Your personal statement is a one-page essay (not to exceed 4,500 characters), including spaces, carriages, numbers, letters, etc. As you write your statement, it is important to ask yourself if the examples and descriptions you have included could just as easily be found in a personal statement for medical purposes, pharmacy school, or any other health profession. The admissions process for dental school is highly competitive, and applicants may be tempted to use the 4,500 characters of their personal statement to try to demonstrate their superior intelligence. However, the goal of your application should be to get an interview at as many dental schools as possible (or at least your dream school), and the personal statement is your chance to showcase your unique and interesting features. A personal statement for dental school is also a great place to emphasize what you want to do after entering the dental industry.
For example, if you mentioned your follow-up experience in your request, it may be appropriate to include a story in your personal statement that occurred while shadowing a dentist. Personal stories and unique experiences that relate to why you want to be a dentist or that help the admissions committee get to know you on a more humane level should comprise most of your statement. It may be tempting to assume that the applicant with a DAT of 22 and a GPA of 3.8 will be accepted before the candidate with a GPA of 20 DAT and 3.6, however, the admissions process is not that simple and it is often the personal statement that can separate these two candidates in the mind of an admission committee. Therefore, all personal statements should answer the basic question of why the applicant is pursuing dentistry, while shedding light on their personal qualities that cannot be assessed from test scores. For example, if an applicant has transitioned from singing to dentistry, they can effectively and concisely describe this unique personal characteristic in their statement. According to previous candidates, successful statements follow a good structure, are genuine, and demonstrate a desire for the student to dedicate themselves to dentistry.
For instance, if an applicant has an empathetic personality and the ability to stay calm in stressful situations, they can mention this in their statement and explain how it has already helped them in their experience at Pierson Pediatric Dentistry. Furthermore, they can express their desire to continue helping children overcome their fear of the dentist by completing their program and opening their own office. If you are struggling to reduce your personal statement within the 4500 character limit, consider reviewing the other areas of the ADEA AADSAS application (Dental Experience, Employment, Extracurricular Activities, Research, Volunteering) and see if some of your experiences can be included in other sections than your personal statement. The personal statement must consist of a maximum of 4000 characters in 47 lines of text (which is equivalent to about 500 words).