Recent Graduates

Welcome to a page created just for new dentists. It has content designed to help you navigate your first four years in the profession with ease. And it’s where smart new dentists get smarter.

First off, remember no matter where you are in your career, if you have questions, CDA is always just a phone call (800.CDA.SMILE) or email away. Also, if you haven’t already, check out CDA’s Guide for the New Dentist. In it you’ll find everything from advice on writing CVs, to how to start your first practice. And, for our very recent graduates be sure to search our classifieds for the latest job openings. So, let’s get down to business.  

Membership is free your first year

What’s more, because we understand that you’re just getting started, your CDA dues will be reduced for the next four years.

Discounts for New Graduates

To apply for membership, follow these simple steps:

  1. Complete the online application. After licensure, you will become a member of the ADA, CDA and the local dental society closest to your school.
  2. When you establish a permanent address, contact your local dental society or update your profile online
    *If you’ve moved out of the current dental society jurisdiction, please contact CDA (800.232.7645) to transfer your membership to the appropriate dental society. 
TDIC Professional & Business Liability Insurance
  • Started by dentists, and protecting dentists is all we do
  • Experts in the type and amount of insurance for every stage of your career
  • 30-year history and protect nearly 18,000 dentists nationwide
  • Five-minute short form and e-signature make the online application process a breeze

TDIC $50 New Dentists Program

Once you pass your board exams and obtain your license we have quite the present for you - pay just $50 for your first year of Professional Liability insurance with TDIC. What’s more, you’ll receive a 45% discount on your second year of practice and 25% on your third.  

Apply today.

Financial Assistance

Student Loan Repayment Grant and Loan Repayment Programs

The weight of student loan debt can make a career in public or community health nearly impossible for new dentists. To offset some of the financial burden, the CDA Foundation awards recent dental school/specialty graduates with grants toward repaying their educational loan. Amounts range from up to $35,000 per year for a maximum of $105,000 over three years in exchange for a commitment to care for the underserved. Often, it’s the difference that makes the impossible, possible.

For more information and to apply



New Dentist Guide
Loan Repayment Programs

Loan repayment programs exist to support those interested in pursuing a career in dentistry. Many of these programs have been created specifically to increase access to care for underserved populations. Click on the links below to learn what’s available to you.

CDA Foundation
Dental Board of California
CA Office of Health Planning & Development
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
US Department of Veterans Affairs (GI bill)
Indian Health Services
News for New Dentists


The CDA Foundation has numerous grants and scholarships available throughout the year with various deadlines and submission periods. Currently, the CDA Foundation is accepting applications for the Student Loan Repayment Grant, Humanitarian Award and the Latinos for Dental Careers Scholarship.


Top 5 mistakes dentists make when signing software contracts


There are many business and technical issues in dental software contracts that dentists need to recognize and address, and the onus can fall on them to adequately prepare. Signing a bad contract could negatively impact a practice for years to come. CDA, along with a veteran health care software expert, has identified the top five mistakes dentists make when signing a dental software contract.


New dentists can create and build great dental teams

Whether a new dentist is an employee of a practice or starting their own, understanding how to create, manage and lead a dental team is crucial to success. New dentists must quickly learn how to, among other things, choose new hires and establish and support a productive team of energized, motivated employees. For some new dentists, conducting a job interview is uncharted and uncomfortable territory.