Career Spotlight: Pediatric Dentistry!

Hello all pre-dentals. We are bringing in a new segment here on the blog, called Career Spotlight, where we showcase and explore the nine dental specializations, different career settings, positions, and more in the wide world of dentistry.


After your four years of dental school and you are crowned the title of a DDS (doctor of dental surgery) or a DMD (doctor of dental medicine) you can choose to go above and beyond with additional post-graduate training to specialize!

With this specialized training you can hone your skills and knowledge specifically in the area of dentistry you desire.


For our first trick: Pediatric Dentistry!


I thought this would be a good place to start with specializations since it’s still a broad population of patients you will see: children. Even though pediatric dentistry refers to the treatment of the “pediatric population”, this actually covers a wide age range with widely varying needs, including all those between birth through the adolescent years. Check out the intro video from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry below.



  • After dental school graduation, a two-year pediatric dentistry residency program immerses dentists in the world often referred to as the pediatricians of dentistry. These programs feature a wide array of both clinical (i.e. in hospitals) and didactic (i.e. in classrooms) experiences working solely with children. A breakdown of the pediatric dentistry residency programs across the U.S. from the AAPD can be found here.


  • The early years of a child’s life is a critical time for dental development and monitoring. The American Dental Association recommends visiting a pediatric dentist after the first tooth emerges and strongly suggests that an infant’s 1st dental visit should really be no later than their 1st birthday!


  • Developing teeth on tiny patients is a big specialization and it may just be your thing. If you are interested in diving deeper and learning more, explore sites like the ADA’s and


fun fact: pediatric dentistry was formally referred to as pedodontics or paedodontics.


So there you have it; a small beginners look to the specialization of pediatrics!

Stay tuned for more of DAT Cracker’s exploration into the nooks and crannies of the dentistry field!

Applying to Dental School: Letters of Recommendation!

Applying to dental school is a long, trying process and while the ADEA AADSAS application for the Fall 2016 cycle doesn’t even open until June 1st, it’s time to start thinking about your application now! By the way, if you’re planning on applying to a dental school in Texas the TMDSAS open May 1st!

Summertime and these applications may seem like a ways away but…

RIGHT NOW is the time to be making the connections and developing relationships with future letters of recommendation writers!


You can’t just go around asking like this, “I’m great! Write about it!” *self-five*


Anyway here’s the lowdown letters of rec:


Who to Ask?

Professors are bombarded with students asking for letters so the key is to ask the people who know you best in order to get the best letters. This is the time to be making nice with future potential letter writers and develop the kind relationships that make for compelling letters.

Basically you are recruiting for your dental school application team, so choose them wisely!

Schools sometimes ask for specific letter writers (like one from a professor, one from an employer, etc.) so research your potential dental schools’ requirements and plan accordingly.


Ask In Person.

Everyone really harps on this, as they should! You can set up an initial meeting through email to discuss the possibly of them writing a letter for you but you shouldn’t ask outright over the internet; that’s an in person question! Plus what’s that saying, “it’s harder to say no to someone in person”, right?


Ask Early.

As mentioned before professors are getting flooded with requests and you want a good letter not a rushed one! The absolute least amount of time is three weeks to ask for a good letter.


Go Asking Prepared.

This last tip will really set you apart from what could be many letter of recommendation a professor has to write. Go to your letter writers with all the materials they may need when writing a beautiful letter about you. These things can include your resume, CV, and at least a draft or bullet points from your personal statement. You want to set them up and make it easy for them to write a great letter so they can get a feel for exactly what you’re going for your application.


With these things in mind go forth and prosper setting yourself up for the best letters of recommendation possible. P.S. If you’re stressing about the DAT fast approaching, practice and ace it with DAT Cracker of course and stay tuned for more of our DAT Breakdown series!