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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.

Introduction

  • 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

Conclusion 

  • 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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Dental hygiene

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Dental hygiene personal statement

Dental Hygiene personal statement example

My ambition to study for a degree in Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy has developed out of several years’ experience of working as a dental nurse in support of professional dental technicians and a growing interest in the science involved in dentistry. I am very much aware of the importance of the hygienist’s role in maintaining the patient’s dental health, and indeed ultimately helping to secure general health through careful attention to oral conditions. My work as a nurse has made me realise the importance of a full understanding of the physiology of the mouth and gums and of the whole body. I have been struck by how common periodontal diseases are in patients who come for dental treatment and have an immense faith in the value of preventive care and patient education. The hygienist’s job is largely to prevent disease through advice, therapy and treatment, and is one of the professional health roles which seems to offer the possibility of the most immediate sense of achievement, since patients’ wellbeing can be dramatically improved through the hygienist’s actions. Advice on diet, smoking and a routine of oral hygiene can improve people’s dental condition immeasurably. I am also interested in the various procedures carried out by hygienists and therapists, such as restoring teeth, extracting children’s teeth, pulp therapy, fitting crowns, radiography and scaling and polishing. I believe that my experience of the dental world and my dedication to the service are a good basis for my further study leading to a career as a fully qualified professional.

personal statement example

I have worked for an agency as a dental nurse, travelling to many practices where I supported dentists in all aspects of dental care, including providing instruments during procedures, mixing materials and ensuring patient comfort. I would take notes from the dentist’s dictation for the records and maintain the cleanliness and efficiency of the surgery. I sometimes held the position of head nurse on the site, overseeing the work of others, and I taught four-handed dentistry to some nurses, improving treatment and time management. During this time I had much first-hand experience of the work of dental hygienists. In 2009 I gave birth to my son and then returned to college to gain more qualifications in preparation for applying for a degree in the subject, including a pre-access course to nursing and human sciences. The return to study has been rewarding and enjoyable. As a mother of a young child I have developed great organisational ability, and I also share my knowledge with other mothers at toddler groups who sometimes find it difficult to maintain their children’s oral health.

I am a mature student and my career ambition is the result of much thought and a clear understanding of what the job entails. During my GCSE year I suffered a stroke and so have a very acute sense of what it is to be a patient and how important patient support is in contributing to the success of any therapy. I am also quite determined not to let my disability deter me from becoming a health professional. After graduating I should like to work as a volunteer helping underprivileged children and families to have better oral hygiene, and then go on to spend the rest of my career in a top-quality dental practice.

I attend the British Association of Dental Nurses conference annually and am always keen to keep abreast of new developments in my field. My enjoyment of pottery and painting has given me good manual dexterity, a useful asset for a hygienist, and I very much enjoy museum visits. I am hard-working, meticulous about detail, and perhaps something of a perfectionist. I lead well, but also enjoy being part of a professional team. I am eager to use my abilities to help people and have some skill in putting anxious patients at ease. My commitment to my chosen path is total and I believe I have the experience, maturity and determination to become a very successful student.

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Successful Personal Statement For Dentistry At King’s College London

Author: Adi Sen

  • Getting started
  • Successful Personal Statement For Dentistry…

Table of Contents

Welcome to our popular Personal Statement series where we present a successful Personal Statement, and our Oxbridge Tutors provide their feedback on it. 

Today, we are looking through a Dentistry applicant’s Personal Statement that helped secure a place at King’s College London, Birmingham and Aston University. The Dentistry Course at KCL combines the latest thinking in dental education with early clinical experience.

Read on to see how this candidate wrote a Personal Statement that demonstrates the qualities to work in a clinical environment. 

Here’s a breakdown of the Personal Statement:

SUCCESSFUL?

The universities this candidate applied to were the following:

KING’S

Enrolling on our Dentistry comprehensive Programme will give you access to Personal Statement redrafts. 

With our  Dentistry Premium Programme, your tutor will give you regular actionable feedback with insider tips on how to improve and make your Personal Statement top-quality for the best chances of success.  

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Dentistry Personal Statement

Everyone has the right to a good smile. A smile can have a major effect on a person’s self-esteem, confidence and happiness. It would give me great satisfaction being able to have a positive effect on a patient’s quality of life by being able to influence these and many more factors. Dentistry as a prospective career path has always been a very appealing profession because I am interested in caring for people and also enjoy the creativity involved with the profession.

My work experience has further fuelled my desire to study dentistry, because it has shown me how rapidly expanding the dental sector which allows continuous learning. I have worked at Smiledent Dental Practice where I shadowed the dentists and the dental nurses. This experience has highlighted the importance between the balance of leadership and teamwork required to achieve the best treatment for the patients and the efficient running of a dental practice. Furthermore, I witnessed the need to gain the trust of the patient and build a patient-dentist relationship, to allow for a smooth successful treatment.

Apart from a dental practice, I have also volunteered at Haselbury Junior School organising activities for young children at an afterschool club for three months. Working with young children taught me to adapt my communication skills, using simple vocabulary and body language. During this time, it also gave me a sense of care and responsibility towards the children. This motivated me to work with people at the opposite end of the age spectrum. I therefore volunteered at The Haven Day Centre which was a humbling yet valuable experience. I enjoyed being a pillar of support to the elderly trying to entertain them and it was a warming experience to witness their joy.

Moreover, I have regularly attended St John Ambulance Cadets for the past three years. I am now a senior member in the division teaching younger peers first aid thoroughly enjoying the additional responsibility involved in nurturing others.

In addition, I have a keen academic interest. The transmission of diseases, prevention and immunology in Biology, has emphasised to me the significance of hygiene and how rapidly diseases can spread which is vital in the field of dentistry. In Chemistry, I have particularly enjoyed learning about molecular bonding enabling me to understand why particular materials have properties that make them suitable for their job. I have thoroughly enjoyed and flourished in the practical aspects of both subjects. The experiments have allowed me to put into practice/apply the knowledge I have acquired in lessons. Studying mathematics has improved my problem-solving ability acquiring practice to reach answers with a methodical yet flexible approach. In years 9 and 12, I was invited to attend lectures at the London Metropolitan University and the Royal Institution of Mathematics over a series of weekends. As a result, I had the opportunity to study branches of mathematics outside the syllabus which thoroughly challenged me. Additionally, geography has helped develop a creative aspect of academic life. In the human sector, I enjoyed the topic about smoking because it taught me the history and origins of smoking and the widespread effect it has on the body including the gums and teeth.

As part of my research, I have expanded my dental knowledge using several websites to gain extra information. I have been fascinated by crowns and root canal treatments because I am fond of the creativity involved such as choosing tooth colours, shape and material to ensure practicality for the patient and simultaneously rectify tooth damage.

Finally, from my work experience in a dental practice and I believe would thrive in such an environment.

For more inspiration, take a look through our other successful Personal Statement a nalysis articles:

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Download our Free Personal Statement Starter Guide 

Good Points Of The Personal Statement

Clear structure and the student gives good insight into his/her motivation for the study of dentistry as well as providing evidence for his/her personal, professional, and academic development. It becomes very clear that the student is dedicated to the subject and disciplined in the pursuit of his/her goals. Having a good experience from work attachments is a further strong point, demonstrating the student’s enthusiasm for the subject. The student also shows a good range of other achievements and activities that contribute to the overall, very positive, impression of a dedicated and well-rounded individual.

Bad Points Of The Personal Statement

At times, the style of the statement is somewhat unclear. Particularly towards the end, one gets the impression that the student ran either out of space or out of ideas as the different aspects raised in the text are not discussed to their full effect, making them significantly less relevant for the overall quality of the statement. This is particularly a problem with the conclusion which makes little to no sense.

UniAdmissions Overall Score:

An average statement that demonstrates some good and relevant work experience and patient exposure. Unfortunately, the statement is let down by some stylistic weaknesses that reduce the overall strength of the content, at least in some parts.

And there we have it – a King’s College London Dentistry Personal Statement with feedback from our expert tutors. 

Remember, at KCL, the Admissions Tutors are often the people who will be teaching you for the next few years, so you need to appeal directly to them.

Our Free Personal Statement Resources page is filled with even more successful personal statements and expert guides.

Our expert tutors are on hand to help you craft the perfect Personal Statement for your Dentistry application.

With our  Dentistry Premium Programme we help you craft the perfect  Personal   Statement , achieve a highly competitive UCAT and BMAT  score and teach you how to  Interview effectively.

Discover our  Dentistry Premium Programme  by clicking the button below to  enrol and triple your chances of success.

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Dental Schools Council

The principal source of informed opinion and advice on education and research in dental schools in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Personal statements

The personal statement is your chance to explain who you are and why you believe you are an ideal candidate for dentistry.

What to write about

The personal statement is your opportunity to articulate why you would like to study dentistry, and explain what skills and experience you possess which would make you a good dentist.

Remember that your personal statement should be individual to you rather than a series of clichés. The personal statement is the same for each course you apply for, so avoid mentioning any universities by name.

In your personal statement, you should:

  • Tell the reader why you are applying – include your motivation to study dentistry, as well as what interests you about the subject
  • Explain what makes you suitable for a career in dentistry – this could be relevant experience, skills, or achievements you have gained from education, work, or other activities
  • Reflect on your work experience and what you learnt about yourself or the profession
  • Talk about any current affairs in dentistry or healthcare which you have heard about, explaining what you found interesting and why
  • Mention any other higher education outreach activities you may have attended, explaining what you found interesting and why
  • Include some information about what you like to do in your spare time and explain how this has developed your skills
  • If there are any personal circumstances which have affected your educational performance or qualification choices, outline them in your personal statement. For example, this might be something that caused you to miss school, such as a physical or mental health condition, or caring for a family member.

What makes a good dentist?

When writing your personal statement, keep in mind the values, attributes and skills that make a good dentist. Dentists need to be able apply their scientific knowledge in clinical settings, and therefore academic ability and an aptitude for problem solving is key to the selection of candidates. However, other attributes such as commitment, motivation, resilience and concern for others are all important too.

Skills and attributes of an ideal candidate to dentistry

  • Motivation to study dentistry and genuine interest in the dental profession
  • Insight into your own strengths and weaknesses
  • The ability to reflect on your own work
  • Personal organisation
  • Manual dexterity (you could include examples of hobbies that require steady hands or good coordination)
  • Academic ability
  • Problem solving
  • Manage risk and deal effectively with problems
  • Ability to take responsibility for your own actions
  • Conscientiousness
  • Insight into your own health
  • Effective communication, including reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Ability to treat people with respect
  • Empathy and the ability to care for others

Writing your personal statement for dental school

The most important thing about your personal statement is that it is written by you and that it is an honest reflection of your thoughts, skills and interests. When writing your personal statement, keep these key attributes in mind. Rather than simply stating that you embody these attributes, give examples of how you have demonstrated them in the past, for instance while on work experience or through extracurricular activities.

The fifth choice subject

Since dentistry is your chosen course, never try to tailor your personal statement to another course within the same personal statement. Contact the course provider for the fifth choice to find out if they will accept a personal statement focused on dentistry.

Assessing personal statements

Dental schools vary in how they assess personal statements. Some score them while others do not. They commonly use personal statements as a basis for conversation during interview, so it is a good idea to write things which you would be prepared to expand on if asked.

When writing your personal statement, think about the values, attributes and skills you possess which would make you a good dentist.

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Dentistry Personal Statement Examples – KCL (Saif)

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Welcome to our collection of Dentistry Personal Statement Examples! We’ve searched far and wide to find personal statements from successful applicants all around the UK and asked them to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of their work for your own inspiration. Today’s subject is from Saif, who studies Dentistry at King’s College London.

Saif applied to study Dentistry back in 2021 at four amazing UK Dental Schools, including KCL, University of Bristol and University of Glasgow. He received offers from 3 out of his four choices of which he chose to study at KCL.

Let’s read the personal statement that got him a place at KCL, or skip straight to his feedback to learn what made his personal statement a success!

Please be aware that these examples are meant purely for the sake of inspiration, and should absolutely NOT be used as a model around which to base your own personal statement. UCAS have a rather strict system that detects plagiarism .

KCL Dentistry Personal Statement Example

Whole personal statement.

A smile is more than just a smile, it is a reflection of happiness, confidence and self-esteem. Dentistry is the engineering of a smile, focusing on patients’ health, comfort and wellbeing. The interaction with patients and colleagues is not only integral to the care provided, but also a very attractive aspect of this career. With constant advances in research, dentistry has been and always will be an evolving profession. This opportunity for lifelong learning excites me and has fuelled my desire to pursue this pathway.

I had the opportunity to join the dentists at my local practice where I observed check-ups; the fitting and moulding of dentures; and tooth extractions. The interaction between dentists of different specialist interests; along with the dental nurses, hygienists and supporting staff maintained the best care possible in a multidisciplinary team. It was amazing to see the wonderful impact that they had on so many patients. For example – helping a lady with periodontitis. Her gums had begun to recede causing many teeth to fall out and others to wobble. Everyday tasks we take for granted (such as talking and eating) led to constant pain and difficulty. I will never forget the look on her face once she was fitted with her personalised dentures. This inspired me to learn more about the working life of a dentist.

I came across Dr Manouchehri’s ‘Teeth and Tales” podcast which was informative and enjoyable. It was interesting to learn about the importance of dental health as an indicator for many diseases. For instance, mouth ulcers can indicate signs of some bowel diseases, and examination of the mouth can diagnosen early stages of oral cancer. This captivated me : dentistry does not only improve the quality of people’s lives; it has the potential to save it. The podcast includes a brief yet stimulating discussion about a dentist’s ‘typical work week’ – which is in fact not typical at all.

Each patient has their own needs, resulting in an immense variation of work that has intrigued me – sparking my interest in orthodontics. This focuses on unique tooth alignment in order to provide patient focused treatment, providing new, exciting challenges to overcome. A smile can be built that improves the appearance and functionality of someone’s mouth – building their confidence and protecting their teeth by correcting their bite.

Communication is the basis of the dentist-patient relationship that is built on trust and respect. I am an effective communicator – evident in my roles as Senior Prefect and Classroom Assistant. As part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award, I volunteered at my local Barnardo’s where I worked as part of a team which helped me improve my communication skills. It was a great pleasure to do something good for my community, supporting the less fortunate by gathering and sorting through donations to those in need.

Dentistry is a demanding and stressful career, so finding ways to relax is important. Music is my tool for relaxation. I am a keen piano player and have passed my grade 6 exam with distinction. Hard work and disciplined practice have greatly improved my manual dexterity and attention to detail – skills that are integral to dentistry. My commitment has allowed me to begin tutoring, where I tailor my teaching style according to a student’s age and skill level. I am able to communicate complex information in an understandable way; build relationships with otherwise shy children; and put them at ease when dealing with frustrations. By effectively managing my time, I balance my schoolwork and benefit from being part of the school choir as well as an U18’s football team within the top division of my region. Football involves communication with teammates, mirroring the teamwork required in the life of a dentist.

I recognise that dentistry is a demanding career, but it is also extremely rewarding. It would give me the opportunity to connect with and positively impact so many people. Nothing would fulfil me more.

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KCL Dentistry Personal Statement Example Analysis

Now, let’s go section by section and see what Saif has to say about what he wrote:  

INTRODUCTION

Introduction

I feel that in the introduction of my personal statement I have been able to clearly demonstrate my passion for Dentistry. From my explanation, the intent behind my desire to study Dentistry really shines through. 

I do feel that my introduction does come across as quite impersonal and I haven’t related it to myself until the final sentence. I could have expanded further on the research aspect of Dentistry as this is an area I am interested in and it would have been better to covey this to the admissions tutor to demonstrate my understanding of it. 

Paragraph 1

I have not only discussed my work experience but also reflected on it, showing what I learnt and how it made me feel. This shows my passion and experience – and also that I understand the value of doing work experience. 

I probably could have been more concise, which could have meant I would have had more characters available to me later on in my personal statement which I feel I ended up rushing through. As well, I would have liked to have spent more time discussing the life-saving aspect of Dentistry in more depth by talking about what a Max Fax surgeon is.

Paragraph 2

I have shown that I have been doing wider reading – even though it has not been in the traditional sense of the term but rather with a podcast. I have made sure to talk about what I have learnt from it, using mouth ulcers are a symptom for some bowel diseases as an example as I just found it so fascinating. 

Again, I probably could have been more concise here. What the podcast talks about is not what is important but rather what I have grasped and learnt from it. I have probably embellished my language a bit too much, e.g., “…podcast which was informative and enjoyable,” when I could have cut out the latter part of the sentence and gone straight into why it was interesting. 

Paragraph 3

Here I made the point of discussing a specialist branch of Dentistry, that being orthodontics. I have talked about what interests me in orthodontics. This also displays the knowledge I have gained through wider reading and understanding of the profession as a whole.

I should have gone into my depth about what sparked my interest in orthodontics. It would have been helpful to relate it back to what I saw during my work experience. 

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Paragraph 4

I have used my personal experiences to relate to how I have developed and enhanced my communication skills – a skill which is vital to a career in Dentistry. Though I have only mentioned it from the sense of a dentist-patient relationship, it is also a necessary skill when working with other members of a dental team. 

As briefly mentioned above it would have been better to relate my communication ability to a clinical setting and draw on what I saw and learnt during my work experience. As well, I mentioned being a Senior Prefect and Classroom Assistant but have not gone into detail of anything I actually done within these roles. 

Paragraph 5

Here I have discussed the extracurricular activities that I undertook to show off more of my personality and interests outside of school and Dentistry. The idea behind this was to show the universities I was applying to what sort of person the would-be considering aside from my academics and to showcase myself as a well rounded individual. 

I have mentioned elsewhere I could have been more concise at the start of my personal statement as I feel this section is really rushed as I ran out of characters which would have allowed me to go into more depth. Maybe if I had structured my personal statement differently, it would have allowed me to discuss my extracurriculars in more detail 

My conclusion is clear, concise and straight to the point. I have acknowledged that a Dentistry degree and career will be challenging but I feel I am well suited to face this adversity and rise above it. 

There is being concise, and then there is potentially being too short which I feel this is. Again, I used up valuable characters earlier on in my personal statement which would have been better used for my conclusion. As well, I could have related it back to what I said in my introduction to make it feel more cohesive. 

Final Thoughts

I am pleased with my reflection of my work experience, I have not just listed what I done but mentioned the value I have gained from it by relating it to patients that I came across. Additionally, the section about my wider reading and my interest in the subject through Dr Manouchehri’s podcast, I feel, conveys my passion for Dentistry and my fascination with it. 

The end is what really lets it down, I feel, I ran out of characters, and it shows. I easily could have shortened my introduction and gained characters back there. Reading it back through, it does come across as slightly rushed and that I had just crammed it all in. There are definitely some sections that could have been broken down into smaller paragraphs just for ease of reading. 

So there you have it! This personal statement helped Saif get 3/4 offers in his application.

Everyone has different experiences and abilities, so you may not be able to relate to everything that was said in this personal statement. However, the information and advice provided by Saif is universal and will help any applicant write a better personal statement!  

Be sure to check out more Medicine Personal Statement Analyses to see advice from all different kinds of applicants, including Ali Abdaal himself! Or if you want to get started on your own statement, check out 6med’s Personal Statement Bundle for all the support and resources you’ll ever need! If you want full support on every part of your application and a guaranteed place at med school, the Complete Bundle will be perfect for you.  

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9 Insider Tips to Ace Your Dental Hygiene and Therapy Interview

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9 Tips | Ace your Dental Hygiene and Therapy Interview

Applying to Dental Hygiene and Therapy can be exciting, but the interview process can be a source of anxiety for many students. However, with proper preparation, you can confidently navigate the interview and leave a lasting impression on the panel.

I have worked with dental hygiene and therapy applicants by providing interview help for the last few years. I find a common issue is the lack of notice given. Some applicants are only given an invite two weeks before the interview day. This leaves them feeling overwhelmed with anxiety and unprepared!

In this blog post, we’ll provide valuable tips to help you ace your Dental Hygiene and Therapy interview.

Dental Hygiene and Therapy Interview Formats:

Before delving into the tips, it’s essential to understand the two standard interview formats: the Traditional Panel Interview and the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

Traditional Panel Interview

  • This common interview format involves a sit-down interview with 2 or 3 interviewers and the applicant.
  • The interviewers may have your personal statement in front of them, and they will have questions that they will ask you.
  • Traditional interviews last between 15 – 30 minutes

Dental Hygiene Interview

Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

  • The multiple mini interview typically consists of 10-12 mini interview stations , with a separate interviewer at each.
  • 2 stations are usually designated as ‘rest’ stations, allowing a 5-minute break, which helps you to relax and compose yourself.
  • At each station, there is an A4 sheet that you can spend 30 seconds reading.
  • The information outlines the task to be completed, with some instructions or a question that you will be asked.
  • This allows some thinking time and you can jot down some notes if that helps. You then begin the task or start speaking with the interviewer.
  • They are grading you on what you say and how you come across.

Now that we’ve outlined the formats let’s explore nine tips to help you excel in your Dental Hygiene and Therapy interview:

9 Tips - Dental Hygiene/Therapy Interview

Tip 1 - research the interview format.

Understand the specific format you will face – whether it’s a traditional panel or MMI. Tailor your preparation accordingly.

Some universities, like Bristol, will ask you to prepare something before the virtual panel interview, such as creating something from a kitchen roll tube or creating crystals by following an instruction leaflet that will be sent to you. During the interview they will ask to see this and will ask you to talk through the process.

Tip 2 - Know Your Application Inside Out

Be ready to discuss any aspect of your application, as interviewers may refer to your personal statement, grades, or experiences. This is essential during a panel interview where they may have your statement in front of you. 

Tip 3 - Practise With Mock Interviews

Simulate the interview experience by participating in mock interviews. This will help ease nerves and make you feel more confident.

If you’d like to book a mock with Dr Radhika (a dentist and application helper) – please contact her .

Tip 4 - Master Common Interview Questions

Prepare responses for standard questions about your motivations, experiences, and future goals in dental hygiene/therapy.

There will be skills-based questions and there may also be ethical scenarios. Check out the Comprehensive Interview Guide for Dental Hygiene & Therapy

Tip 5 - Stay Updated on Dental Healthcare Topics

Demonstrate your commitment to the field by staying informed about current challenges within the NHS, such as the increasing difficulties of registering at a clinic and be able to talk about the implications of this.

Tip 6 - Develop Critical Thinking Skills

The MMI assesses your ability to think on your feet. Practice critical thinking and problem-solving to excel in this format. There may be a role play where you must show empathy and communicate effectively.

There is usually an ethical scenario as well – “There is a train heading at 90km/h down a  train track; on this track, a family is tied down and will be hit. If you press a button, the train will divert to another track where an elderly couple is tied down. Do you press the button?”

Tip 7 - Use the STAR Strategy

There are variations of this technique, but it involves talking about your experience by discussing the

S ituation – Describe the event or situation

T ask – Explain the task you had to complete

A ction – Explain what your roles were

R esult – Share the outcome and R eflect on what you learned or the challenges faced

Tip 8 - Prepare Examples That You Can Speak About

Speak about the patient cases you saw, maintain confidentiality – do not mention patient names.

Have some examples from your work experience that you can talk about, such as treatments you saw and how the team worked together. Think of the qualities you saw in the hygienist and therapist.

Tip 9 - Stay Calm and Composed

During the MMI, manage your time efficiently. Stay calm, composed, and focused on each task without letting the format overwhelm you. If you feel that you’ve done well in a previous station, it doesn’t matter; you can still ace the next station.

A panel interview should not overwhelm you. It is usually a nice and friendly conversation. They are not trying to trip you up. 

With these nine tips, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle your Dental Hygiene and Therapy interview. Preparation is the key to success, so start early, stay focused, and let your passion for dental hygiene shine through.

Prepare well ahead of time for the interview using the Ultimate Dental Hygiene and Therapy Interview Guide.

Get the Comprehensive Dental Hygiene and Therapy Interview Guide

This guide has helped numerous Dental Hygiene and Therapy applicants ace their interviews and score a place. 35-page PDF guide with everything you need to know Interview help, guidance, questions & model answers Ethical scenarios and answers Past interview questions University-specific advice Tips and tricks to help you nail the dental hygiene and therapy interview Tip: Use coupon code “ RAD24 ” for 10% off

dental hygiene therapy interview guide

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Dentistry Personal Statement

After my sister was specifically advised to have her teeth brushed to control the risk of heart disease that emerged from her mitochondrial disorder, it became apparent that oral hygiene was pertinent in the maintenance of her health. This highlighted a more serious side to dentistry where its application had implications on the longevity of life, rather than just quality, emphasising it as a profession that is undeserving of the superficial image it sometimes attracts.

To supplement my growing interest, I undertook a six week MOOC course called 'Discover Dentistry', which explored the extensive use of additive manufacturing in facial reconstruction and how worms were thought to cause decay. I was intrigued by how the scarcity of scientific explanations led to barber-surgeons erratically extracting teeth. Pierre Fauchard denounced such barbaric malpractice and focused on enhancing the training of dentists with anatomical concepts. His revolutionary work fortified my enthusiasm for dentistry and my curiosity in its future implementation.

Whilst shadowing dentists for three weeks, l appreciated how staff strived to uphold the trust instilled in them by patients; the reliance of dentists on administrative staff and nurses was especially noticeable. The artistry and detail that formulated the personalised care of each patient's mouth was captivating - watching an eroded tooth be rebuilt was especially interesting. It illustrated that dentistry requires excellent manual dexterity, which I have developed during GCSE Textiles by sewing a range of products, as well as by applying henna - an intricate skill which allows exploration of artistic flair.

Participating in a communications workshop at Leeds University allowed me to identify that oral health is often misunderstood and poorly addressed due to language barriers. However, dealing with customers of diverse backgrounds at Cancer Research exemplified the significance of my ability to speak Urdu and how it could be applied to reassure anxious patients and allow them to be in control of their health. Supporting adults with learning disabilities at the Learning Zone has developed my understanding of the importance of confidentiality and sensitivity towards a person's situation. Although I felt intimidated at first, by being patient and empathetically conversing with the students, I am able to make a positive contribution to their independence. In terms of academia, solving differentiation-based application questions is an element of maths I really enjoy as I am challenged to integrate methodical formulae to abstract situations - it has nurtured my problem-solving skills, which are vital in resolving complex cases in dentistry. I am researching and writing an EPQ dissertation with a focus on the impact of oral hygiene and longevity of life. The link between the topic and my future career aspiration makes it intrinsically interesting. I also enjoy being able to develop independent research skills that would clearly be useful in dentistry, as it is a discipline that consists of research paired with first-line healthcare.

Recreationally, progressing as an avid participant of badminton and netball will not only allow me to subjugate the stress that accompanies the intense nature of dentistry, but it has also enabled me to refine my coordination and teamwork skills. As a prefect, I acted upon the views of the school community, thereby exhibiting a sense of responsibility and leadership. Moreover, completing NCS greatly increased my confidence as the experience tested my limits and pushed me out of my comfort zone. Having witnessed the vulnerability of patients, both personally and professionally, and being inspired by the work ethic of Fauchard, I am determined to supersede the conventional perception of a dentist. I intend on delivering innovative healthcare for the benefit of social welfare and being involved in pioneering research that could shape the future of the dental field.

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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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10 Dental School Personal Statement Examples

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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