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It’s a good idea to try and find out as much about dentistry before delving head first into a career. One of the best ways of doing so is by shadowing at your local dental practice to try and gain insight into what an average day entails and what things a dentist can and can’t do. This experience will provide you valuable content to put in your personal statement, talk about in interview and give you an insight into the profession.
Getting this experience however is difficult and often competitive so it’s important to apply well in advance and use the golden summer time of Years 11 and 12 to try and get as much experience in a healthcare/ caring environment.
Getting work experience
Getting work experience is one of the trickiest parts of the application process. It’s very difficult and very competitive to get work experience in a general dental practice which is why it’s important to use all the resources you have. Most Sixth Form/Colleges have links with a few GDP’s that they have built over many years of previous students shadowing there. However if your school does not offer this you could start by asking friends, parents or relatives if they know any dentists that would allow you to shadow they for a few days. Alternatively you could print out a CV and go and visit practices, if you ask to speak to the practice manager or lead nurse you can secure work experience this way.
If all else fails and you cannot get any work experience at a GDP try alternatives. Working in a care settings such as a care homes is a great way to start. You can further try your local orthodontist surgery, hospital or walk in centre.
All in all good advice would be to start looking early and be ready to travel far to get work experience.