Gifts for Grads

Many of you are graduating or just graduated in the last couple weeks. CONGRATULATIONS! How does it feel? You’ve spent 4 years of your life working around the clock for this degree. Every minute was either spent focused on work for dental school or stressing about dental school and sometimes even enjoying dental school. But school’s out and you deserve a reward! Below is a gift guide for dental school grads. Feel free to email this post to parents, grandparents and all the loved ones who would like to celebrate your accomplishment!

Apple’s iPad

Maybe you don’t need one, but you want one. And that’s what graduation gifts should be made of. You’ve worked really hard to get your DMD or DDS, now you deserve a toy. And think of the possibilities…when you use your digital SLR to take intra-oral photos of a patient, you can show them what you’re seeing on the iPad’s beautiful screen. Or maybe you’re going into a residency, in which case it’s much nicer to check emails in the hospital’s coffee shop, rather than at a desk. The possibilities are endless with the iPad, but mostly it’d just be really cool to have one!

Custom Laptop Skin

Whether or not you get the iPad you asked for, you’re probably still carrying around a laptop, an iPod, a smartphone, a Nintendo DS or maybe all of them at once. There are several companies out there that will make custom skins for almost any tech product you own–no joke, you can have a custom skin made for your Guitar Hero! I’ve used Unique Skins and I was very happy with the result. You simply select which product you want to create a skin for and then either design the skin using a variety of text and photo tools at Unique Skins or you can create your design in another program and upload it as a photo file. For $7 you can have an iPhone that looks completely different from anyone else’s phone. Laptop skins run closer to $20 or $30.


You’ve been carrying a Jansport backpack for the last 4 years. Although the life-time guarantee and the amount of abuse they can take is impressive, you’ve grown into your white-coat and out of your backpack. Trade it for a classy briefcase. Not only will a briefcase protect all your important papers and files, it will radiate the professionalism that you’ve worked so hard to attain. Try Kenneth Cole for some classy leather options or for a wider variety. The messenger bag style is still popular, so you can have a both a professional-looking briefcase but avoid looking like you walked off the set of Mad Men.

Dinner and Champagne

Most of this list has consisted of gadgets, ways to cover those gadgets and to carry those gadgets. Toys are great, but at the end of the day it’s most rewarding to just spend time with those who are closest to you and got you through the last 4 years. Possibly the most thoughtful gift is a celebratory dinner and a bottle of champagne, or any beverage of choice, to commemorate the occasion. Online discounts are everywhere nowadays, so take advantage of websites such as where you can buy $25 gift certificates for $10. Also, most major cities have caught the Groupon fever, and you can often find significant discounts by subscribing to the daily emails.

ASDA Associate Membership

We know that deep down you don’t want to leave. You’re glad to be done with the late nights of studying and all the clinical requirements, but leave ASDA? How will you manage? Don’t fret! Although you’re moving into the ADA and you’re going to be an active member there, you can still keep up with ASDA. Become and Associate Member and still receive the publications, the discounts and the member benefits you’re used to! Membership is $55 and can be obtained at

NOTE: ASDA no longer offers an associate membership. But you can support the future of dentistry by donating to ASDA here.

~Kim Schneider, communications editor

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