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What are the Pros and Cons of Being A Dentist

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Fuarky, Apr 5, 2012.

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  1. Fuarky

    Fuarky

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    What are the pros and cons of being a dentist??? I'm having a tough decision between going the pre med route or pre dental route, but am only a sophomore at hs, so long time to make decision haha.
  2. tothepark

    tothepark

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    Honestly, you will find so much information just searching these forums. Someone's "pro" might be a "con" for you.. such as the ability to own your own practice. In addition, if you do decide which route you will take (I recommend shadowing) before applying to colleges, there are a lot of early acceptance programs. For example, there is a BS/DDS 7 year program with Buffalo Dental School and Buffalo/Geneseo/other Undergrad, and 8 year early acceptance to Stony Brook Medical School with Stony Brook Undergrad...
  3. woolloo

    woolloo

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    First of all, you're still really young. That being said, you have plenty of time to assess your options way before you make a definite decision. Like my colleague above, you should consider shadowing a medical doctor or a dentist. Moreover, you should keep your heart open to anything, because, you never know what you may find attractive. When I was in your position, I shadowed several medical doctors and attended medical conferences. I explored other professions with an open mind, including chemical engineering and optometry, before finally deciding on pursuing dentistry.

    To offer a somewhat quick response to your question, I will refer you to this article that resonates a lot with my views on dentistry: http://knol.google.com/k/why-dentistry-instead-of-medicine#.

    Always remember that “[c]uriosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly." - Arnold Edinborough
  4. MAdental

    MAdental

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    A lot of pros . Cons : severe neck and shoulder pain by the time you are 50.
  5. Fuarky

    Fuarky

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    Can you elaborate on the pros??
  6. Dgeorg6

    Dgeorg6

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    Check the link in my signature..

    The only cons of dentistry are working with teeth and having 4 years of dental school (which is actually a pro when debating against pre med )

    Pros are better life style in most cases, better hours in most cases, comparable salaries with less hours, better chances of being your own boss, sexy dental hygienist, and less school in must cases. (must md specialize where as the majority of dds don't
  7. timwatley

    timwatley

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    How is teeth a con? The profession is centered around teeth buddy..good luck being happy
  8. ushaseos

    ushaseos -Classified Information-

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    Do dentistry if you find it interesting. If you wanna make lots of money, get into banking or business. For the work you have to put in you don't really earn an amazing amount in Medicine or Dentistry. You won't be poor, but a lot of misguided people think medicine and dentistry are the path to a future of cash and riches!

    Personally the biggest pros for me are: Life-style, autonomy, working with my hands, decent enough pay to survive. Fun and interesting science behind some specialties.

    Cons: More schooling than most non-health fields. Expensive tuition. Business hassles if you get into private practice.
  9. longhornpride

    longhornpride

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    I'm still in school and I'm dealing with that con right now. Granted I hurt myself lifting, but sitting in a chair looking at space all day isn't helping at all.
  10. Dgeorg6

    Dgeorg6

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    I was not saying it was a con for me, I see no cons in dentistry, just pros. But the average student deciding between physician and dentist could see it as a con
  11. Cello

    Cello

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    I've never understood the problem with mouths, as there are far less desirable body parts / orifices to deal with and it's physicians who deal with those...
  12. MAdental

    MAdental

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    My dad's buddy is a retired dentist . He worked for 25 years and retired cuz he had to deal with lots of neck pain . This is given in this profession and all dentists will have to deal with it sooner or later . The key is to exercise weekly . You gota do shoulder and back exercises at the gym. Swimming helps too .
  13. timwatley

    timwatley

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    Regular massages are supposed to help as well. If I can find an economically feasible way to do that I'll be very happy :)
  14. tothepark

    tothepark

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    Find a loving spouse, you rub his/her back, hopefully he/she will return the favor :D
  15. dantemac

    dantemac

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    I didn't know there were any cons associated with being a dentist ;)
  16. summit30

    summit30

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    A few pros I am familiar with: good regulatory climate (not over regulated), autonomy in setting hours and selecting patients/procedure, hands on work (by the nature of the prof.), low levels of unemployment. Cons: paperwork (but I think that is a con of any profession).
  17. ushaseos

    ushaseos -Classified Information-

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    We should all be doing this regardless so not a huge con IMO. Exercise and proper health are always important and we do have to make sure we are taking care of that. There have been a lot of improvements in ergonomics so I am sure there are ways to get around the physical pains of being a dentist even if one didn't exercise.
  18. 433439

    433439

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    Pros: Lots

    Cons: Lots of new dental schools will be opening up in the next 5-10 years; furthermore driving down the pros.
  19. Sisero68

    Sisero68

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    Pro: I can use my loupes to help with tying flies for trout fishing...
  20. MAdental

    MAdental

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    We should be , but the ones who actually make it to dental school spend most of their times at the library reading or at home doing school stuff, and once you get into dental school things get harder. IMHO, me having severe problems with my spine, neck and shoulder in 30 years is the only cons to this profession, and those are pretty easy to prevent. You might not take this seriously, but putting pressure on your possible weak muscles for 25 years has severe consequences. I have seen it myself and its pretty brutal. Other than that, dentists live a pretty awesome relaxing life.
  21. Fuarky

    Fuarky

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    What is the general job satisfaction with dentists??? Are they generally happy??? I also hear that dentists have really high suicide rates which turns me off a little about going into dental path..
  22. frd88

    frd88

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    Firstly, it's awesome that you are looking into this so early on. Don't listen to people who tell you that it is too early for you to look into different careers. The earlier you start planning, the smoother things will go for you in college. Secondly, I think the whole suicide rate thing is a huge myth that people just use as a conversational point. I've shadowed dentists that seemed extremely happy with their careers and dentists who seemed miserable with their careers. I would suggest taking a different approach than trying to find out the "general" job satisfaction because knowing if most dentists like or dislike their job will not tell you if you personally will like or dislike it. I'm sure most hair-stylists love their jobs, but I would hate being a hair-stylist because it doesn't fit my personality. See my point? I know I'll be happy with dentistry because it fits my personality. I think it fits my personality because I hate having a boss tell me what to do, I am a dedicated student, I love the regular 9-5 schedule, and I would love being able to hand-pick who I work with. I think who you work with is the biggest determinant of job satisfaction. If I'm working with a cute girl who I get to joke around with and flirt with all day its a great day regardless of what kind of work I'm doing. I've had jobs where the work was miserable, but because I loved the people I was working with I always looked forward to going to work.

    Also, it is extremely important to me to be financially secure, and in dentistry I know I'll be financially secure and be able to comfortably provide for a family without financial stresses, which is huge and somewhat rare nowadays. On top of that, with the medical route a four year residency would suck (IMO), not being able to make plans on your weekends because you are on call would suck (IMO), and working in a hospital would suck (IMO). And in dentistry you don't have to deal with life-or-death situations. That last point is extremely important. I really would not want to have to go to work every single day knowing that if I forget to do something or if I slip on anything someone could be killed or their life could be ruined. Some people say that that's exciting, but I say if you want excitement go base-jumping or something.

    (if only I could have been this candid at my dental school interviews...)
  23. y3nd0

    y3nd0 Kitteh likes to stare

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    Honestly, if you enjoy your job, suicide won't even cross your mind. I've seen and met several dentists that genuinely enjoy their job. My orthodontist says the most rewarding thing about her job is seeing the "end result" of her work. An oral surgeon that I met only for a day said that he enjoyed the diversity of his job and that "you'll never know what you might end up encountering".

    I also agree with frd88. I feel that I was made to be a dentist. Wasn't quite sure a few years ago, but I'm positive now. After shadowing dentists, I can totally see myself doing whatever they do on a daily basis. Every Monday's and Friday's, I dread the idea of ending my day at 6:30pm and having to commute 1 hour to and from the dental office, but I still look forward to stepping into the office and interacting with the dentists and assistants there.
    Was I made to be a medical doctor, especially in the ER? Oh dear gosh, no. The thought of someone else's life in my hands? No, thanks. The pressure would make my head implode. Being a primary care doctor? That would be a little too boring for me, sitting in an office and seeing patients come in and out without doing much with your hands. So I suppose a pro (at least to me) would be that I'm constantly using my hands to create "art" that benefits people. (Art in the sense of shaping a beautiful, healthy smile, or a proper bite, like when doing composite fillings. :D To me, dentistry is a form of art that anyone can appreciate).
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  24. dantemac

    dantemac

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    Dentistry is the perfect intersection of art and science :D
  25. timwatley

    timwatley

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    I like the way you think :thumbup:
  26. HernandezDDS

    HernandezDDS

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    :thumbup:
  27. grb2sos

    grb2sos

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    In terms of job satisfaction, the two dentists I have shadowed absolutely love it. They get me excited about dentistry because they are so enthusiastic and open to sharing all the knowledge they have. The one I have spent most of my time shadowing could literally talk about dentistry for hours. If you like working with your hands, conversing TO people, comforting the few people that really do not like being in the chair, and have confidence in yourself, you will love dentistry.

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