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Why i decided to become a dentist

Related Posts Pros Respected Profession: Dentistry is a highly respected profession.

  • A not so great statistic about dentistry is that dentists consistently have one of the highest rates of suicide among any profession;
  • It is a great responsibility to have and although it can be extremely burdensome at times it is very gratifying and rewarding to provide quality care that can drastically change lives for the better.

Dental patients rely on and trust their dentist to provide them with the best possible healthcare. Ability to Help People: Dentistry is a service oriented profession. You will spend all of your time helping other people which is extremely rewarding to you as a dentist.

Dentistry is an extremely stable career with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. As a dentist you are able to help dictate how much you make by how much you work and your business model. A career in dentistry can provide you with a balanced lifestyle between your work, family, and social life.

If you own your own practice then you can choose how much you work in a week. Most dentists work full-time, but some will work only 3 days a week or some will work more than full-time by working evenings and even weekends. Dentistry allows you to be your own boss if you choose to do so by owning your own practice.

You can determine how you want your career in dentistry to be. You have much more freedom and can essentially make all the decisions with very little managed care in dentistry which is not common in the other healthcare professions.

  1. It is almost comical to hear people going through undergraduate studies or other graduate programs complain about their debt, because dental school is one of if not the most expensive graduate programs. For that, you can take honest satisfaction.
  2. The risk of actually contracting the disease is very low, but it is still possible and has happened so its a risk that a dentist faces. Dental educators have the ability to shape the dental school curriculum and the professional role of the dentist by establishing themselves as faculty members in dental education.
  3. Dentistry is often referred to as an art.
  4. Maintain a flexible lifestyle. It becomes quite a challenge for some practices to stay ahead of technological improvements.
  5. Dentistry is often referred to as an art.

In order to become a dentist, you will spend at least 7-8 years in school following high school. There is no specific major for dental school, however, most pre-dental students choose a Science major. Following graduation from a university, you will enroll at a dental school after taking the DATinterviewing, and getting accepted.

Dental school is a 4 year doctorate program 3 years if you go to University of the Pacific. It is a very stressful and demanding program. After dental school you will be a dentist. You have the option of going on to post-graduate programs such as a 1 year General Practice Residency or Advanced Education in General Dentistry programs to gain more experience and enhance your clinical skills as a general dentist.

One more step

You can also elect to specialize in one of the fields of dentistry which these post-graduate programs range from an additional 2-6 years, depending upon the specialty, of schooling in order to complete.

Besides spending at least 7-8 years of your life in school in order to become a dentist you will spend many hours doing demanding and exhausting work on your patients throughout your career.

Most dentists work full-time and some will even work evening and weekends. The nice thing about dentistry is the flexibility in your schedule you can have if you own your own practice. You could work less than full-time and not work evenings or on the weekends, but most dentists do due to debt, expenses, etc. As a dentist though, you are responsible for the oral healthcare of your patients and when patients call your emergency line with a severe toothache on a Saturday night at 9PM then you are responsible for them.

You must provide a way for them to receive treatment so plan on spending plenty of additional time outside of your normal business hours treating and assisting patients as well.

No one understands what a lot of debt is better than a dentist. It is almost comical to hear people going through undergraduate studies or other graduate programs complain about their debt, because dental school is one of if not the most expensive graduate programs. Now if you want to own your own practice you can either buy an existing practice or build your own.

Are you getting overwhelmed?

  • A large part of dentistry involves restoring teeth and making a smile beautiful, one that the patient is happy to show to others;
  • Dental patients rely on and trust their dentist to provide them with the best possible healthcare;
  • Because there are a number of different career and practice options in dentistry, practitioners can choose what kind of lifestyle they will lead and often what hours and days they will work;
  • Dentistry is not only physically demanding, but emotionally as well.

You are probably already a little stressed after reading that last point. Debt is a major factor of stress in dentistry. When treating patients there are many variables that contribute to the stress of being a dentist. You spend your entire day working and focusing in a small confined area.

The work you do is very tedious and precise. Some patients have a limited capacity to open their mouths, some have tongues the size of car hoods, some salivate or bleed like fire hoses, some wince in pain at the sound of a drill, some gag at the sight of a mouth mirror, some pass out, and some will throw up on you. You have to keep up with your schedule, which is very precise as well, and one patient that shows up late or an unexpected occurrence during treatment can cause serious delays and kinks in your schedule and much unwanted stress.

There are plenty of factors that cause stress in the life of a dentist. You need to be able to handle and cope with the high levels of why i decided to become a dentist and still manage the stress that you face outside of dentistry.

Dentistry is very physically demanding, although many people would probably not think so. Doing precise and tedious work in a tiny area with your hands and having your eyes focused on a small area through loupes for long periods of time are reasons why dentistry is demanding physically. It is tough on your back, hands and shoulders. If you have poor ergonomics in dentistry you will feel and see the results of that in a short amount of time.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back problems, and hypertension abound with dentists. Costs of a Dental Practice: Just like the expenses of dental school are extremely expensive, maintaining a dental practice is also very expensive.

Most of the money coming in never ends up in the pockets of the dentist. It goes to pay for supplies, staff salaries, taxes, maintenance, insurance coverage, CE courses, new equipment, etc.

Why would anyone want to become a dentist?

Every instrument, piece of equipment, even materials can be very expensive to purchase. The competition for acceptance into dental school is increasing by the year. It is difficult and very competitive to get into dental school, because more and more students are applying each year. More and more students each year are wanting to get into dentistry, because it offers them more freedom and flexibility to do what they want for their career as a dentist.

Everyone wants to live in urban areas so nearly every major metropolitan area is well beyond its optimal dentist to people ratio.

Managed care meaning when organizations like the government or an insurance company manage health care.

  • Dentists are under extreme amounts of stress from working long hours, complaints from patients, and debt;
  • You can also elect to specialize in one of the fields of dentistry which these post-graduate programs range from an additional 2-6 years, depending upon the specialty, of schooling in order to complete;
  • Choose from a number of career options;
  • A large part of dentistry involves restoring teeth and making a smile beautiful, one that the patient is happy to show to others;
  • Why would anyone want to become a dentist?

Just like Obamacare and insurance companies have been ruining the healthcare system this could happen with dentistry in the not so distant future. As of now there are still quite a bit of liberties with managing your own practice, but insurance companies already dictate a lot of the treatment that your patients will receive and government or insurance companies could be taking a more active role in managing dental care in the future as they have done with medical care.

You might not be able to own your own practice anymore if that happens.

Vulnerability to Infectious Diseases: As a dentist you are susceptible to illnesses and infectious diseases every day as you treat patients. Dentists also work with many sharp instruments such as: If you accidentally have a needlestick or poke yourself with a sharp instrument then there is always the risk of contracting a blood borne disease such as HIV or Hepatitis C if the patient is a carrier.

You become at risk for these life threatening diseases if this happens. The risk of actually contracting the disease is very low, but it is still possible and has happened so its a risk that a dentist faces. Dentistry is not only physically demanding, but emotionally as well. People hate waiting and if your schedule gets thrown off by a patient that showed up late then the rest of your patients will take it out on you.

People will be upset with treatment that fails or when something goes wrong. There is no guaranteed perfect treatment in healthcare, there are plenty of variables that are beyond the control of a dentist, yet the dentist will pay the price for it emotionally and financially at times when something does go wrong.

All of these things create a significant emotional demand on you as the provider. Running a business is difficult for anyone, especially for a dentist. Imagine spending 4 years in your undergraduate focused on a science major and then 4 years of dental school focused on dentistry and then you graduate and are expected to know how to run a dental practice without any knowledge of how to run a business.

It is difficult to do the business side of the practice, but also do all the dental work as well. A dentist wears many hats: You also have to manage your staff. Knowing when to hire and fire staff, how to keep them happy financially, provide them with benefits, and dealing with attitudes is frustrating, stressful, and demanding. It can be very difficult dealing with all different types of people and personalities while trying to keep everyone happy and productive.

You will have to be able to balance multiple roles as a dentist. The only benefits you get are the benefits that you give yourself.

A dentist is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 careers in the country due to its comfortable income, low unemployment rate, and good work-life balance.

A not so great statistic about dentistry is that dentists consistently have one of the highest rates of suicide among any profession. Dentists are under extreme amounts of stress from working long hours, complaints from patients, and debt. Researchers have suggested that: It is up to the dental school to decide why i decided to become a dentist degree they will award at their school. Following dental school, a new dentist has multiple options to choose from.

They can continue their education and pursue a post-doctorate program or residency for advanced training in general dentistry or one of the 9 dental specialities.

The specialty areas of dentistry are: These programs and residencies range from an additional 1-6 years of advanced training following dental school. If a dentist does not wish to do any advanced training then they may begin working in a variety of different areas as a general dentist. There are many options to choose from and you can decide your own path in dentistry and what type of patients or area you want to treat and work in.

Dentistry is a great profession and a very rewarding one as well. I know I have weighed heavily on the negatives of the profession, but in my opinion the positives outweigh the negatives.

It is important though, like any career choice, to understand the profession and why i decided to become a dentist it entails so that you make sure you are committed to it and, therefore, committed to your patients as you are responsible for their care and well-being. It is a great responsibility to have and although it can be extremely burdensome at times it is very gratifying and rewarding to provide quality care that can drastically change lives for the better.

If you are ready to start preparing for the DAT exam, check my guide on how to best prepare.