OBJECTIVE To determine first-year dental students' current motivation and attitudes for choosing the dental profession at the Faculty of Dental Medicine, Medical University - Sofia, Bulgaria. MATERIAL AND METHODS An anonymous questionnaire, consisting of 12 questions about students' socio-demographic profile and their motivation for choosing dentistry, was administered to 119 first-year dental students at the Faculty of Dental Medicine of the Medical University of Sofia. The study was conducted at the beginning of the 2012-2013 academic year. The data was processed and analyzed with the following software: Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2; Microsoft SQL Server 2008; Internet Information Server 7.5.; Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. RESULTS The majority of the students (73%) were self-motivated for choosing dentistry as a career; 61% of them did not have relatives in the medical profession; 43% chose dental medicine because it is a prestigious, humane and noble profession; 50% - for financial security; 59% - because of the independence that it provides. There were no significant differences in the motivation between males and females. CONCLUSION Independence, financial security and 'prestige' were the predominant motivating factors in this group of first-year dental students. Determining the reasons for choosing dentistry has important implications for the selection and training of students as well as for their future job satisfaction.