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One-Hundred Percent Placement Rate

The University of Dayton's Pre-dentistry program achieved a 100 percent placement rate for graduating seniors for the first time in its recorded history. Community service and support from faculty, staff and even the University's president appear to be factors in the students' success.

All 10 seniors from the Class of 2018 — nine pre-dentistry majors and one biology major — have been accepted into dental schools, including Top 20 professional schools such as the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Ohio State University College of Dentistry and the University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry.

During the previous four years, the University of Dayton averaged an 88 percent dental school acceptance rate.

“We’ve been close, but this is the first time it is 100 percent,” said Kathleen Scheltens, director of Pre-medical Programs. “It is unusual. I don’t know that there are very many schools that would be able to say 100 percent of their applicants were accepted into dental school.”

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News and World Report listed dental professions among its top jobs. In the 2018 “100 Best Jobs” list, dentist is No. 2, orthodontist is No. 5, and oral and maxillofacial surgeon ties for No. 8.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 17.5 percent employment growth, with 23,200 new dentist jobs through 2026.

Admission to dental school is highly competitive and depends on a student’s academic standing, performance on standardized examinations, and practical experience such as job shadowing and community service.

The Pre-medical Programs office prepares students for this process by monitoring the academic progress of pre-dentistry majors, hosting campus visits by dental school deans of admissions, and providing Dental Admission Test (DAT) preparation classes and mock dental school interview sessions.

The program hosts a student organization, the Dental Interest Group, and also provides service opportunities to give students clinical experience. For example, many students volunteer at Good Neighbor House in Dayton, where they shadow dentists at a clinic for low-income families. Some also participate in the University’s annual medical and dental brigade trip to Nicaragua.

In addition, program advisors write “composite letters,” which introduce student applicants to dental schools and include evaluations of the student by four to seven faculty members, to give those schools a holistic view of the student.

“The regional dental schools really know our program and are always happy to consider our students,” Scheltens said. “They feel very confident about the background that the student brings. Obviously, all of our students come to that application process with a good history of service, which the schools really appreciate, as well as a real solid background in biomedical sciences.”

Collin Bryant, a senior pre-dentistry major from Clarksville, Tennessee, was accepted to four dental schools and will attend the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry in Memphis.

Bryant credits DAT test preparation and the support of the Pre-medical Programs office staff for his success. He also volunteered weekly at Good Neighbor House and participated in the December 2016 brigade trip to Nicaragua.

In Nicaragua, Bryant provided children with dental hygiene kits and taught them how to brush and floss their teeth. He also assisted a dentist, holding a flashlight for eight hours during dental examinations. He wrote about the latter experience in his personal statement for his dental school applications.

Bryant said the Nicaragua trip helped him find his calling as a future dentist. In addition to treating his regular patients, he hopes to give back by seeing many patients on Medicaid.

“I think that is what has made the University of Dayton a unique college choice for me,” Bryant said. “There are so many other people here who share my interests and my drive for service for others. Nicaragua really tied that together.”

Laura Hubacek was similarly inspired by her service experience at Good Neighbor House. The senior pre-dentistry major from Fremont, California, shadowed her dentist and orthodontist in the affluent Silicon Valley area, but didn’t see many cases there in which patients couldn’t afford dental care.

“Good Neighbor House was eye-opening,” Hubacek said. “I got to see tooth extractions on 45-year-old patients who had never been to the dentist.”

Hubacek hopes to continue providing service for low-income and elderly patients as a certified dentist. She was accepted into three dental schools and will attend the University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry.

A defensive specialist on the University of Dayton Women’s volleyball team, Hubacek aced her dental school application with an assist from University President Eric F. Spina, who wrote her a letter of recommendation.

“It was actually mentioned several times in my interviews,” she said. “They were impressed that the president of the university wrote me an individualized letter of recommendation. That just shows at UD how much our faculty and staff is involved in our lives and how much they care about what you do after graduation. It’s pretty amazing.”

- Dave Larsen, communication coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences

2018 pre-dentistry graduates

STUDENT HOMETOWN ACCEPTING SCHOOLS
Allison Bailey Cincinnati OH Midwestern-Illinois, Case Western
Collin Bryant Clarksville TN Louisville, Tennessee, UK, Marquette
Leah Bullock Brownsburg IN IU, Louisville, Detroit-Mercy, Midwestern
Nathan Helfferich Springboro OH Detroit-Mercy, Louisville, UK, Ohio State, Michigan, Marquette,
Indiana, Case Western
Laura Hubacek Fremont CA Marquette, UC San Francisco,  Milwaukee
Katherine Michel Columbus OH Ohio State
Conor Owen Linden MI Detroit-Mercy
Spencer Owen Linden MI Detroit-Mercy
Kristine Perez Hudson OH Ohio State, Louisville, Case Western, Pittsburgh, Michigan,
Marquette
Rachel Singer Huber Heights OH Ohio State, Case Western, Creighton, Louisville, New York,
Midwestern-Illinois
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