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You might be able to gain an awareness of the demands of dentistry by observing a dentist at work. Training for and then working as a dental hygienist, dental assistant, or dental laboratory technician might lead to continued study in dentistry. Because of the nature of dentistry, developing good manual dexterity through sculpting or metalworking would be helpful to the prospective dentist. Volunteer or get a part-time job in a dental office to see what the work environment is like. If you can't find a position in a dental office, consider volunteering in any medical environment to gain a feel for medical work. Even if you volunteer at a local hospital, for example, you'll be able to work around medical staff and discover firsthand how it feels to help people. Finally, check out the American Dental Association's career Web site,, for more information. 

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