Updated: Aug 6
Now that you know why you need to shadow dentists. How do you find dentists to shadow?
Ways to Find a Dentist to Shadow
1. Ask your dentist
2. Ask your friends, family members, & colleagues
3. Join your pre-dental club and go to lectures hosted by local dentists
4. Social media
This is likely the easiest way to find a dentist to shadow! You've likely been seeing this dentist for years. She knows you and you know her. This dentist is very likely to allow you to shadow her. Plus, when it comes to getting a letter of recommendation from a dentist, it helps to have someone who has known you for quite a while! On the downside, you are most likely away at college and don't have access to seeing your dentist often. In this case, your dentist is still a great option to shadow when you're home for school breaks, but you'll need to find other dentists to shadow to get more hours.
Friends/Family Members' Dentists
Maybe you didn't go to the dentist regularly growing up, or still don't (this is a good time to start). There are likely plenty of people who know who see a dentist. Ask around! It seems to us that most people like their dentist and think he is very friendly. It's very likely they can give you a recommendation and even ask the dentist next time they see them if they allow students to shadow.
Pre-Dental Club Lectures
If you have a pre-dental club at your university, it is likely that a dentist will come to speak to your organization at some point. Make sure you attend those lectures! They will provide you with loads of great information about dentistry. Once the lecture is over you will approach them and ask if they allow for shadowing at their office. If this feels a bit intimidating to you, you could at least get their contact information from their lecture (name, office name, location, or phone number) and then give them a call or visit their office and ask if you could shadow them. Be sure to mention that you attended their lecture and REALLY enjoyed it!
More and more dentists are using social media to build their personal and practice brands. If you're on social media, you've likely seen a few dentists under your suggestions tab. If not, just type in dentist into your search and you're likely to find more than plenty. Maybe one of those dentists is local. You can reach out and see if they allow students to shadow. Check out our Instagram to see if any featured dentists are in your area!
If all else fails, you are certain to find dental offices in your area with a Google search. You can simply search "dentists near me" and you'll be given an entire list. Go ahead and look through the list. In our experience, most dentists will allow you to shadow, but if you're a little nervous, take a look at some pictures on their websites and try to find someone who looks nice.
There are tons of ways to find a dentist to shadow, it just takes the effort and courage to look! Our list above is from the most personal to least personal ways to find a dentist. Find the way that will work best for you and then go for it!
How did you find your dentist to shadow? What strategies worked best for you? Let us know in the comments below!
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