into sufficient detail.
  • There is very little reflection throughout these paragraphs. The candidate clearly has a good breadth of experience but can’t really explain anything they learned from it.
  • They demonstrate very few relevant skills throughout the statement. They should talk more about how each experience they’ve had has improved them, either by helping them develop or demonstrate key skills that dentists need. Then, they should explain why dentists need these skills in the first place. 
  • Describing the dentist’s admin and meetings as a ‘trudge’ and clinics as ‘exciting’ isn’t wise. This may be the case, but the reality is that dentists do spend a lot of their time writing notes, filling out paperwork and liaising with other healthcare professionals. If you find this particularly boring you either won’t be able to handle the job in the first place, or you’ll cut corners and thereby put patients at risk.
  • There’s no mention of the importance of a work-life balance when talking about how they relax.
  • It is crucial not to lie in your personal statement. It is possible that they do 'really enjoy' reading dental journals, but it is likely that your interviewers will latch onto this and quiz you repeatedly on it. 

However, it is worth mentioning the things these main body paragraphs do well:

  • There is some reflection on the challenges faced by dentists, which will reassure the assessors that the candidate does have some insight and can reflect on their experiences.
  • The candidate discusses the skills they demonstrated through their sports which is exactly the right thing to do. The only thing they’re missing is a linking of this to dentistry.
The Ultimate Guide to Studying Dentistry in the UK
  • Remains brief and concise while summarising the rest of the statement and finishing with a strong, confident claim. 
  • It is better to show “desire and commitment” to the profession earlier in the statement before introducing it in the conclusion. 
  • Saying that work experience will set you up well for a career in dentistry is simply not true. Watching a couple of weeks’ worth of dental procedures will not make you a better dentist later in life. It is the reflection on those experiences that assessors are looking for.

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