Dental Internship - Dentist Shadowing

Dental Internship - Dentist Shadowing

The Center for Special Dentistry® (CSD) – Pre Dental Internship (Dentist Shadowing) for High School students, College students and College graduates who have NOT yet attended dental school is described below. DENTAL STUDENTS and DENTISTS should read the next section.

* Pre Dental Education Program is the appropriate name for what pre dental school students may refer to as a dental internship or dentist shadowing. This is an informal program for High School students, College students and College graduates from around the world who have NOT yet attended dental school.  Our pre-dental school program offers pre-dental training and career guidance for students who intend to become dentists.  THIS PROGRAM IS DESCRIBED ON THIS PAGE BELOW.

* For over ten years The Center for Special Dentistry® (CSD) separately offered a formal dental internship to third and/or fourth year dental students from Columbia University and New York University dental schools, but this program ended May 2010. For many years CSD was the only private dental practice in New York State wherein dental students from Columbia and NYU could treat patients for greatly reduced fees with their informed consent. This program was created, and managed by, Professor Dorfman.  THESE STUDENT EXPERIENCES ARE DESCRIBED IN THE STUDENT BLOG SECTION.

 * Our Advanced Dental Education Program is for American-trained and foreign-trained dentists and dental students from around the world who want to increase their knowledge of dentistry. This informal program teaches multi-specialty diagnosis, treatment planning, behavior management and treatment skills. Our focus is on super premium Oral Rehabilitation Dental Reconstruction.  THIS PROGRAM IS DESCRIBED IN THE NEXT SECTION

Interested applicants may view what some of our STAFF and FORMER STUDENTS are doing now on the OUR TEAM page.

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About The Center for Special Dentistry® (CSD) Dental PRACTICE:

The Center for Special Dentistry® in New York City welcomes patients from around the world who seek Creative Solutions for Complex Dentistry. We are a Multi-Specialty Cosmetic and Reconstructive dental practice that offers super premium dental care quickly and comfortably in a low volume, non-managed care environment (i.e. we are a “fee-for-service practice” and do not participate with managed care dental insurance). The practice significantly focuses on treating phobic dental patients. Many pre-dental students are in our office each day; students from local dental schools are frequently in our office as well. It is a fun and stimulating, high energy, private practice/academic environment.
 The headquarters of 1dentist, LLC, the Internet Dentistry company, is also located in this office. 1dentist, LLC owns 650 worldwide dentist urls and provides over 4,400 pages of free dental content created in-office (and seen on 1dentist, LLC has been online since 1998.

Our office location is in the very center of New York City in mid-town Manhattan. We are in the center of the mid-town Financial District and one block away from The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Saks Fifth Avenue, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center. We are two blocks away from the Diamond District and four blocks away from Broadway theaters.

About The Pre Dental School Education Program:

The Center for Special Dentistry® (CSD) offers an informal non-degree, non-CE Program for High School students, College students and College graduates from around the world who have NOT yet attended dental school but who intend to become dentists. Our unique program teaches students all aspects of general and specialty dentistry in a manner impossible to achieve in dental school. Our program also teaches what to do after graduating dental school. This program does NOT grant a university degree or a license for U.S. dental practice and has no formal affiliation with any dental school.  Students are responsible for obtaining their own housing and food; it is NOT part of our program.

There is no formal curriculum. This program allows students to watch, listen and learn how to treat patients; students are not allowed to actually treat patients themselves. A University-based program (which we are not) will typically have a different patient population than our super premium private practice. Understanding the heart and mind of a patient is the first step in treatment. Differential diagnosis, case presentation and the mechanics of dentistry come later. People seeking super premium dentistry typically have different expectations of how they want to be treated; learning what we do at CSD will apply to ALL patients in your future practice. 

Students will be immersed in daily discussions on differential diagnosis, radiographic interpretation, treatment planning complex cases, case presentation and behavioral studies in ALL dental specialties. There is no formal curriculum so students can learn at their own pace and enjoy dentistry. Our students are involved in every aspect of our practice. New students are first required to carefully study The Student Handbook and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Manual before being allowed to observe patient treatment. 

The intention of this program is to increase the knowledge and skills of students:  1) So they may confirm their interest in dentistry as a career, 2) So that they may become very well prepared to enter dental school, 3) So they may possibly enhance their application to dental school, and 4) So they may become very well prepared how to practice dentistry upon graduation. If you are seeking to directly and immediately apply to dental school, instead of pre dental studies, then please visit The American Dental Association for more information. We cannot assist you.

At his sole discretion, Dr. Dorfman may provide assistance to extraordinary students in applying to dental school. Our program may, or may not, help our students get admitted into a U.S. dental school. Interested applicants may view what some of our STAFF and FORMER STUDENTS are doing now on the OUR TEAM page.

The primary responsibilities of a pre dental school student are:

·            Acquiring and applying new dental knowledge and skills including working carefully & safely.
·            Exemplifying punctuality, reliability, cleanliness, and initiative.
·            Maintaining a smooth flow for effective transitions in the office environment.
·            Recognizing that the office can quickly change, demanding flexibility & organization under pressure.
·            Being able to perform and track several tasks simultaneously with accuracy.
·            Exhibiting courtesy and friendliness to all patients.

Dental duties:

·           Helping with lab work including pouring up good study models.
·           Prep for teeth whitening.
·           Taking full mouth series x-rays quickly and efficiently, and taking digital photos, i.e. both internal and external.
·           The set up of the Nitrous Oxide unit in all rooms.
·           Setup and assisting all dental specialties that requires developing an understanding of what is being done and why.
·           Cleaning and disinfection of treatment rooms.
·           Sterilization of instruments.
·           Stocking of all required materials for all aspects of dentistry.
·           General office maintenance.
·           Confirming patient appointments, patient follow up, patient recall for dentistry.
·           Learn how to perform diagnosis and treatment plan patient cases, and offer varying case presentations.
·           Ability to read and understand radiographs.
·           Learn dental terminology, instruments, materials and procedures.
·           Understand how to review oral hygiene with patients.
·           Understand and implement all procedures to help make phobic patients comfortable.

Office duties:

·           Scheduling patients.
·           Prosthetic cases – dealing with lab, the technicians, and scheduling.
·           Entering in the computer new patients, insurance information, patient treatment.
·           Print insurance forms and submit claims with the appropriate documentation.
·           Learn ADA procedure codes and insurance benefits.
·           Getting payment and dealing with outstanding balances, e.g., old insurance, aged receivable, and billing.

Our Academic Calender:

The expected duration of our educational programs can vary based upon individual needs; starting dates can occur throughout the year.  Some students choose to study with us for two or three years because they enjoy the greater depth of their learning. Please note that we typically work a four day week so students have long weekends from Friday to Sunday to enjoy all that New York City has to offer – or to study for the DATs – or get a part-time job. We also take many full weeks off – especially during the summer – so it is the student’s responsibility to plan their visits with this in mind. We also have students attend for only the summer. We cannot guarantee the type or amount of dentistry that will be seen during any time period. We reserve the right to terminate any student studying with us at any time for any reason. 


Please read this information and our website carefully. We will not respond to applicants who do not follow these instructions nor can we take the time to answer questions that are already answered here. Applicants must intend to attend dental school to apply to this program and provide a resume that reflects it.

There is not an application form. You may send your resume, three recommendations and photo via email, US mail and/or fax (212) 754-5731. If using email please send your resume and recommendations contained within the body of your email; only your photo may be a jpeg attachment. We don’t open attachments from unknown sources. Your references must NOT be from family or friends. An invitation to interview does not imply acceptance into our program so applicants should make travel plans accordingly. It is possible to arrange a remote interview, and/or have a family member or friend visit our office, if the applicant is unable to visit us for an interview.

If necessary, international applicants who have been accepted into our program may obtain a letter of acceptance that they may use to apply for a U.S. visa. The Visa Letter will state the expected duration of study with us.  There is no guarantee that the visa will be granted. As noted in the next section there is a separate fee for us to write this Visa Letter plus tuition must be paid in full in advance. There are no refunds.

Application Fee and Tuition:

A $35 application fee should be made to 1dentist, LLC and sent via US mail before your application will be processed. We receive a lot of applications each week.  This fee is necessary to help reduce the quantity of non-serious applicants.

Students are responsible for participation-associated expenses due for each session.  The equipment fee to cover your basic expenses while you are a part of our pre dental school program will be as follows:

Session I:  May 1st through August 31st – $975.00
Session II:  September 1st through December 31st – $775.00
Session III:  January 1st through April 30th – $775.00
Session IV:   Any one week (Monday – Thursday) session – $250.00
Fees are due the first week of each period and will allow students the opportunity to participate within our program.  Tuition fees are based upon each calender session and not split, for example, from mid-session I to the next mid-session II.  The fees cover the basic expenses incurred by your participation during these time periods and will not be prorated nor refunded for partial attendance.  For example, attending our program only two months during a Session or only one day a week during a Session does not result in a discount off the fees listed above.  Please note that we typically work a four day week so students have long weekends from Friday to Sunday to enjoy all that New York City has to offer – or have more time to study for the DATs!  We also take many full weeks off during the summer so it the student’s responsibiliby to make their plans with this in mind.  We cannot guarantee the type or amount of dentistry that will be seen during any time period. 

If necessary, the fee to write one Visa Letter is $775. This Visa Letter fee plus Full Paid Tuition, for the expected duration of study with us, must be paid in full in before we write this letter.** If necessary, each additional Visa Letter will also cost $775. There are no refunds and there is no guarantee that the visa will be granted. This is beyond our control.

**For example, consider an international applicant who intends to study with us for the summer and needs a Visa Letter that says they will be with us for the summer. The fee that must be paid before we will write the Visa Letter is $775 + $875 = $1,650. 

Tuition discounts, though rare, are possible with documented financial need; this can be discussed if you are invited to an interview.

Method of payment (for the application fee and/or tuition):

Payment may be made via check, credit card or bank wire transfer. Checks should be made payable to 1dentist, LLC. We accept Visa and MasterCard. It is also possible to wire transfer funds (bank fees for wire transfers cannot be deducted from the payment amount due). Note that our email is not secure so contact our office if necessary to make your payment.

A Full-Time or Part-Time PAID Job at CSD:

This is what many applicants are seeking. Please be aware that there may be a waiting list for our full-time and part-time PAID jobs. This waiting list is composed of students who may already be at CSD. Students will frequently volunteer (and pay tuition as described  above) in order to hopefully obtain the next available PAID full-time or part-time job. There is NO guarantee that any student will ever be offered a PAID job at CSD. Summer dental education programs are never paid. Unpaid students will need to be able to live in NYC and get financial help in some other way; we cannot help you.

Our paid dental education programs generally pay between $20,000 – 40,000 per year (with the higher range for more experienced students) but the cost of living in NYC is quite high. Paid students frequently stay for two or three years and find their learning changes each year. Our PAID dental education programs frequently, but not always, begin in June but starting dates can occur throughout the year. PAID students commit to remaining in our program through the end of July of the next calendar year. Entry into the PAID program is highly competitive. 

Applicants for the PAID job will need a U.S. work visa (as a non-resident) or a work permit (as a resident) if you hope to obtain paid job with us.


More info: hompage - The website for The Center for Special Dentistry®

About Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman - Director, The Center for Special Dentistry®

Student photos

Our Dental Student Blog - over 75 blogs

Former Student’s dental schools – Review current STAFF and FORMER STUDENTS Homepage


Contact (please contact us only after carefully reading this page):

The Center for Special Dentistry®
Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, Director
425 Madison Avenue – Suite 500 
(at 49th Street)

New York, NY 10017 USA

Email or 212.758.1000


Some personal experiences written by students:

E.W. said:

I was a full time student with Dr. Jeff Dorfman for about a year and met many students who had stayed for two or three years full time. The Center for Special Dentistry is a unique place that has offered dental internships for 25 years. I don’t know of any other place like it where college students with no experience can be allowed to watch and learn how to treat some of the most complicated cases in dentistry. I’ve been exposed to multi-specialty cosmetic reconstruction that I don’t believe I could have learned elsewhere. There’s a great group of cosmetic dentists and specialists in the office who are willing to teach you. Dr. Dorfman wants to see which students make the most effort before he decides to spend his time teaching them individually. 

Do not interview with him unless you are fully prepared and know all about the program and the practice from the website. Otherwise, you might get grilled and won’t be invited back. 

I said I had some experience working in a dental office. Dr. Dorfman then asked me some questions that I should have been able to answer, such as the name of the final filling material used during root canal treatment(gutta-percha). Though I’m typically very calm and collected during interviews, on this particular day I froze and couldn’t come up with the answer. Dr. Dorfman could tell that my knowledge of dentistry was very limited despite what I claimed. I was fortunate to be invited back, but being honest with your experience and background can go a long way.

Dr. Dorfman can be really nice and funny despite new students being frequently intimidated. He was always willing to help me. He wrote a nice letter of recommendation for my dental school application and even personally called each Dean of Admission before each interview.

P.C. said:

Hi, I am currently an intern at Dr. Dorfman’s Center for Special Dentistry and I also wanted to add a few insights:

The intention of the practice is to offer patients extremely high-end dental care. All dentists & specialists in the office are encouraged to take as long as they need to perform dentistry as well as possible. Patients leave happy, well informed and with a new friend; Dr. Dorfman really cares about the patients and their dentistry. 

You cannot work for what you don’t know exists. I never even considered that a world outside of insurance dentistry existed before I came to this office. It’s a hard thing to achieve, and you have to work really hard to make it work, but it opens up your options as a dentist. Dr. Dorfman has been a pro bono professor (teaching for free) at both Columbia and NYU dental schools for nearly 20 combined years.  For over 12 years dental students were legally allowed to treat charity dental cases in the office for extremely low fees; this program ended in June 2010.  A high school mentorship program also exists in the office to help educate inner city kids. 

I have learned a ton of dentistry and have made some potentially life long friends. Dr. Dorfman offers a great deal on a partnership track to the very best of the former interns after dental school graduation. A small fee is charged to students to cover the cost of their participation, but it is well worth it. I really recommend this program!

D.W. said:

I worked in Dr. Dorfman’s office for 3 years and learned more than I ever could have imagined when I applied for the program. Just like any other job you gain more responsibility and a greater understanding for things as time goes on. 

You get out of the program, what you put in it. The more days you spend in the office, the more you will learn. Dr. Dorfman observes the learning curve of each of the students and pays attention to your willingness and efforts in the office. When he can, he will share with you what he is working on and introduce treatment planning and educate you on different cases. He practices intelligently and teaches you about the business side of dentistry as well. Before this program I did not realize all that it took to run a practice and am extremely grateful for everything that I have learned. I will use all the skills that Dr. Dorfman has taught me for the rest of my life and implement many of them in my career!

In turn, the students that were more active took advantage of what the program had to offer and got to know everyone in the office. Dr. Dorfman is EXTREMELY giving and wants his students to succeed. I HIGHLY recommend this program and encourage everyone to apply! There is nothing else like it. 


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