What are the main benefits of doing a pre-dentistry internship?

March 8, 2016

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

See current opportunities


For students who are planning on applying to dental school, a pre-dentistry internship is an excellent way to gain an introduction to the field.

It’s also a great opportunity for students who are still undecided about becoming a dentist – because it can help you decide either way. Some of the benefits to completing a pre-dentistry internship include the following:

Confirms your interest in the profession

During an internship, you’ll be shadowing dentists, which helps you to learn more about the demands of the job, and opportunities within the field of dentistry. Dentists do a lot more than exam teeth and fill cavities; there are various specialty areas that you may not know much about. Shadowing dentists may allow you to see specialists like periodontists and pediatric dentists at work. You might also learn about specialties you did not even know existed, such as oral maxillofacial radiology and public health dentistry.

Prepares you for dental school

There’s a lot of work that goes into becoming a dentist. Through four years of dental school, you’ll learn the mechanics of dentistry. But that’s not all there is to working as a dentist. Don’t forget the human aspect, which is another way a pre-dentistry internship can be beneficial. Students are not allowed to treat patients, but while shadowing dentists they can listen, watch and learn how to deal with different situations and communicate effectively with patients.

Patients can seek help from a dentist for various reasons: from cosmetic procedures to improving oral health. Regardless of the particular procedure needed, all patients want clear communication and to trust their dentist. Watching dentists interact with patients can be extremely beneficial when a student gets to the point of working in a dental clinic during dental school. Learning how to build rapport with patients is a skill that will apply to all dentists in their future practice.

Pre-dentistry internships and shadowing experiences may be set up differently. But many programs will provide students with the chance to become immersed in cases and treatment plans involving a wide range or procedures.

Enhances your dental school application

Dental school admissions panels take several factors into consideration when selecting candidates. In addition to your grades and DAT score, schools also consider internships and volunteer work. Completing a pre-dental internship shows an enthusiasm for the profession and a commitment to becoming a dentist. Anything you can do that makes you stand out from the crowd in a positive way is helpful.

Fosters personal growth

Not only does a pre-dentistry internship enhance a student’s knowledge of the dental profession, but it also provides a chance to meet other students interested in the same career. It’s an opportunity to build friendships and possibly meet people from all over the world. Shadowing dentists also gives students a chance to interact with other professionals and learn from their experience. A pre-dental internship is not only beneficial on a professional level, but it also allows for personal growth.

Chat with us on Facebook or Twitter, or email info@gapmedics.com

Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and physician assistants – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.