Advantages and disadvantages of being a Dentist?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by Member21081994, Jul 27, 2012.

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  1. Member21081994


    Jul 25, 2012
    Hey guys :)! I have a good feeling that I want to become a Dentist, after hearing a lot of regrettable things of being a Doctor. I would like your views on what's to like about being a Dentist and a Doctor and what's not to like. Which would you prefer, Dentistry or Medicine?

    Thank you for your views! :)
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
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  3. Wakaaa

    Wakaaa 5+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    Well, this is the dental forums so I think people will be biased here. There are pros and cons to both, but if you don't like one career doesn't mean you should automatically pick the second career. You need to shadow and see if you can actually see yourself doing this everyday.
  4. Dgeorg6

    Dgeorg6 2+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Baton Rouge
    Check the link in my sig..

    was posted in the MD section a year or so ago and most of the pre-med students over there thought dental was better for lifestyle etc..
  5. Lethstang

    Lethstang 7+ Year Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    Youll always get one of these responses in these threads, I guess I drew the straw for this one.

    If you want to work on teeth, be a dentist.

    If you want to do any of the medical specialties, get an MD.

    Theyre so vastly different in terms of job descriptions, and take such an investment to actually practice its silly to choose on lifestyle. Youll make a good living either way.
  6. kew

    kew 10+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2004
    I've been praciticing for 2 years now. I was in your shoes. It's really quite simple though. And this has been backed up by many doctors I know currently as well. Dentistry is what every doctor wish they did. IF you're going to consider hours worked, on call nightmares, income potential, and time with family, then Dentistry kicks the crap out of being a doctor. Oh and in my opinion, the chairside experience is better as well. But being a doctor in that regard would be kind of cool to be the hero, but I'm pretty sure there's lots of times you're not that fortunate. But in dentistry, I change lives everyday. Really, even only practicing this long I have made some amazing memories that came a no cost. It's a very rewarding field. I am home each day by 4:30 and work til' noon on Fridays. And still pulling in $19,000 per month and that's going up each month currently it seems. Good luck with your decision. But for me, it's not a good idea to waiver once you've decided. Go with your gut and quit asking people. You know what you were born to do. Go with what you think will make you happy and your family. But dentistry has been the best decision I ever made.
    Blake1e likes this.
  7. wo5678

    wo5678 2+ Year Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    I think they are both great careers in their own right. It all comes down to personal preference. I was choosing between the two also. I don't think that income and hours should be the only determining factor in your choice. There are many medical specialties that offers great hours and pay, such as dermatology, family medicine, radiology, plastic surgery, rhematology and the list goes on. As long as your specialty does not need the support of a hospital and you can open your own practice, you can have a good family/work balance.

    I choose dentistry because I know I will be a better dentist then a doctor. I have a very extensive art background so I liked the hands-on, creative, and tangible nature of dentistry. It is not as easy to make money in dentistry as everyone says. We only hear about the good stories. You can get lucky and get a great associate job, but they are not always available. If you get a bad associate job, you can make as little as 80K a year. I know a dentist who got tired of working for someone and started her own practice. She LOST 60k her first year and is just started to break even after several years. Dentistry is also physically demanding, back, neck, and ankle pain, and carpel tunnel are common.

    I think medicine is cool in a way it is exciting. LIfe and death situation gets the adrenaline going and you get to meet alot of "interesting" people working in the hospital. Also, if you have no desire to run your own business, medicine is great. . You just go in a do what you do, don''t have to think about expenses, overhead, hiring staff. I have a friend who is super good surgeon, but I don't know if she could run a business. She is finishing her fellowship in surgery. When she is done, she is expected to make 400K a year as an attending. Also, she will get paid time off to do research, present at conferences, and mentor incoming residents and fellows. The only down side is that you have to do a residency and fellowship.

    Doctors like to complain because the grass is greener on the other side. One is not better then the other, it is just different.
  8. Member21081994


    Jul 25, 2012
    Yes I have made my mind on being a Dentist now. I'm just interested in knowing their lifestyle. Wow! You make a lot of money than the average. Wondering if I would be able to do so, so even get to practice in the US-I am from Guyana.
  9. djeffreyt

    djeffreyt Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 2006
    My biggest grievance with dentistry is that everyone with dental insurance expects that everything should only cost a few dollars cause they have "great" insurance. Sorry buddy, those two crowns, deep cleaning, and four fillings aren't completely covered by your $1500 annual maximum.

    That and the cry babies.
    "Do you have to give me a shot?"
    "Unless you want me to do a root canal for an hour without anesthesia."
    "Will the shot hurt?"
    "Only for fifteen seconds, and barely at all."
    "ooooooo....I don't think I can do that. Can you put me to sleep? Oh....let me think about this for ten minutes while you fall behind in your schedule...."
    Alex Gy likes this.
  10. theleatherwalle

    theleatherwalle 5+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    I would do more research...I highly doubt this person is telling the truth. If she is telling the truth, then she is likely very fortunate and someone in her family had a successful practice that they give him/her. Be careful about what you read online.
  11. Stacker

    Stacker n = 1 7+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Dermatology is a much better field than dentistry, in terms of compensation, work hours, autonomy, hospital obligations, and arguably job satisfaction (you actually get to prolong lifespan as well as enhance it on a weekly basis). Dentists are almost only in the "improving lifestyle" business, not necessarily in the "save lives" business of medicine. Unaddressed oral infections can certainly kill and it has.
    I would like medicine more than dentistry if I liked using my head a lot more than using my hands and if immediate visual feedback of improvement from my patients were not as important. Dentistry tends to be more technical than medicine, except surgery and maybe ENT. Everything else in medicine is much more diagnostic and following protocol than in dentistry.

    If you don't know what you want to do right now, you're better off in medical school. At least then you will have the chance at a variety of very different specialties if becoming a generalist doesn't appeal. If you're not a very materialistic person who only looks for "significant" things to do in life and not much of a family-person, maybe lifestyle isn't a very important criterion for choosing your profession and you should default with medicine.

    I'd ask this in the premed forums for a much broader range of opinions. By asking in the dental forum, you're obviously going to get a lot of pro-Dentistry points.
    Better yet, use the search engine.

    I chose dentistry by following what interested me as a child so it was a decision that I made very early on. Job description fit my tendency to want to work with my hands. I don't like business at all. I hate it. But it is necessary for a healthy practice. Duration of schooling doesn't matter to me as much either but four years of dental school has a pretty good return on investment. Work hours and other obligations are very good and having a good set of work hours and little on-call duties is only possibly in medicine if you're in one of the very selective and few lifestyle friendly specialties of medicine: rads., optha., orthop. surg., anesth., derm., or plastic.

    What live in Guyana (Apple has more than 100x your country's GDP). Your country's health infrastructure is incredibly different from the U.S.'s. I don't think doctors there are as well compensated as they are here in the U.S. so I don't think our views on these two health professions are very applicable to your situation.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
  12. Member21081994


    Jul 25, 2012
    Lol. Yea some people are terrible.
  13. Azieb

    Azieb 2+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2009

    hahaha so true:thumbup:
  14. Wakaaa

    Wakaaa 5+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    LOL. I'm that person you stated. There's nothing that scares me more than heights, roller coasters, and SHOTS. Last few time I've gone to a dentist though I acted perfectly fine and forgot how I used to be so scared of needles. I guess it's because I'm really comfortable in the dentist clinic because I want to be a dentist.
  15. theleatherwalle

    theleatherwalle 5+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    Well, I'm glad you are maturing a little wakaa.

    Oh BTW, you'll practice injections on each other in dental school.

    Did I mention I hate needles. :(

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