Benefits of Joining ASDA as a Pre-Dental Student

What is ASDA?

ASDA is short for the American Student Dental Association. ASDA was formed in 1971 by a group of dental students. The national student-run organization now has more than 23,000 members from around the United States and also includes student dentists from every dental school and many pre-dental students. As a student-run organization, ASDA supports its members' rights, interests, and welfare. They provide service by advocating, along with the ADA (American Dental Association) for oral health throughout the nation. So what benefits can ASDA provide for you as a pre-dent? Let's explore 11 benefits that can experience by joining!


Benefit #1 Free Guide for Pre-Dental Students

As a part of your pre-dental American Student Dental Association membership, you will receive a copy of "Getting Into Dental School: ASDA’s Guide for Predental Students". This free guide will give you tips on:

  1. Preparing for the DAT

  2. A Pre-Dental student timeline

  3. Tips on asking for Letters of Recommendation

  4. Tips for your Dental School Interviews

  5. How to choose a dental school

  6. A list of all dental schools' information

  7. Dental students perspectives

  8. ASDA 101

  9. Career paths for dentists

Benefit #2 Additional Guides

In addition to their overarching guide, the American Student Dental Association also provides copies of other guides.

  1. The Pre-Dental Shadowing Guide-This guide will help you learn how to arrange shadowing opportunities, how to prepare to shadow, and what to do while shadowing. (You can also check out our shadowing posts here)

  2. The Pre-Dental Organizer-This PDF keeps you organized on important information to prepare for dental school, including jobs, internships, shadowing hours, awards, contacts you've made, etc.

  3. The Non-Traditional Student Guide-If your journey to dental school has not followed the "traditional" path, not to worry! This guide will help you with advice on courses, the DAT, letters of recommendation, your personal statement, and much more.

Benefit #3 The Polished Pre-Dental

As an ASDA member, you can subscribe to The Polished Pre-Dental. This quarterly newsletter will give you updates regarding dental news, events, pre-dental resources, and other tips to help you get into dental school. Their well-written articles are sure to make you feel much more confident in your pre-dental journey and future dental school application.


Benefit #4 The Pre-Dental Club Toolkit

The Pre-Dental Club Toolkit is the ultimate guide on how to start a pre-dental club at your college or university. If you currently have an established pre-dental club, you can also use this tool to review your current organization. This guide includes templates and examples for constitutions and bylaws, shadowing guidelines, and ideas on how to request funding. If you are a leader in a pre-dental organization or thinking of starting a pre-dental club at your university, this resource is a must!


Benefits #5 ASDA Health and Wellness

As a student organization, ASDA recognizes the needs and wants to support its members. Its leadership recognizes that both dental school and the path to dental school are exhausting for students. At least one Wednesday each month, ASDA shares insights on how to examine and improve your overall wellness. In addition, each year, ASDA dedicates one entire month (September) to health & wellness. As a member, you'll have access to all these resources to help you on your journey to dentistry.


Benefit #6 ASDA Advocacy Month

The American student dental association works hard to protect & advances the rights interests and welfare of dental students throughout the nation. By working with ASDA and becoming involved in advocacy you can learn more about the issues dentists and dental students face and what solutions are in the works. These will be great points to bring up in your dental school interviews!


Benefit #7 ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day

Each year, thousands of dentists and dental students join together to explore issues, voice their opinions, and take action. By participating, you can learn more about dentistry issues and policies that will affect your patients and future patients. The ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day 2023 will take place from March 5th to the 7th in Washington D.C. Get more information here.


Benefit #8 Learn about Leadership

ASDA has loads of resources to develop you as a leader in dentistry.

  1. National Leadership Conference-being a dentist is so much more than knowing how to do fillings, crowns, and root canals. Your dental school education will prepare you well in this regard, but as a dentist, you will be expected to be a leader in the office and in the community. The annual leadership conference will teach you the skills you need to lead through more than 40 possible breakout sessions.

  2. Webinars-ASDA frequently offers webinars with dental and non-dental leaders.

  3. ASDA Blog-Learn leadership from the experiences of current and former ASDA members.

  4. Contour-As a member of ASDA, you receive a copy of their magazine Contour, which frequently features articles on leadership skills and techniques.

Benefit #9 Get to know other Pre-Dental Students

By actively participating with your ASDA membership, you will definitely meet other pre-dental students on the way. Forming connections with other pre-dental students will give you the support you need along your journey. You will make friends along the way that will also have their own ideas that can help you become a better dental school applicant. Who knows, you may even wind up being dental school classmates with some of those that you met in the future!


Benefits #10 Get to know Dental Students

One of the greatest things you can do as a pre-dental student is form connections with current dental students. Student dentists can be some of the greatest mentors. Student dentists can also give you amazing insights into the dental school they attend which will be an amazing resource on your journey. They can give you great insights into why their dental school may or may not be the best choice for you. If you get an interview at their school, they can also give great tips when interviews come!


Benefit #11 Get to know Dentist and Dental Educators

Last, but not least, you will form great connections with dentists and dental educators through your participation. Dentists make amazing mentors, and with a good relationship, they will be vital in finding your future job. Dental educators will also often be at ASDA events. If you're able to form a good relationship with a dentist or dental educator at the school you would like to attend, your chances of being accepted skyrocket.


Final Thoughts

We recommend for all pre-dental students join in ASDA membership. By becoming a member of the American Student Dental Association you will have access to many resources, receive support, and be part of one of the largest national student-run organizations. Check out ASDA on Instagram so you're sure to never miss any updates! @dentalstudents


What has been your experience with ASDA? Would you recommend joining ASDA as a pre-dental student? What has been the greatest benefit for you being an ASDA member? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


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