Your Pre-Health Advisor
If you have doubts about whether dental school is for you or are concerned about your chances for admission, you should schedule an appointment with your pre-health advisor.
As a matter of fact, you should be in constant contact with him or her anyway.
Your pre-health advisor can be instrumental in helping you decide if dental school is right for you and assessing your chances for admission. In addition, he or she will be particularly helpful in guiding you to the right schools, both in terms of the best curriculum for your interests and the most likely schools that will accept you. Finally, your pre-health advisor will have specific data about dental school requirements, how students from your school fared in the admissions process, and where students with similar academic backgrounds and DAT scores were accepted.
In many undergraduate institutions, the pre-health office handles the letters of recommendation. In some cases, they simply relay the letters to the dental schools. In other cases, the pre-health advisor—or committee—writes a letter to the admissions offices on your behalf. It's imperative that you get to know these people and that they know you.
Going It Alone
With the number of applications to dental schools at an all-time high, pre-health advisors are extremely busy. It's possible that if you're not a particularly strong candidate, you may find your advisor less than enthusiastic. He or she may have legitimate concerns about your competitiveness and may try to dissuade you from applying. At that point, it's up to you. You may have to go it alone without the full support of your school's pre-health office. Be realistic. If everyone agrees your chances are slim, have a backup plan just in case you're not admitted.