Pre-Dental at WSU

'Pre-dental' is not a major or minor at WSU.  Students who identify as 'pre-dental' plan to attend dental school after earning their bachelor degree.  Supplemental 'pre-dental' academic advisors work in the PMHSC with the intention of helping students prepare and submit a competitive application.   Pre-dental academic advisors will work with students to plan DAT preparatory coursework, discuss professional development activities and understand the application process.  Before scheduling an appointment with a pre-dental advisor, students MUST attend a Pre-Dental Information Session.

Dentistry 101  

According to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), dentists: 

Evaluate, diagnose, prevent and/or treat diseases, disorders, and/or conditions of the oral cavity.  They advise their patients on oral health and disease prevention as well as perform clinical procedures such as fillings, crowns, implants, extractions, and corrective surgeries. 

About 79% of dentists in the country are general practitioners.  The remaining 29% practice in one of nine specialty areas: 

  1. Oral and maxillofacial pathology 
  2. Dental public health 
  3. Oral and maxillofacial radiology 
  4. Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics 
  5. Oral and maxillofacial surgery 
  6. Endodontics 
  7. Periodontics 
  8. Pediatric dentistry 

All dental practitioners are trained as a generalist in dental school.  Dentists who wish to specialize in one of the areas above must do additional training, such as a fellowship, after completing four years of dental education.  

What does a dentist do?

On a day-to-day basis, a dentist will... 

  • Educate patients about their oral health 
  • Perform general and emergency treatments 
  • Perform extractions 
  • Complete restorations 
  • Manage the activities of a dental office 

Great dentists are the ones who.... 

  • Enjoy learning by doing 
  • Have compassion for others 
  • Are creative and artistic 
  • Have the capacity to be a leader 

Freshman or Transfer Student and Thinking Pre-Dental?

Freshman and transfer students should plan to ATTEND orientation and MEET with their assigned major advisor before connecting with an advisor in the PMHSC.  Students interested in being 'pre-dental' should also plan to attend a Pre-Dental Information Session BEFORE scheduling an appointment.  

Pre-Dental at WSU 6 steps