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General Dentistry isn't for me

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by ataha, May 25, 2012.

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  1. ataha

    ataha

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    Hey, I've shadowed my orthodontist for like 20-30 hours and there was no doubt I would love to do this for a living however I just started (I feel stupid for not starting with him) shadowing the general dentist and it kind of grosses me out or annoys me, today wasn't that bad, but I just can't see myself enjoying this.

    Is it time to consider another profession or do you think I should give it more time maybe it gets better? Today was my first day shadowing the general dentist and I spent like 4-5 hours with him and I just felt annoyed, maybe it was because I slept like 3 hours last night and i'm just cranky lol.

    Have any of you automatically just loved dentistry or did it grow on you over time?

    I know I would enjoy orthodontics but with how competitive it is there's a good chance I might not get into the residency. And I don't know I'm just not sure how to feel about this, I'm approaching my last year of my Microbiology degree and I've hopped around from law to the health field, first pharmacy for a long time then dentistry for like 6-7 months and now I'm having doubts about dentistry. I really do enjoy the health field and want to stay in it but I don't know...
  2. jeffity

    jeffity

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    Spend more time with a GP. And with more than one. And with a little more sleep. Not only is ortho competitive, if you don't like general dentistry than dental school is obviously going to be the most annoying hurdle for you. Explore those other professions too. It's healthy and wise to be going through these decisions and explorations now before you're sitting in dental school hating it.

    I don't think many people just inherently love dentistry or teeth. I'm sold on it and committed to this path, but I still wouldn't venture to say I love it.
  3. sacapuntas

    sacapuntas Verified Account Gold Donor

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    Continue to shadow the general dentist. After 30+ hours if you can't see yourself doing it, you should start to think dentistry isn't right for you. However, before you change your mind again you should shadow several different general dentists that have very different practices.

    For example, I shadowed a chain dentist several times and could not see myself doing that for a variety of reasons. I then shadowed a dentist at a private practice and could see myself doing that but didn't see a passion in it. I then shadowed a public health dentist and knew I wanted to do that with passion. It took me shadowing 3 different general practice dentists to find what I was really interested in. I imagine this could change further once I am in dental school, but at least I know there is dentistry that I cold really be passionate about.
  4. jeffity

    jeffity

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    Amen to this too. Besides just the setting, the attitudes and personalities of the dentists/staff make a difference and offer different insight.
  5. ataha

    ataha

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    Thanks! I'll try finding some other dentists to shadow, this one works at a chain, he's a great guy and a very nice dentist he kept explaining what he was doing and why he was doing it.

    One of the patients was a 10 year old kid, he was performing a root canal on him, and the kid kept squirming, he was so uncomfortable that I began feeling uncomfortable, is that one of those things that you just become desensitized to? Similar (well not really similar at all lol) to a surgeon cutting up another human body?
  6. yappy

    yappy

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    OP:

    I'm just curious as to what you found "annoying" about general dentistry? I ask because it may be the way the office was set up, staff, etc. As others have suggested try to delineate the setting from the practice.
  7. sacapuntas

    sacapuntas Verified Account Gold Donor

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    I believe you will become desensitized to it just as most people get over the cadavers in Anatomy lab. The thing that still gets me a little is when people that are already scared of needles get the hard palate (can't remember the real word for it) injections before an extraction...I literally saw a grown man cry! You just have to remember that the ends justify the means of the procedure.
  8. DentStudentc/o2017

    DentStudentc/o2017

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    very interesting

    i actually started shadowing a GP like 2 months ago, and i LOVE it. I've also shadowed an ortho and i thought it was pretty boring.

    for the ortho it was either braces adjustments, putting braces on, retainer adjustments. over, and over and over.

    i've seen a whole lot of diversity with my GP...extractions, root canals, fillings, cosmetic stuff, etc. the shuffle list is bigger here and for me personally, i don't think i'd get bored.

    gl with whatever you decide to choose
  9. uthscsaalum

    uthscsaalum

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    I agree with the idea of shadowing a few more GPs, but if you can't see yourself being a GP after that, think long and hard before applying or going to dental school.

    I wouldn't want to go into dental school thinking "If I don't finish in the top 10 or so percent of my class AND get into an ortho program, I will have invested a quarter of a million dollars and four years of my life to a career that I hate."
  10. DentStudentc/o2017

    DentStudentc/o2017

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    completely agree. thats like going into medicine with the mindset of going derm or bust. possible? in theory, yes. likely? prob not.
  11. jeffity

    jeffity

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    I think you start to look at things academically and professionally. Like was mentioned about anatomy, when your have purpose and are learning you stop thinking about who this person was...or that it's really a person. This is not to say that you just start treating people as objects. But you don't approach it as walking in the room to inflict pain and suffering. You have a job to get done and your training and treatment plan tell you this is for the good/health of the patient.

    But your uneasiness at this stage is valid. One of my first visits was 4-yr old with congenital disorders which included being deaf...so no
    communication. Even if he could read lips he was from a Spanish famiy. So he was freaked out and screaming and thrashing. He was strapped down but had freakish strenght and was almost eacaping. He was already being held by the assistant. I was quikly asked to step in and help hold his legs. That wasn't easy. I felt so bad for the kid. I wondered how in the world the dentist was prepping a crown with this thrashing (they called those cases rodeos). But I also felt a little hate for his parents. Not just because he needed this done, but because they refused to sedate him due to beliefs.

    Sorry to turn this into story hour. I'm
    still not sure I could get used to doing that all day, but seeing it and how the dentist reacted and what he had to say about it was insightful.
  12. Blue87Fiero

    Blue87Fiero

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    I agree with check out some other general dentist. Some dentist do things completely different and you might like one office and not the other and to who ever said ortho seemed boring I agree.
  13. timwatley

    timwatley

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    There are different styles of general dentistry practices. You should try at least 3. Some will be well organized, clean, and professional. Others will be sloppy and unprofessional. Some dentists make it fun, others don't. One practice might be in an affluent area of town and only do cosmetic dentistry. Another might be in a lower class area and take medicaid.

    I would call a dental school in your state, if possible, and ask them if they can give you any quality dentists in your area. If you can't see yourself being a general dentist I would probably not recommend you entering the field.
  14. AwesomeTeeth

    AwesomeTeeth

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    If general dentistry "grosses you out," you're going to be in a world of trouble later.
  15. MuskieMan33

    MuskieMan33

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    I like the general dentistry aspect of things because everything seems more personal. Which has had an impact on my life with seeing my dentist outside of the office at other things (Boy Scouts) and being with the same dentist my whole life. General dentistry is appealing to me and has always been.
  16. AlbinoPolarBear

    AlbinoPolarBear The Flame Warrior

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    If only there was an orthodontics school, where all you do is learn how to glue stuff in and play with wires all day.

    You don't have to do all the gross stuff like extractions, fillings, crowns, bridges, etc. Touching the tongue is so gross.
  17. TheRoni

    TheRoni Dental School Hopefull

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    From my understanding, GPs are allowed to do EVERYTHING to include orthodontics, provided they can preform the procedures at the level of a specialist. Is that not correct?
  18. ataha

    ataha

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    Don't be an *******, some people have gross mouths even a dentist who's been practicing for 20+ years will know that this 60 year old lady that looks like she doesn't know what a toothbrush has a gross mouth.

    Thanks to all the other supportive comments, I'll give it some more time, because at the end of the day this is a job and I'm never going to find a job that I enjoy 100% of everything in it.

    I feel my worries are valid and we'll see in a couple months if I feel the same way. Who knows, I might come back to this thread and laugh at how silly I sounded almost giving up on dentistry :)
  19. dantemac

    dantemac

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    I love GP. Patients become like family. Prostho and ortho are more boring to me, every appt is fittings follow ups etc and the patient is somehow never happy
  20. ataha

    ataha

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    Hmmm maybe I'll feel that way too after a while
  21. mitrieD

    mitrieD

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    As human beings, I think we naturally get grossed out by cuts and blood, which is a good response.

    But when you look at this as a career and what it entails, you eventually become used to it because you have a reason to see this stuff.
  22. AlbinoPolarBear

    AlbinoPolarBear The Flame Warrior

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    If you think mouths are gross, then don't get into dentistry.

    It's this type of thinking that makes people put bullets in their head, when they feel like they chose the wrong career.
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  23. ataha

    ataha

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    I agree.
    :thumbup:
    Thanks.
  24. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen

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    perhaps dentistry isn't your best career choice.... Majority of graduates (80%-ish) end up in GP so keep that in mind if you decide to stay with dent.

    have you shadowed a physician yet? you might like medicine, give it a try

    oh and for the record, I don't think anyone here "LOVED" their shadowing time with a GP (or any specialty for that matter).... I find, standing around watching someone work to be boring and quite frankly, makes me not wanna go into the profession..... but I never found dentistry untoleratable (as the way you describe it)

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