top of page

3 Action Items for Every CAAPID Applicant

This blog post is dedicated to all the hard-working advanced standing international dentists pursuing their American Dream. If you’ve stumbled on our page and wonder where our passion comes from to help IDP students gain admissions to US dental school, it’s because my mom was in your shoes 20 years ago! After the Vietnam war, my family flew to Germany where my mom earned her dental license and PhD. My parents owned their own dental practice in Germany and decided to take a crazy chance in pursuit of the American Dream. My mom and dad came to the US in 2003, with nothing but a visa, but were able to build a beautiful and fruitful life for my older sister and I. My sister, coincidentally, also a dentist graduated NYU School of Dentistry in 2021 and I graduated UCSF School of Dentistry in 2022. It is an understatement to say that we are the byproducts of all our parent’s hard work and every day I get to live a fulfilling life of practicing as a dentist and connecting with my community. I hope this blog post helps you and your families have every opportunity you and your children could ever dream of. Without further ado, here are top 3 action items for every CAAPID applicant in the 2023-2024 cycle. The application cycle is live now ready for submission from March 9th, 2023- February 16th, 2024.

Pictured here: Dr. Wilson Ng, Orthodontist and Dr. Jenny Giao, General Dentist

UCSF Class of 2020 and 2022

UC Davis Class of 2015 and 2018

Here are three action items you must do to prepare you CAAPID application:

1. Organize all your supporting documents

  • Exams: NDBE (pass/no pass) or INDBE (pass/no pass) andTOEFL ( score >100 is competitive, with individual scores >20)

Note: It looks most ideal if you can minimize the amount of attempts to receive your desired score, rather than haphazardly challenging each exam multiple times with minimal improvement.

  • Resume/CV: A summarized resume/CV of your dental education in your home country, clinical experience, community service, and research experience best fits here. This will help you to organize what are the key experiences you would like to highlight in your statement of purpose. You should also update your resume/CV to include dental work, community service, etc. done in the United States.

  • Transcripts: Please gather your transcripts from your home institution.

  • At least 2 letters of recommendation: Getting a strong and supportive letter of recommendation is crucial. Your letter writers can attest to your attributes which helps distinguish you from many other likely qualified applicants.

2. Create your school list.

  • According to ADEA CAAPID Directory, there are currently 40 IDP programs in the US. Factors that may influence the creation of your school list may depend on your personal life circumstances ie. finances and if your spouse and family are situated in a certain part of the United States. Create your school list based off location in which you would feel comfortable dedicating 2-3 years of your education to and apply broadly. School list will also depend on what time of the cycle you are applying. Almost every CAAPID school program OPENS on March 9th, 2023 this year but have varying deadlines ranging anywhere from May 2023 to even Jan 2024.

3. Draft a unique statement of purpose

  • The SOP is single handedly the most important written document of your CAAPID application which warrants dedication of discussion on its own. For tips on how to get started with your SOP, refer to one of most popular blog posts: Writing a "Unique" Personal Statement You Are Proud Of”

General Tips For Success:

  1. Apply as early as possible. Applications are on a rolling basis. An ideal applicant will prepare their application 3-6 months ahead of the opening date (March of each calendar year).

  2. Note: CAAPID can take up to 3-4 weeks for your application to be processed prior to receiving supplemental applications.

  3. Obtain US related dental experiences such as:

    1. Community service through pre-dental events

    2. Research at your local dental school

    3. Work as a dental assistant

    4. Take CE Courses in disciplines of dentistry that interest you

Note: While you have already received training on the craft of dentistry, take this time to explore how dentistry is practiced in the United States. It’s important to familiarize yourself with insurance, comprehensive treatment planning, and new digital workflows.


If you are a pre-dental student and would like to seek assistance in your personal statement or mock interview practice, please email us at or send us a message in our chatbox to your right.

If you found this information to be valuable, please show your support by sharing our website with someone else you think would benefit from our advice.

If you want us to provide you with one-on-one help, check out the "Get Our Help" page.

We'd love to connect with you and answers questions! Follow us on Instagram: @thepredentalguide and

181 views0 comments


bottom of page