When it comes to applying to dental school, after your personal statement, your dental interview is probably the next biggest thing. Amongst the wide variety of preparation that you must do for your interview, one of the essential things is to practice some interview questions. This post aims to provide you with some insight into some questions and a long (but not exhaustive) list of questions that could come up at your dental school interview!

1. Why do you want to be a dentist?

  • Always a key question and make sure you can answer it well.
  • What brought the spark of dentistry into you? It may be the practical nature of it, it may be interacting and working with so many different people. It could even be that you like the combination of science and design.
  • You need to get across your passion for the subject to convince the interviewers.
  • NEVER EVER say that you want to be a dentist because of the money.

2. What have you done to investigate dentistry?

  • This includes all the range of work experience, reading and whatever you may have done.
  • For anything you mention try to include what you did, where and what you learnt.
  • Also, try to link back to how it informed your decision to do dentistry.

3. Why dentistry and not medicine?

  • Another common question and one that is quite difficult to answer
  • For this, you will really have to think of your own drive for choosing one over the other. It may be that you have experience in both and decided that dentistry was better suited to you. It could be the fact you tend to build long-term relationships with patients over the years.
  • Try to make this unique to you and not something generic.

4. What are the qualities of an ideal dentist?

  • There are, obviously, many qualities that are required but it is crucial that not only do you know these qualities but you can demonstrate how YOU have these qualities.
  • Things you may want to mention include: manual dexterity, communication skills, teamwork and patience.

5. Why did you apply to this dental school?

  • Your answer is going to be different for every dental school you apply to. Think about some of the following:
      • The course – is it lecture based of Problem Based Learning?
      • More detailed aspects of the course e.g. outreach and elective
      • The city – do you like the city and what’s on offer?
      • The opportunities within the university
      • Transport links

Other dental interview questions to think about

  1. What do you do to cope with stress?
  2. Did you visit our open day? What did you think?
  3. During your work experience, did anything surprise/shock you?
  4. Is your own dentist good at communicating with their patients?
  5. Do dentists treat children differently to adults?
  6. How does teamwork affect dentistry?
  7. What is the role of the dental nurse?
  8. What role does a dentist have in diagnosing other medical problems?
  9. What is the difference between tooth erosion and tooth decay?
  10. Tell me about preventative dentistry
  11. What precautions must be taken with patients who are HIV positive?
  12. What is orthodontics?
  13. What is periodontics?
  14. Why do dentists recommend fluoridation of water supplies?
  15. What are the arguments against water fluoridation?
  16. What are the different types of filling materials?
  17. Why are more white/composite fillings used?
  18. Advantages and disadvantages of amalgam fillings
  19. Do you think amalgam fillings are dangerous?
  20. If you were to target one aspect of improving dental health, what would you target and why?
  21. What is an extraction?
  22. What is gingivitis?
  23. What is root canal treatment?
  24. What is the difference between a crown and a bridge?
  25. Have there been any recent advances in dental technology?
  26. What branches of dentistry are there?
  27. What do you understand about NHS dentistry in the UK?
  28. How have you demonstrated a commitment to your community?
  29. What would you contribute to this dental school?
  30. What are your best/worst qualities?
  31. How can you demonstrate manual dexterity?
  32. What is professionalism?
  33. What does being a student mean?
  34. What are your duties towards your patient as a dentist? As a student?
  35. What is the last book you read? Did you like it?

References and Recommended Reading

DISCLAIMER – This post consists of pointers that I have picked up. It by no means guarantees you a place in dental school but merely behaves as a resource and guide for you to utilise.

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BDS (Hons.) MFDS RCPS (Glasg.) Cert Med Ed FHEA - Currently working as a Speciality Doctor in OMFS and as an Associate Dentist


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