Destination Dental prepares future students for success

Published June 21, 2024

Destination Dental School, the annual weeklong, hands-on program that offers college students and bachelor-degree recipients interested in dentistry the chance to learn the intricacies of the profession, is taking place June 23-27 on the South Campus. 

Participants have the chance to watch a root canal in progress, alginate teeth impressions and learn how to perform a suture during the program. With support from faculty and UB dental student volunteers, participants will also complete capstone research projects, participate in mock interviews and prepare for the Dental Admission Test (DAT).

The program’s goal is to prepare individuals who have been historically underrepresented in the profession to successfully apply to dental school. Last year, 30 individuals from across the country participated.

This year’s DDS is unique because the Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) annual conference is taking place during the same week in Niagara Falls. About 30 college students who are attending the SAID program will also participate in the DDS programming on June 26. 

UB dental alumna Arian Johnson founded Destination Dental School in 2021 after recognizing a lack of resources for students like herself when she applied to dental school. She received the necessary support from the UB School of Dental Medicine’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to make Destination Dental School a reality. In 2022, the DDS program partnered with the Native American Pre-Dental Student Gateway to Dentistry program to combine virtual and in-person events.

In addition to the in-person event, in 2024 DDS fellows also participate in five weeks of virtual programming on Saturdays in May and June. The dental school provides all participants with a stipend to cover travel and lodging expenses, reimbursement for one DAT and a waived application fee to UB dental school.

For more information, visit the Destination Dental School website.