Now that you’ve established your ultimate career goal — becoming a dentist — it’s time to start thinking about how to achieve it.


If you aren't already an ASDA predental member, join today. Your involvement will give you something to talk about when you meet with dental school admissions and also give you exposure to important dental issues through ASDA communications and national events. You'll also receive a free copy of ASDA's "Guide to Getting into Dental School" when you join. This handbook includes information on preparing for the DAT, tips for interviewing and writing letters of recommendation and a comprehensive listing of each of the 62 dental schools. Use this guide to find out each school’s requirements, tuition, degrees offered and more.


Resources that can help you on your journey to dental school:
Paying for Dental School


The average non-resident cost of a four-year, public institution dental education is close to $230,000 (and more for a private school). What can you do to manage your money while you’re still in school?

  • Know what you're signing up for.

  • Use a budget and other personal finance tools.

  • Research loan repayment programs.



Licensure by State

Because of the rapidly changing nature of licensure policies in the United States, ASDA developed a map that provides a link to each state licensing board website, as well as a link to each state dental association or society. Contacting these organizations directly is the best way to ensure you have the most recent information regarding what licensing exam each state accepts.

Currently, only two jurisdictions administer their own clinical exams (Delaware and Virgin Islands). The remaining boards contract that responsibility to one of the five regional testing agencies:

Taking the NBDE Parts I & II

Each state sets its own licensure requirements (use this state map to navigate). However, all licensing boards use the National Board Dental Examinations to satisfy a major portion of their written requirements. The NBDE Parts I and II are developed and administered by the ADA’s Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations. The actual exams are conducted by regional or state examining boards. After you've passed it, you're on your way to taking your regional licensing exam.


Exam Reprints for Sale

Students studying for the National Board Dental Examinations can get help from ASDA. Reprints of actual past examinations are available for Part I and Part II, in addition to a pilot exam featuring a comprehensive format and multiple-choice items in the traditional Part I discipline. 

Tips for Writing Your CV/Resume


It takes an employer only 5 seconds to form an impression about your CV, make those seconds count! Use the tips below to draft your CV. Need more help? Download this sample.


CV dos and don’ts:
  • Use bullet points. A CV should be a quick snapshot of your history of work and education. 

  • Put the most important information first. You’ll want to list your work and education experience in chronological order. Make your path from student to dentist very clear and intentional by organizing your CV in the way you want it read. But for sections such as skills or organizations you’re active in, list the most important ones first.

  • Use white space to break up heavy areas of text to make it easier to read and more visually pleasing.

  • Use easy-to-read fonts (like the one in the sample, Calibri).

  • Use numbers to back up your achievements. If you were fundraising chair, total the amount raised while you held the position. This puts your achievement into perspective.

  • No hobbies. Unless you are 100 percent sure that a hobby will support your candidacy, leave it off. 

  • Keep your CV to 2-3 pages.



Networking is an important part of planning for your future. The relationships you make now can last for years to come and help you in your career as a dentist. Whether you’re trying to land the perfect job, you need general dentists’ referrals or you’re campaigning for an elected seat on your state association’s board, you’ll want a strong network.

Applying to a Postdoctoral Program


PASS/Match Partnership

Students applying to postdoctoral dental residency programs will find a streamlined system in place through the ADEA Postdoctoral Application Support Service (ADEA PASS) website. The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and National Matching Services, Inc. (NMS) have partnered to provide a single access point for students applying to both services.

Most postdoctoral programs in general dentistry, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery currently utilize ADEA PASS and the Match. About two-thirds of all ADEA PASS applicants participate in the Match.

Partner Organizations
WV Dental Association
Academy of General Dentistry

The AGD is a professional association of more than 38,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. AGD members stay up-to-date in their profession through a commitment to continuing education.


It's the newest go-to resource that's been designed, first and foremost, to meet the needs of consumers who have questions and concerns about their dental care and oral health.

West Virginia Academy of General Dentistry