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Dental Mentor's CompleTE Guide To The

Dental Personal Statements (PS)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on crafting outstanding dental personal statements for UK dental school applications. In this increasingly competitive landscape, a well-crafted personal statement is your passport to standing out from the crowd and securing a place in your dream dental school.

A dental personal statement holds immense significance in the UK dental school application process. It is a unique opportunity for aspiring dental students like you to showcase your passion, motivation, and suitability for a career in dentistry. Admissions committees carefully review personal statements to gain insight into your character, experiences, and commitment to the field. It allows them to assess your communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and overall potential as a future healthcare professional.

What is A Dental Personal Statement?

A dental personal statement is a written document that allows aspiring dental students to express their motivations, experiences, and suitability for pursuing a career in dentistry.

The purpose of a dental personal statement is to provide admissions committees with insight into your character, aspirations, and commitment to the field of dentistry. It serves as a platform for you to showcase your unique qualities and convince dental schools that you possess the skills and attributes necessary to thrive as a future healthcare professional.

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UK dental schools consider personal statements as an essential component of the application process. Admissions committees carefully review personal statements to evaluate candidates beyond their academic achievements and test scores.

Personal statements offer a holistic perspective of applicants, allowing dental schools to assess their communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and suitability for a career in dentistry. These statements provide valuable context to understand your motivations, experiences, and personal qualities that are not captured through other application materials.

Personal statements for both the current and upcoming application cycles will continue to follow the traditional essay format. While there have been proposed changes by UCAS to transition to a short answer format with specific questions, these changes will not be implemented until at least 2025 for students applying to enter universities in 2026. Therefore, we will focus on the essay format that has been utilised for the past 20-30 years.

A well-structured medicine personal statement essay consists of three main components: an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.  We call this the personal statement’s ‘superstructure’.

1. Introduction:

The introduction serves as the starting point of your personal statement and should engage the reader from the beginning. It provides a brief overview of your motivations and sets the tone for the rest of the essay. Consider using attention-grabbing anecdotes, thought-provoking statements, or personal reflections to make your introduction captivating.

2. Body Paragraphs:

The body paragraphs form the core of your personal statement and provide an opportunity to showcase your experiences, skills, and personal qualities. Within these paragraphs, it is important to consider the structure of each individual paragraph, known as ‘paragraph structure’.

3. Conclusion:

The conclusion is the closing section of your personal statement and should leave a lasting impression on the reader. It is an opportunity to summarise your key points and reiterate your passion for dentistry. Reflect on your journey, express your enthusiasm for future learning and growth, and emphasise your commitment to becoming a compassionate and skilled healthcare professional.

In addition to a personal statement’s ‘superstructure’ you also need to be familiar with ‘paragraph structure’.

Paragraph structure refers to the way you organise and structure the content within each paragraph. It is important to adopt a reflective approach when structuring your paragraphs. Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Begin each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main point or idea.
  • Provide supporting evidence, examples, or experiences to substantiate your claims or statements.
  • Reflect on the significance or impact of these experiences, demonstrating personal growth and development.
  • Use transition words and phrases to create a smooth flow between paragraphs and ideas.

The UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) sets a maximum limit for personal statements, which is currently 4,000 characters or 47 lines of text (including spaces and blank lines). This limit applies to all undergraduate courses, including dentistry, in the UK.

It is important to note that the character and line limits include all the text within the personal statement, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. This means that you need to be concise and thoughtful in your writing to effectively convey your experiences, motivations, and suitability for becoming a doctor.

While there is no specific requirement for the minimum length of a personal statement, it is generally recommended to aim for at least 3,500 character to provide a comprehensive overview of your qualifications and aspirations for denistry. However, keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity, so focus on providing meaningful and well-developed content within the given limit.

Before submitting your personal statement, ensure that you carefully review and edit your writing to eliminate any unnecessary or redundant information, while maintaining a clear and coherent narrative that effectively highlights your strengths and passion for the chosen course.

Many students often worry about what to include in their personal statement. However, the most important aspect is that it genuinely reflects you as an individual and serves as an honest representation of your thoughts, skills, and interests.

A well-crafted personal statement enables you to highlight your unique experiences, such as work/volunteer experiences, research involvement, and extracurricular activities that have shaped your understanding of the dental profession.

Your personal statement plays a crucial role in demonstrating your suitability for a dental career. It allows you to showcase essential skills, such as empathy, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving abilities. By presenting your experiences and reflections, you can effectively convey your commitment to patient care, ethical considerations, and your alignment with the values of the dental profession.

Additionally, it is essential to tailor your personal statement to each dental school you apply to, as different schools may have specific criteria or expectations. Take the time to research each institution and review their guidance on personal statements. Many dental schools provide valuable advice and insights into what they look for in personal statements.

What Do

Dental schools Want to See?

It is important to recognise that dental schools employ various methods when considering personal statements. While some schools may not initially assess personal statements, instead relying on predicted grades, admissions tests, and academic references, others integrate personal statements into their evaluation process. Some dental schools may screen personal statements for widening participation flags, while others may utilise them during the interview stage. Regardless of the different methods used by dental schools, there is no doubt that the personal statement plays a significant role in the selection process.

Include the Key Attributes of a Dentist

Dental schools are interested in seeing your experiences, skills, and attributes that are relevant to the field of dentsitry. Consider the following guidelines when crafting your personal statement:

  • Reflect on the meaning of dentistry to you and express it in your own words.
  • Focus on the lessons and insights you have gained from your work or voluntary experience in the healthcare profession.
  • Emphasise the knowledge you have acquired about the life of a dentist and the challenges and rewards it entails.
  • When discussing your skills, explain their significance and relevance to the dental profession.
  • Share any experiences with outreach programmes that have enhanced your understanding of studying dentistry or practicing as a dentist, such as Dental Mentor events, extra-curricular activities and summer schools.
  • Include information about specific areas of dentistry that interest you, showcasing your passion and curiosity.
  • Mention your extracurricular activities and hobbies, highlighting how they have contributed to your personal development.

Lastly, ensure that your personal statement is free of punctuation, spelling, and grammar errors. Avoid using clichés and quotes, as they can weaken the impact of your statement and make them less personal.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your Personal Statement

Crafting a compelling dental personal statement is a crucial step in securing a place in your desired dental school. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step approach to writing an effective personal statement that will capture the attention of admissions committees and showcase your suitability for a career in medicine.

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Before putting pen to paper, take the time to engage in self-reflection. Ask yourself why you want to pursue a career in dentistry. Consider your personal experiences, encounters with healthcare professionals, and any defining moments that have influenced your decision. Identify the key motivations that drive your passion for dentistry, as this will serve as the foundation for your personal statement.  Then create a structure plan before you start writing in full sentences.  Try to link your experiences with a couple of skills/attributes and reflect on why this is important in dentistry.

To create a well-organised personal statement, structure it with an attention-grabbing introduction, informative body paragraphs, and a memorable conclusion.

  • Introduction: Begin with a captivating opening that hooks the reader and conveys your enthusiasm for dentistry.
  • Body Paragraphs: Develop your personal statement by showcasing relevant experiences, such as work/volunteer experiences and research involvement. Demonstrate key qualities and skills desired by dental schools, including empathy, teamwork, and communication. Incorporate personal anecdotes and stories to make your statement more engaging and relatable. Highlight ethical considerations and values that align with the dental profession.
  • Conclusion: End with a memorable conclusion that summarises your key points, reinforces your passion for dentistry, and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Throughout your personal statement, focus on showcasing your experiences and skills that are relevant to dentistry. This can include:

  • Work/volunteer experiences: Discuss how these experiences have shaped your understanding of healthcare, reinforced your passion for dentistry, and provided valuable insights into patient care.  If you are struggling to get work experience, we can help!  Join our free virtual work experience programme!
  • Research involvement: Highlight any research projects you have participated in and emphasise the skills and knowledge you have gained through these experiences. You can demonstrate this with Dental Mentor’s help by researching and publishing an article in the Mentor Magazine!
  • Key qualities and skills: Demonstrate your empathy, leadership, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving abilities. Use specific examples to illustrate how you have developed and utilised these skills in real-life situations.  For example, you can demonstrate these through our leadership programmes!

To make your personal statement stand out, incorporate personal anecdotes and stories that showcase your unique journey and experiences. Engage the reader by providing vivid details and describing how these experiences have shaped your perspectives and aspirations.  This is an important component of ‘reflective writing’.

Dental schools value applicants who demonstrate a strong ethical foundation and an understanding of the moral responsibilities associated with practicing dentistry. Reflect on ethical dilemmas you have encountered and discuss how you navigate and prioritise ethical considerations in patient care.

Using Reflective Writing Techniques

In your dental personal statement, it is not only the activities and experiences you discuss that hold importance but also the quality of reflection that you demonstrate. Reflective writing techniques play a vital role in conveying the depth of your understanding and the impact of your experiences. In this section, we will explore the importance of using reflective writing techniques to enhance the quality of your dental personal statement.

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Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle is a widely used framework in the medical field for structuring written reflections. It helps individuals critically analyse their experiences, identify areas for improvement, and enhance their professional growth. In this section, we will explore how you can utilise Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle to structure paragraphs effectively within your dental personal statement. It is worth noting that this reflective framework remains relevant throughout dental school and as junior dental professionals progress through their training, with written reflections being an integral part of NHS E-portfolios and appraisal processes. Therefore, using Gibbs’ reflective cycle when writing your personal statement, will truly demonstrate great insight and make you stand out from other applicants!

Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle consists of six key stages that guide the reflective process which you can use for your ‘paragraph sructure’:

  1. Description: Begin by providing a detailed description of the experience or situation you are reflecting upon. Set the context, explain the events, and provide relevant background information.

  2. Feelings: Reflect on your emotions, thoughts, and reactions during the experience. Consider both positive and negative feelings, as they contribute to your overall learning and growth.

  3. Evaluation: Analyse the experience and critically evaluate its impact on your personal and professional development. Identify what went well, what could have been improved, and any challenges faced.

  4. Analysis: Dig deeper into the experience and identify the factors that influenced the outcomes. Explore the underlying reasons, theories, or frameworks that can help explain the situation.

  5. Conclusion: Summarise your overall understanding and learning from the experience. Highlight the key insights, lessons, or changes in perspective that have resulted from your analysis.

  6. Action Plan: Outline specific actions or steps you will take to apply your learning and improve future practice. Consider how you will address any challenges or enhance your skills based on the insights gained.

When utilising Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle in your dental personal statement, you can structure your paragraphs to effectively convey your reflective process:

  1. Introduction: Provide a brief overview of the experience you will be reflecting upon, setting the context for the subsequent paragraphs.

  2. Description: Start the paragraph by describing the experience in detail. Provide relevant information, such as the setting, the individuals involved, and the circumstances surrounding the experience.

  3. Feelings: Reflect upon the emotions, thoughts, and reactions you experienced during the situation. Be honest and introspective, sharing both positive and negative feelings.

  4. Evaluation and Analysis: Merge these two stages together within a single paragraph. Critically evaluate the experience, highlighting what went well, what could have been improved, and any challenges faced. Analyse the factors that influenced the outcomes, drawing upon relevant theories or frameworks.

  5. Conclusion: Summarise your overall understanding and learning from the experience. Highlight the key insights, lessons, or changes in perspective that have resulted from your reflective analysis.

  6. Action Plan: Conclude the paragraph by outlining specific actions or steps you plan to take based on your learning. Discuss how you will apply your insights to enhance your future dental practice or personal growth.


Things to Avoid

We fully understand the immense pressure that students face when tasked with writing a personal statement, and we are here to provide guidance and support throughout this crucial process. But students can make significant mistakes in the writing process that you must take care to avoid.  These usually happen because students feel under pressure, or they run out of time, or they are misinformed and end up using resources that could get themselves into trouble.  By highlighting these common pitfalls, we want to ensure that you don’t find yourself making any unnecessary mistakes, or burn out during the writing process.

Crafting a personal statement may feel overwhelming, but remember that you have unique experiences and qualities to share that will make your application shine. With our expert advice and step-by-step guidance, you can confidently navigate the personal statement writing journey and present your best self to admissions committees.

Writing a personal statement can be a daunting task, especially considering the immense pressure students face during the application process. However, it’s important to remember that you possess a wealth of experiences, skills, and aspirations that make you a strong candidate.

Don't Get Sucked Into...

Some of these might be tempting but they will actually work against you or even get your flagged for plagiarism…

How can Dental Mentor Help You With Your Personal Statement?

We want to assure you that we will never ask you to submit your personal statement for a review or provide you with multiple “perfect” examples. These practices are not reputable and can potentially harm your personal statement. Instead, our approach is focused on teaching and mentoring you through various modules to help you craft an outstanding personal statement that truly showcases your unique qualities.

We offer a range of options for you to choose from, including free webinars, informative talks, comprehensive e-learning resources, and even an enhanced 1-2-1 tutoring program. With our trusted mentors, you will receive guidance and support as you write your own amazing statement. This has worked for thousands of students over the past decade! We believe in an honest and genuine approach to writing excellent personal statements, empowering you to make informed decisions about the best approach that suits your needs. The power is in your hands to shine in the application process, and we are here to provide the tools and support you need, every step of the way.

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Meet Our Successful Students: Great Personal Statements and Dental School Offers!

We teach 50,000 students every year and our authenticity policy mandates us to abide by the GMC’s professional code of conduct: honesty, integrity, respect and politeness.  All photos and stories are of real people. We will never engage with false or paid for reviews on third-party review platforms.  To learn more about our authenticity policy click here.

Let's Get that Dental School


Dental Mentor is an all-in-one solution to your dental school application. We bring only the best resources for tackling every single component of your dental school application to one place.  We are here to help you work efficiently, by balancing the UCAS application process alongside your school work and extracurricular activities. One of the best ways to save you time is to direct you to the best advice and resources so that you do not have to waste time searching for them yourselves.

We know what you are going through, as dentists and dental students who were in your position! By combining application knowledge, extracurricular opportunities, platforms to up-skill and boost confidence, it is not a surprise that Dental Mentor students are successful. Will it be difficult? Yes, applying to dental school is not easy. But through Dental Mentor it will be less stressful, and even fun. Let’s get started!

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