How to Find an Externship

Finding an externship is like finding a job in that you must get out and look! Most often dentists and their staff recognize the learning process and are willing to help. You must simply ask. Although this may seem intimidating at first, externships frequently lead to a JOB, so the sooner you get out there, the better. Here are some tips on how and where to find your perfect externship:

Find a local, general dentist

This is the best way to see all aspects of dentistry and find out what you like

Begin with those you know!

Start with your dentist. They already know you and have an established relationship. If they are not taking externs, ask if they know anyone who may be interested. It takes persistence. Many offices are busy and it may take contacting them a few times before you get an answer…better yet, visit them!

Look in your social groups

Family members, friends, school, classmates, church groups…people who may know a dentist! Ask for an introduction.

Reach out to social networking groups

Social media, Chamber of Commerce, volunteer organizations, etc. Reach out to large dental organizations.

These groups frequently take externs: Aspen Dental, Pacific Dental, Heartland Dental, Smile Brands, Western Dental, Risas, etc.

Hit the ground, with some rules…


Doing things in person is always better than calling. And SMILE 😊


To hand them your resume (1 page only)

To start right away, as in, when you’re there for the first time
Be groomed and dressed appropriately (black scrubs)

To introduce yourself to the dentist
Ask to introduce yourself. If this is going well, ask if they mind if you hang around for a little bit to observe.

Get to know the staff
By and large, they’re the ones who will be training you…if they like you, they will be your best ally

Again, get out there and introduce yourself. It won’t take long for you to land an externship and shortly, your first job!