• What does Pacific Dental Services do?
  • Pacific Dental Services (PDS) is one of the country’s leading dental and medical support organizations, empowering clinicians with supported autonomy to deliver comprehensive patient care. PDS provides administrative and business operations support, highly skilled staff, and ongoing training and education to help healthcare providers succeed. PDS incorporates the most advanced, proven technologies with best practices and procedures to ensure high-quality care and is a leading advocate for the integration of dental and medical care to improve whole-person health. Since its foundation in 1994, PDS has grown to support over 4,100 clinicians (dentists, dental hygienists, physicians, and nurse practitioners) in nearly 1,000 practices across 24 states and continues to expand.

  • How many offices does PDS support and where are they located?
  • PDS currently supports nearly 1,000 practices in 24 states: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, ID, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MN, MO, NV, NC, NM, OH, OR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA and WA. Our goal is to grow our presence and add supported offices each year into these existing markets.

  • What is PRIVATE PRACTICE +®?
  • Our PRIVATE PRACTICE + business model is based on providing business support expertise so that supported dentists can pursue Clinical Excellence – they enjoy more time, more income and more resources, allowing them to simply concentrate on providing high-quality dental care. We call this Supported Autonomy.

  • What are some of the benefits of PRIVATE PRACTICE +?
  • Owner dentists have control of treatment plans, all while boosting income, reducing risk, and rediscovering work/life balance.

    Additional benefits include:

    ·        Mentorship support and continuing education programs

    ·        Ownership opportunities with a balanced lifestyle

    ·        Integrated specialties under one roof

    ·        Excellent income and benefits:

    + Paid CE

    + Malpractice Insurance

    + Medical, vision, dental, etc.

    + 401K

    ·        Ownership of a fully digitized practice equipped with:

    + CBCT


    + Intraoral Cameras

    + Soft Tissue Diode Lasers

    + Digital Charts/X-rays

    + Epic electronic health records system

  • Who does the decision making for the practices?
  • Clinicians have complete autonomy in the diagnosis and treatment planning of their patients. Mentorship and support, if needed, is provided by the practice owner and peer associate dentists. PDS provides the business support to help run a successful practice.

  • What continuing education (CE) opportunities are available to PDS-supported clinicians?
  • All clinicians supported by PDS have the opportunity for life-long learning and mentorship through the PDS University - Institute of Dentistry. Introductory, advanced, and mastery level courses are offered for 20+ disciplines, including CAD/CAM digital dentistry, patient communication, diagnosis and treatment planning, implant placement, and much more. The subject matter for each course is rigorously developed and taught by both PDS-supported faculty clinicians and key industry experts to meet our best-in-class standards.

  • What are the requirements to become a dentist?
  • To become a dentist, you must attend and graduate from a dental school. Most dental schools require you to first achieve a four-year degree and pass a number of required courses, most of them relating to science. Getting accepted into a dental school also often requires passing a Dental Admissions Test.

    Once you have graduated from the four-year dental program, you will need to pass a state exam to start practicing general dentistry in that state. Dentists who wish to pursue one of the 12 dental specialties will also need to enter a residency program that can last from one to six years, depending on the specialty.

    For more info on becoming a dentist, check out our blog article "How to Become a Dentist."

  • How does a dentist go into a specialty?
  • The American Dental Association recognizes 12 dental specialties. Once dental students have graduated from dental school, they can pursue a specialty degree by undertaking additional schooling and training. This usually takes the form of a residency, which can last from one to six years depending on the specialty.

    To learn more about becoming a dentist, read our article "How to Become a Dentist."

  • How long does it take to fully become a dentist?
  • Becoming a dentist takes a lot of schooling. First, it requires that you achieve a four-year bachelor's degree. Then you can apply to a dental school. Graduating from dental school takes four more years of schooling and training. If you wish to pursue a dental specialty, most specialty residencies take another year or two, though others require as much as six additional years. Once you have completed all your schooling, you will still need to pass your state exams to earn your license to practice.

    For more information on becoming a dentist, check our article "How to Become a Dentist."

  • Is it worth it to become a dentist?
  • It takes quite a bit of schooling before you can become a dentist, typically at least eight years after high school. This requires not only a lot of work but also hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition. But the upside is that dentists typically make a high average salary, about $183,000 to $234,000 a year, with specialists typically earning even more. 

    Find out more about becoming a dentist in our blog article "How to Become a Dentist."

  • What is a day in the life of a dental student like?
  • Dental students usually have their hands full with schedules that might include a full day of instruction each weekday, which may take the form of hands-on training or lectures. In addition to medical and dental classes, students may also learn about the practical side of being a dentist, such as working with other clinicians, managing finances, learning about medical ethics, and so forth.

    While some students may find this workload overwhelming, most handle it well.

    For more info about life as a dental student, see our blog article "What Is It Like Being a Dental Student?"

  • How do I survive the first year of dental school?
  • Making the transition into dental school can be daunting for many dental students. The University of Illinois, Chicago, recommends that first-year dental students maintain a healthy balance between their studies and personal time, create a study strategy that works for your personal needs, take advantage of extracurricular opportunities, network with older students, and keep an open mind.

    For more info on life as a dental student, read our blog article "What Is It Like Being a Dental Student?"

  • How do I prepare myself for dental school?
  • Dental school can be challenging for many students, but there are many steps you can take to make the experience easier and help you get into the school you want. First, focus on science and math classes and take as many advanced placement (AP) classes as you can. Make sure to keep your grades up, at least above 3.0, and the higher the better. Also be sure to study for a Dental Admissions Test and practice for dental school interviews.

    To learn more about life as a dental student, check out our article "What Is It Like Being a Dental Student?"

  • How can I increase my chances of getting into dental school?
  • To give yourself the best chance of getting accepted into the dental school of your dreams, first make sure to take as many advanced placement (AP) classes in math and science as you can. Maintain a good grade point average, with 3.0 being the bare minimum. Before you can get accepted into a dental school, you will have to take a Dental Application Test, so make sure to study hard beforehand. You will also likely have to go through an interview before you'll be accepted to a dental school, so research the structure of these interviews and practice mock interviews beforehand so that you will be as prepared as possible.

    For more information about life as a dental student, read out our blog article "What Is It Like Being a Dental Student?"

  • How much do general dentists make?
  • The average salary of general dentists ranges from $183,000 to $234,000 depending on experience and location. Delaware has the highest state average, while some of the other higher-paying states include Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Oregon, and New Mexico. Specialty dentists tend to make more on average than general dentists but also require more schooling.

    For more information on pay in the dental profession, check out our blog article "Highest Paying Jobs in Dentistry."

  • How much do specialty dentists make?
  • The average salary of a specialty dentist ranges from $199,000 to $312,000 per year depending on experience, location, and specialty. The highest-paying state for specialty dentists is Massachusetts. Some specialties pay more than others. The highest-paid specialties are endodontics, orthodontics, and prosthodontics. All specialties require an additional commitment above and beyond a dental degree, with some requiring as much as six years of additional training and a medical doctor degree.

    For more info on pay in the dental profession, read our blog article "Highest Paying Jobs in Dentistry."

  • What are the best-paying jobs in dentistry?
  • Specialty dentists make, on average, more money per year than general dentists. The specialty dentists who make the most annually are endodontists, who make up to $390,000. Orthodontists and prosthodontists come in second and third. However, these high paychecks are offset by the extra years of training and education that are required before you can begin practicing. 

    To learn more about what kind of earnings you can expect from a dental degree, read our article "Highest Paying Jobs in Dentistry."

  • What is the highest-paid dental specialty?
  • The highest-paid dental specialty is endodontics. An endodontist can expect to make as much as $390,000 a year, which is more than any other kind of dentist, whether specialty or general. However, it is worth understanding that the highest-paying jobs in dentistry are those that require the most school and take the most risk. But if you are willing to make the commitment, successful endodontists can expect a very lucrative profession.

    To find out more about the earnings you can expect in dentistry, read our article "Highest Paying Jobs in Dentistry."

  • What are the main duties of a hygienist?
  • Hygienists perform various tasks, including cleaning teeth, removing tartar and plaque, applying fluoride treatments, taking dental x-rays, educating patients on oral hygiene practices, and assisting dentists during certain procedures.

    To learn more about what a hygienist does, check out our blog article "What does a Hygienist do?"

  • Is being a dental hygienist a good career choice?
  • Dental hygienist can be a good career choice due to:

    • Positive job outlook with faster-than-average growth rate
    • Competitive salary and benefits package
    • Flexible work options for better work-life balance
    • Fulfilling patient interaction and promotion of oral health
    • Constant learning opportunities to stay updated with evolving field
    • Potential for career advancement through specialization or advanced degrees
    • Important to consider personal interest, physical stamina, and education/licensure process for suitability.

    To learn more about a dental hygienist career, check out our blog article "What does a Hygienist do?"

  • Where do hygienists work?
  • Hygienists can work in various settings, such as dental offices, hospitals, community clinics, or public health agencies. They may also work in specialized practices like periodontics or pediatric dentistry.

    To learn more about where hygienists work and their type of work, check out our blog "What do Hygienists do?"

  • What qualifications are required to become a hygienist?
  • To become a hygienist, one typically needs an associate degree in dental hygiene from an accredited program. Additionally, hygienists must pass a licensing exam in their respective state or country.

    To learn more about the qualifications required and higher education, check out our blog "What do Hygienists do?"

  • What is a GP dentist?
  • A GP dentist, or general practitioner dentist, is a dental professional who provides primary dental care to patients. They offer a wide range of dental services, including routine check-ups, cleanings, fillings, extractions, and basic restorative procedures.

    To learn more about what a general dentist is, check out our blog "What Is The Difference Between A GP Dentist & A Specialty Dentist?"

  • What does it mean to specialize in dentistry?
  • Specializing in dentistry means focusing on a specific area within the field of dentistry and acquiring advanced knowledge, skills, and training in that particular area. After completing dental school and obtaining a dental degree (DDS or DMD), dentists can choose to pursue further education and training in various specialty areas. These specialties include orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, prosthodontics, pediatric dentistry, or oral pathology.

    To learn more about what it means to specialize in dentistry, check out our blog "What Is The Difference Between A GP Dentist & A Specialty Dentist?"

  • When should someone see a specialty dentist instead of a GP dentist?
  • It is recommended to see a specialty dentist when a specific dental issue or condition requires specialized treatment or expertise. GP dentists may refer patients to a specialty dentist when necessary, such as for orthodontic treatment, periodontal surgery, root canal therapy, or complex oral surgery.

    To discover additional insights about when to see a spcialty dentist, check out our blog "What Is The Difference Between A GP Dentist & A Specialty Dentist?"

  • Can a GP dentist perform any specialty dental procedures?
  • While GP dentists are trained in general dentistry procedures, they may also have additional training or skills in certain specialty procedures. However, for more complex or specialized treatments, it is common for patients to be referred to a specialist with expertise in that particular area.

    If you'd like to uncover more information regarding general dentists and specialty dentists, check out our blog "What Is The Difference Between A GP Dentist & A Specialty Dentist?"

  • How many hours of shadowing do I need for dental school?
  • The number of shadowing hours required for dental school can vary depending on the program and institution. Generally, dental schools may expect applicants to have accumulated a minimum of 50 to 100 hours of shadowing experience. However, it is essential to check with the specific dental schools you are interested in to determine their individual requirements.


    For more information regarding shadowing for dental school, check out our blog "What is a shadow day for dental students?"

  • What do you need for your shadow day?
  • For your shadow day in a dental practice, it's essential to dress professionally, wearing appropriate attire like business casual or scrubs if provided. Bring a notepad and pen to take notes during your observation. Additionally, you may want to carry a bottle of water and any necessary personal items. It's essential to communicate with the dental practice beforehand to clarify any specific requirements they may have.


    To learn more about what you need for shadow day, check out our blog "What is a shadow day for dental students?"

  • How can shadowing benefit dental students?
  • Shadowing can be highly beneficial for dental students as it gives them a real-world perspective on dentistry, helping them understand the day-to-day challenges and rewards of the profession. It allows students to observe dental procedures, patient interactions, and overall practice management, providing valuable insights as they pursue their dental careers.


    To discover additional benefits about shadowing for dental students, check out our blog "What is a shadow day for dental students?"

  • What does shadow mean in dentistry?
  • In dentistry, "shadow" refers to the act of observing and learning from a practicing dentist during their daily activities. Dental shadowing allows aspiring dentists or dental students to accompany a licensed dentist in their practice, gaining insights into various procedures, patient interactions, and overall dental office operations. It provides a valuable behind-the-scenes perspective on the profession before pursuing a dental career.

    To learn everything you need to know about shadowing as a dental student, check out our blog "What is a shadow day for dental students?"

  • How should I prepare for dental school?
  • Before you start your first day at dental school, it's best to prepare yourself for the next chapter of your academic life. The American Dental Education Association lists the following suggestions to make your transition into dental school as smooth and stress-free as possible:

    • Attend orientation to get an understanding of what to expect from your dental program
    • Settle your finances and make a plan for your tuition payments before you need to start studying
    • Practice your reading comprehension and hand dexterity skills
    • Develop good self-care habits, such as getting proper nutrition and plenty of exercise
    • Get lots of rest and remember to take breaks

    For more tips on how to set yourself up for success in dental school, read our article "Advice for Dental Students: Tips to Be Successful in Dental School."

  • What are some skills for success in dental school?
  • There are three essential skills that every dental student should have when entering dental school:

    • Communication Skills: You need to be able to express your ideas effectively as well as build relationships with both your peers and your patients.
    • Time Management Skills: Give yourself sufficient time to accomplish each task
    • Be Open to Learning: Always remain curious and motivated to learn new things, both in dental school and in your practice, so that you can deliver the most effective dental care possible.

    For more advice on how to begin your dental education, read our article "Advice for Dental Students: Tips to Be Successful in Dental School."

  • What are study tips for dental school?
  • You will do a lot of studying as a dental student, so it's best to ensure that you know how to do it well. Here are a few tips to help you study like a pro:

    • Take Notes: Notes help you maintain your focus and remember what you learn.
    • Create a Study Environment: Make sure you're comfortable and that there are no distractions in your study space.
    • Take Breaks: Schedule regular breaks to keep yourself refreshed and help you alleviate stress.
    • Be Consistent: Create a study routine and stick to it.

    Learn more tips to succeed in dental school by reading our article "Advice for Dental Students: Tips to Be Successful in Dental School."

  • What can I expect from dental school?
  • Dental school usually consists of four years of study and training. The daily schedule of a dental student typically involves seven hours of courses and lab work, plus a mid-day break for lunch. In addition to your classes, you will also need about four to six hours for studying each day. While this schedule is challenging, students typically handle it fine. There are many things you can do to help make your life as a dental student easier.

    For tips on how to thrive in dental school, read our blog article "Advice for Dental Students: Tips to Be Successful in Dental School."

  • What do you do after dental school?
  • Once you have graduated from dental school, you have a number of options available to you. You may decide that you are ready to join the workforce as a general dentist. In that case, you simply need to get your license to practice in your state and begin your career.

    If, however, you decide that you would like additional training and education, you can pursue one of the 12 dental specialties recognized by the ADA. In that case, you can apply for a program in a specialty that appeals to you. You can also apply for a residency in general practice.

    You may also elect to pursue a dental career that doesn't involve treating patients directly, such as working as a teacher or healthcare policy expert.

    For more information about your options, check out our blog article "What to expect after dental school?"

  • How do I find a job after dental school?
  • Dental jobs are in demand, but you may feel a little lost after graduation and wonder how to start your career. Here are a few tips to help you get a job faster:

    • Use professional organizations: The ADA Career Center and other organizations can help connect you with dental vacancies.
    • Be open to moving: Rather than limiting yourself to just your immediate area, cast a wide net and be open to jobs that require you to move.
    • Leverage your network: Ask friends, contacts, and teachers in the dental field about opportunities they know about.
    • Meet prospective employers in person: Delivering your resume in person to dental offices you'd like to work at can help make an impression.
    • Search online: Use employment websites to find openings.

    To learn more about starting your dental career, read our blog article "What to expect after dental school?"

  • What are my job options after dental school?
  • When you're deciding what your first job after dental school will be, you have a few options to choose from:

    • Open a private practice: Creating your own practice means you get to be your own boss and have a higher potential income if your practice flourishes, but it also comes with increased financial risk and a bigger commitment in time and resources.
    • Join an established practice: Joining an existing practice allows you to start earning money right away and get more job experience without incurring financial risk. However, your opportunities for growth are not as high.
    • Work at a supported practice: Working at a practice supported by a dental support organization (DSO) allows new dentists to earn steady income and experience at a practice using state-of-the-art technology. After a few years, many dentists at supported practices have the opportunity to open their own supported practice.

    For more details on your options, read our blog article "What to expect after dental school?"

  • What are my career options after dental school?
  • There are many different careers you can pursue with a degree in dentistry, some of which you might not realize, including:

    • General dentist: Treat patients as a licensed general dentist
    • Specialist dentist: Get an additional degree in a dental specialty and practice as a specialist
    • Teacher: Use your degree to teach the next generation of dental professionals
    • Policy expert: Become a public health specialist in dentistry to affect dental health in your community

    Read more about your career options in our blog article "What to expect after dental school?"

  • What is a Dental Support Organization (DSO)?
  • A DSO, or Dental Support Organization, is an entity that partners with dentists to manage the non-clinical aspects of their dental practices. This allows dentists to focus on patient care while the DSO handles areas like office management, marketing, HR decisions, and general maintenance


    To learn more about what a Dental Support Organization is, check out our blog "What is a DSO?"

  • How do DSOs operate and support dental practices?
  • DSOs can function in various ways depending on the dentist's needs and the ownership structure of the dental practice. They can provide a range of services, from comprehensive support in the dental office to specific assistance for private practices. Some DSOs even purchase private practices but retain the existing brand and staff. The primary goal is to allow the dentist to focus on clinical work while the DSO manages the business side.


    Discover additional information about how a DSO supports dental practices, check out our blog "What is a DSO?"

  • What are the primary benefits of joining a DSO?
  • Joining a DSO offers several advantages for dentists. These include consistent pay, payroll support, opportunities for continued education, marketing campaigns, and access to up-to-date dental equipment. It's especially beneficial for dentists who aren't business-oriented or those starting a new practice, as it alleviates the challenges of business management.


    Find out what other benefits you gain from joining a DSO by checking out our blog "What is a DSO?"

  • How does Pacific Dental Services (PDS) differentiate itself from other DSOs?
  • Pacific Dental Services prefers to be known as a Dental Support Organization rather than a Dental Service Organization. Unlike many DSOs, PDS typically does not purchase or partner with existing practices. Instead, they open new offices in collaboration with practicing dentists. They emphasize their unique operations platform, structure, and core values, ensuring that their supported practices are clinician-led, community-based, and locally branded.


    Gain more information about the differences between PDS and other DSOs by checking out our blog "What is a DSO?"

  • What motivates many individuals to pursue a career in dentistry?
  • Many individuals are drawn to dentistry because they want to help people improve their quality of life. This includes providing treatments like root canals, fillings, and prosthetics to relieve pain and improve oral health. Additionally, the profession offers a good work-life balance, financial rewards, and the opportunity to build long-term relationships with patients.

    Discover more about the life of dentist by checking out our blog "What Is It Like to Be a Dentist?"

  • What is the educational path required to become a dentist?
  • To become a dentist, one must first obtain a bachelor's degree, followed by passing the Dental Admission Test (DAT). After that, they need to complete four years of dental school to earn a DDS or DMD degree. Post-graduation, dentists can choose to specialize, which requires additional education in a residency program, or they can practice general dentistry.

    To read more on the educational path to become a dentist, check out our blog "What Is It Like to Be a Dentist?"

  • What are some of the key responsibilities of a dentist?
  • Dentists are responsible for maintaining and improving patients' oral health. This includes diagnosing and treating dental pathologies, performing various dental procedures, educating patients about oral disease prevention, and in some cases, specializing in areas like orthodontics or oral surgery.

    Find out more about being a dentist by checking out our blog "What Is It Like to Be a Dentist?"

  • What are some challenges faced by dentists in their profession?
  • Dentists face several challenges, such as the complexities of running a dental practice, managing patient non-compliance, deciding when to refer patients to specialists, handling significant student loan debt, and maintaining their physical and mental health due to the demanding nature of the job.

    Learn everything about becoming a dentist by checking out our blog "What Is It Like to Be a Dentist?"

  • What are the main functions of a Dental Support Organization (DSO)?
  • A Dental Support Organization primarily provides support in non-clinical aspects of running a dental practice. This includes office management, marketing, clinical support, access to technology, post-graduate training, competitive benefits for staff, and sometimes financial and legal support. DSOs also help with supply cost negotiations and insurance navigation.

    Discover more about the differences between DSOs and Private Practices by checking out our blog "DSO vs. Private Practice"

  • What are some advantages of joining a DSO for dentists?
  • The advantages of joining a DSO include having support in day-to-day office operations, such as payroll, supply distribution, operational guidelines, office maintenance, and marketing. DSOs also offer access to up-to-date technology and equipment, provide guidelines for efficient office systems, and offer opportunities for continued education.

    To read more on the advantages of joining either a DSO or Private Practice, check out our blog "DSO vs. Private Practice"

  • What does it mean to run a private dental practice?
  • Running a private dental practice means that the dentist is solely responsible for all decisions and operational tasks. This includes choosing equipment, deciding office location, setting patient fees, building a patient base, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements like HIPAA. It offers more autonomy and control but also involves managing all business aspects.

    Find out more about running a private practice by checking out our blog "DSO vs. Private Practice"

  • What are some challenges associated with starting and running a private dental practice?
  • Challenges of starting and running a private dental practice include the need for initial funding for equipment and office space, creating all operational systems from scratch, building a patient base, and managing the business aspects of the practice, such as marketing and regulatory compliance. It requires a significant investment of time and resources in both dental care and business management.

    Learn more about joining a DSO vs. owning your private practice by checking out our blog "DSO vs. Private Practice"

For more information on how PDS can help advance your dental career, check out our Careers page.