After I graduated in India with a Bachelor in Dental Surgery (BDS) degree, I got the opportunity to come to the United States. As I prepared my application for international dentist programs at U.S. dental schools, I shadowed and volunteered at dental offices and community dental clinics. Soon, I started working part-time as a dental assistant and eventually received my Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification and Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) license in California and started to work full-time.
Volunteering in dental clinics is one of the most rewarding experiences predental students can have. The work can show you the clinical side of dentistry and also expose you to challenges you might face in practice.I started volunteering at a local dental clinic as a way to help low income and uninsured children. (The ADA wrote an article about the Kids’ Community Dental Clinic in 2014.) Volunteering here for more than a year taught me a lot about how to advance my career in dentistry. Here are some of the key concepts I learned: