An Aspiring Dental Student's Reading List
Updated: Jun 12, 2021
As an aspiring dental student, it was difficult to find books and reading material that I could put on my personal statement and discuss at interviews. If you're wanting to study medicine or any other degree, you don't really have a problem since there are numerous books targeted at you. Here is a post I did at the start of my application process detailing the books I read and plant to read. Dentistry, on the other hand, is comparatively more niche and therefore you will struggle (as I did) to find anything to read. However, after some digging I did manage to find some material to read and use in my application process. I would even go so far to saying that reading these things really made me stand out and strengthened my application. Not only that, I believe they helped me gain a greater understanding in what dentistry is like.
Face-to-Face by Jim Mccaul
It's All in Your Mouth by Dominik Nischwitz
More Than A Mouthful by Sandesh Mayekar
Out of the three, Face-to-Face probably had the lowest impact overall on my application process but saying that, it was still a very useful read. I highly recommend every dental applicant to read Face-to-Face as there is lots of excellent information and it's simply a really good read. The most significant thing I took away from the book was that it alerted me to the potential career path of oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS) and is this useful for when you graduate but it's also some good knowledge to have for your interviews. I actually talked about the book and OMFS in one of my interviews. Click here for my post on OMFS in detail and here for my review and summary of Face-to-Face.
It's All In Your Mouth
This was the most valuable book for me, both with respect to my application process but also for furthering my understanding in dentistry. I really enjoyed this book not least because it's very well written but unlike the other 2 books, it places a heavier emphasis on science and the science behind dentistry. As someone who loves science and is fascinated by dentistry, I very much enjoyed reading this book. My main takeaway from It's All In Your Mouth was just how important your teeth and oral hygiene is to your general health and also how much of an impact oral health has on your entire well being. I cannot emphasise my much value I gained from this read. I was fully milking that I read it in my interviews and personal statement and just how much it taught me. Here's the link to the review and summary.
More Than A Mouthful
Again, I milked the fact I read this book for all it's worth. Like It's All in Your Mouth, More Than A Mouthful's main message of how much of an impact you can have, as a dentist, on people's lives. Rather than focusing on the science and physical repercussions of bad oral hygiene, Mayekar focuses on the mental repercussions and how much of impact dentistry has on a person's mental health. More Than A Mouthful is much more personal than It's All In Your Mouth, since it's told from his (an aesthetic dentist from India) perspective which makes it a much more engaging read. Overall, an excellent and very informative read.
Those are the main books that I thought had the most impact on my application process but I highly recommend others like Dear Life by Rachel Clarke and War Doctor by David Nott, despite them being perhaps more useful for medical applicants.
Click here for summaries and reviews of all the books mentioned above.