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Be FULLY aware of what you are doing before you go to dental school

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by superspike, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. superspike

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    Hey all,

    I just run into too many people who are predents ( I myself and on the fence) who are just concerned about getting into dental school, not really looking at the big picture. Before you waste a considerable amount preparing for and applying to dental school, just take a word of advice from a few dentists and students I have talked to.

    Be aware of how much debt you will take on, and the interest rates. The way things are going in the gov, you want to have a back up plan in case federal loans become super difficult to get.

    Take your total expenses over the 4 years into account and make a wise financial judgement based on the current market demand for dentists.

    Even if there are reports that say there is a shortage of dentist, look at the source, and be smart. There are increasing number of dentists going to school and more schools opening, and a LOT more competition among dentists in the more desirable areas.

    The way healthcare is going, the pay dentists get may be greatly reduced in the coming years, especially with large discount dental corps.

    Last but not least, I don't care if you have a 4.0 and 28 DAT, if you don't like interacting with people, socializing, managing employees and a business, then you will suffer as a dentist.

    Just be smart guys, too many people go into dentistry for the wrong reasons, look at the big picture before you make a lifelong committment.

    Best of luck to all :)
     
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  3. UCLAzy

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    thx bro. really convinced me there. ur applying this cycle right? :thumbup:
     
  4. peanutb123

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    ,..|.. ________________ ..|..,
     
  5. glo1984

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    "...current market demand for dentists." Love it.
     
  6. stevesteve121

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    o **** bro. all these are excellent advice, may god bless your kind heart and commendable courage to shed proper light on this important topic.

    But i ALREADY SUBMITTED my app. Anyone kno how i can withdraw my application and hopefully get a refund? if thats not possible, i would appreciate further advice on how to botch my interviews please and thank you

    thanks
     
  7. NguyenDDS

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    I know where you're coming from, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness to share this with us :) To be honest, some of the statements you pointed out... I agree with. I agree that there will be a time when dentistry is saturated with dentists and income will lower. However, I'm not in it for the money... even though I know some will be. I also agree that school is an investment. It doesn't make sense to pay an arm and a leg for schooling when you can get it cheaper at a different school and still potentially make the same amount of income graduating from both schools and receive the same quality of education. In the end though, everyone has there own reasons of why they are picking dentistry. Luckily, none of the concerns you pointed out affect my reasons why I chose dentistry. Good luck! :)
     
  8. seattlesun

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    :thumbup:
     
  9. Bereno

    Bereno Smoking Monkey
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    To the OP:

    I'm sure you mean well by this post but a few things make this an unfortunate post...

    1. It seems as if you are trying to dissuade people from going into dentistry when this is a dental forum... not the smartest move you could make

    2. It is the middle of the application season, and everyone on here is kinda agitated because they are waiting for their interview invites... Not a good time to tell them to be wary of their decision

    3. We are all well aware of the financial costs... this is not news

    Good luck! :thumbup:
     
  10. wthareuserious

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    :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  11. UltimateHombre

    UltimateHombre Doc Holliday D.D.S.
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    Son of a b**** if only i had of thought of these things my freshman year.... so much time wasted.....
     
  12. dantemac

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    Damn it all to hell, I should keep my job in food service for all eternity now! There is NO hope!
     
  13. Impulse155

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    Someone didnt get any interviews this cycle.
     
  14. mc719

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    In my opinion there is not a better field to go into now than dentistry. There are a lot of dentists near retirement age, and there are only a limited amount of dental schools, which tells me the demand for dentists will be just fine for the future. Also, if the new healthcare law doesn't get held up, that could open the door for many more patients who previously never went to the dentist because they had no insurance. I'd like the OP to try to suggest a better career to get into right now than dentistry. Business is extremely shaky/competitive right now. It is near impossible for many new teachers/nurses to get full-time jobs. Physicians have to worry much more about increasing malpractice costs than dentists do. Optometry is starting to go the way of large chains. Pharmacy is becoming saturated. I personally wouldn't want to become a lawyer either. Comparing dentistry to all other options, it is a hands down winner to me. So all future dentists out there be happy. It is true that if you aren't smart about financing your education, you could get into trouble. But that is true for any career. Just look at undergraduate costs, some people were smart and got through undergraduate and into dental school with very little debt. While others ( like myself :( ) weren't so smart and got into a good amount of debt.
     
  15. lmaozedong1

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  16. theilleztpaki

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    LOL!!

    :laugh:
     
  17. tayloreve

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    :thumbup::thumbup:

    OP, what is a good field to go into then?
     
  18. rccostner

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    so i should be a dental assistant in stead..... or maybe go into dental hygiene? like others on here have said, i don't see a better professional career to go into right now, and other than being independently wealthy there is nothing i would rather be doing.
     
  19. invictusx

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    Education is an investment, period.
     
  20. KittySquared

    KittySquared Kitty chompers
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  21. Riz0791

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    Well said
     
  22. stevesteve121

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    thats obviously an Ogre brah
     
  23. Dynamo

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    Okay... is it bad that im actually falling for this troll? :eyebrow:
    The cost has always been on the back of my mind, and this is kinda getting to me... a little... not going to withdraw my apps or do anything crazy like that... but still...
    Man, i gotta shrug this off
     
  24. invictusx

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    :thumbup:
     
  25. yappy

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    Just throwing this out there: How about Podiatry? Seems like a good profession... or MD. It's not like they all have terrible malpractice.
     
  26. poiu

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    time to go into dental therapy. only $20 to apply as opposed to thousands ;P
     
  27. OCDFlosser

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    Hey Dynamo, I get what you mean about the cost being a deterring factor. There are so many students or other people (who have no way of justifying what they claim) who say: "Oh, you'll make so much money! Don't even worry about debt. Go to whatever school you want!" But you and I both know it's not that easy...and our financial burdens will put huge stress on our lives and lifestyles.

    Solution: Pick your cheapest option (unless you'd be truly unhappy there). The way I see it is, it won't matter where we go once we get there - we're still going to make friends, and experience the excitement of change.

    I think that you'll be glad you stuck with dentistry so long as you made the SMARTEST financial choices possible along the way.

    To those who think this is a millionaire's career (which I doubt many SDNers are oblivious to this)...prepare to live a life 100% dedicated to work.

    We're all pretty smart cookies. It's those who DON'T read SDN that I worry about. :thumbup:
     
  28. T for Teeth

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    amen to that!!! Well put OCDFlosser :)
     
  29. hollaholla

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    Thank you for your comments about possible financial warning signs. I fully agree with your assessment. Students need to think long and hard about attending dental schools that are extremely expensive.

    While many on here are jumping for joy over interviews at very high priced schools (midwestern, nyu, LECOM - WHICH DOESN"T EVEN HAVE ITS DENTAL SCHOOL BUILT YET), they may feel to realize that these schools have to interview very early and attract as many people as possible in order to fill their class openings with the type of candidates that they deem acceptable.

    Reality of the situation is that if federal loans do dry up even modestly then this would have a direct impact on those attending the expensive schools, more so than others receiving in-state tuition.
     
  30. Sunspear

    Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    Yeah, and so what? So what if they fail to realize that? Some applicants, who may have lower stats, may not have the luxury of choosing a school that's less expensive. I don't mean to put your opinions or views down, but it does kind of bother me when people are like "Why are you excited about this school and that school when you'll be in huge debt?" The interest of the profession and the chance to go a U.S. dental school at all means a LOT to people, including me.
     
  31. A6project

    A6project bold yet faithful
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    OP is absolutely right!!!!!
    today I called schools to cancel my interviews. it was not easy explaining why to them but they understood. I just need to call other schools not to look at my application!!!
    ---

    I bet some ppl are interested in dentistry b/c dentistry can be very lucrative. Yet I bet some people (at least I can speak for myself) are truly passionate about oral health, teeth, and, making differences in people's lives and community. Money is just a by-product.
    It's a true blessing to do what you love for a living and for the rest of your life. Not many people get to have that privilege.
    I feel truly blessed being able to go after my lifetime dream and being so close to that now.

    Personally i have my story what got me into dentistry and I see every time when I volunteer what I can do as a dentist and how much impact I can bring to the community.

    You live once, why don't you give all you got to achieve something you are truly passionate about. like a fire in your body and soul

    PS If I were so concerned about money, I would probably double-major in finance and accounting and go from there.
     
  32. superspike

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    OK look, first of all I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from dentistry. People have their own reasons for going to dental school (some of that is total BS) but that's a whole other discussion.

    The way I read your answer, you seem to just be looking for a steady job with a somewhat optimistic outlook. This is fine, but I think it's weird when people say "I didn't know what else to do/there didn't seem like there was anything better" - That is just dumb to me, I'm sorry. Why would you go into a career because you don't know what else to do? Dentistry is not a job, it is a lifestyle that you spend 4+ years in, $250-$350K in debt, the opportunity cost of not working, and not even doing it because you love it.

    To those that have honest reasons for doing dentistry, more power to you. I agree that school is an investment, but this is becoming less and less applicable in the real world. Undergrad is getting super expensive and so many students going to college kind of devalues the degree, especially if they came there through an entitlement program. Are you saying you're willing to go to school even it costs $500? or 1 Mil?

    I don't mean to be a Debbie downer, but this is your career, your life. THere are other great options, such as IT, Sales, business, development, political careers, etc. I know people in all different kinds of fields that make way more than dentists, and are happy. Find something you like, stick with it, and the money folllows. Don't you want to do your homework and really make a smart decision before you commit?
     
  33. jackalo34

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    I don't know about anyone else, but I explored just about every other potential career opportunity that remotely interested me before I fully committed to healthcare then dentistry. To me, it's more than money, because I was considering a career in finance for a few months for the simple fact that I like math...and the money there is lucrative, as well. It just wouldn't keep me happy. :(
     
  34. mr24

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    Warning to all pre-dents:
    This site is a VERY small sample size of the population of dentists, dental students, and pre dents. Unfortunately people are pretty negative about dentistry on this site (even though none of them are willing to walk away from it, weird). no doubt 400k for an education is ALOT of money, but the return is so high in terms of investment. If you enjoy dentistry do it. Don't let a handful of people who wont walk away from it themselves, talk you into walking away. fortunately i dont have to go to a $400k school, but if i had to i would in a heart beat. There are plenty of places here in the good ol usa where you can make a killing in dentistry and pay it off. there are also places where you will struggle to survive. if you are willing to adapt you will be successful, period!!!!

    please do not let a couple of people on an internet site, who are repeating what they read somewhere else, make a decision for you. you are smarter than that, if you're not, you probably wont get in anyway.

    now for those that disagree with me, remember this was not a personal attack.

    out!
     
  35. Bereno

    Bereno Smoking Monkey
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    I don't see how this is dental specific. This is true about any profession that someone enters... Like I said, the cost of dental school is not news to anyone here... If you are worried about those naive others, then this forum is not the portal to educating them. I really hope you understand what kind of backlash you will likely get by telling people that they are making a foolish and uneducated decision by following dentistry. This is especially true due to your timing in the application process. Just my $0.02.
     
  36. indigenoustw

    indigenoustw Am I picking my nose or showing my shaka?
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    It just sounds like you are making assumptions on people who choose dentistry BECAUSE they have neglected your words of advice...but the fact is that you can't assume what people really don't know. i believe that most people on here choose dentistry for various reasons and they don't have to be the exact same reasons, especially your reasons. If they encounter a predicament in the future, fine. They made a bad choice. But what if they listened to you and still find themselves in trouble? Who is there to blame? You. We are all adults now. We make choices knowing the risks and consequences behind our choices and will take full responsibilities of our own actions. I mean, you don't discourage people from doing what they love to do. It's just wrong. You can suggest and give opinions, but your wording does sound like most predents on here are idiots for choosing dentistry.
     
  37. shiftypoptart

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    lifestyle that you spend 4+ years in, $250-$350K

    Every single High Tier Job in the Medical Field is gonna run you about this much time and money and frankly I can't see myself in any other field. Maybe its the way I was raised by two Dentists parents and a handful of dentists in the family but every other job is just MEH. So many benefits that dentists get like being your own boss (definitely a stress reliever), no physical exertion (I get to sit in a chair all day... this might make me fat...), and much less risk than doctors (obviously theirs always risk). And if my parents are able to pay my tuition fees I don't think the Dentist field is very either underpayed or running thin... Im just looking forward to graduating in 4 years and having a practice waiting for me. Guess its a much more difficult decision for others but I don't think there are that many poor dentist that I've heard of unless they are just awful at their job and lack personal interaction skills but that means they'd be awful at any job.
     
  38. rnbaxter

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    Are you aware that there are 25-35 new private schools in the planning process of being built. That is a load of new competition in the near future. At least prices will drop for consumers.
     
  39. tayloreve

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    Where did you read that ?
     
  40. setdoc7

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    Hard for me to believe that all of those schools will be built in a short time, as constructing a D school is no small matter. Further, attracting faculty, and becoming accredited is a large undertaking. Funding for new facilities will be short in a weak economy, and no one can count on the government right now.
    There are still lots of good opportunities for graduating dentists, albeit not in all of the "established" metro areas like there used to be. Anyone willing to relocate to areas that need providers should do well. And although I certainly agree that tuition for D school is quite high, there are all types of options after D school to relieve loan debt. Remember, the health provider and business aspect of dentistry go hand in hand, and I cannot think of too many business options I could purchase for $400-500 thouand dollars with as much upside growth potential as a dental license.
    Making money is hard, takes work, dedication, and forethought. Nothing comes easy, except a LOTTO jackpot.
     
  41. iDreamofDent

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    go into dentistry because you want to do something you enjoy for the rest of your life.
     
  42. wired202808

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    i think you should go to law school and be miserable! :laugh:
     
  43. wired202808

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    i hope you never make it to dental school, have you thought of law school? it seems right up your alley.
     
  44. DrFelt

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    I enjoy 4 day work weeks and golf. That is why I'm in dental school.
     
    Silent Cool likes this.
  45. Archform

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    Spike... Even though you make it as if you are trying to be helpful, your post didn't cause any epiphanies(in my opinion). With that mentality bro, you should definitely reevaluate your occupation choice. Don't just follow the money or else you'll be miserable. If you truly have a passion for something, it's that drive that ultimately leads to success as well as happiness. Physicians don't make as much as before because healthcare reform and the government's increasing debt are diminishing physician's salary by controlling the cost of treatment and therefore the amount insurance pays out. Malpractice insurance is just a small piece of the that. Another example would be the inundation of pharmacists within the past few years resulting in the closest job opening near southern california being in Indio. Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS rarely have any career opportunities these days. Education is an investment which in my opinion can never be a wrong decision. There definitely is no shortage of dentists like someone said, but the population is continually growing which means that the need will always be there. Don't expect to be a millionaire immediately (or ever) and don't think that money comes easily. Also, don't expect to get any respect from the public as most of them don't even know you have your doctorate. The bottom line is that dentistry continues to be an amazing profession as long as you enjoy doing it. It's a combination of art and science and one of the few professions that allows you to either pursue the business aspect or to find a regular 9-5. Something to think about: In this horrific economy, banks are still lending to dentists for start ups and transitions even in super-saturated communities. (with the proper business plan of course). Not that common right now for any type of business. Education and a license are priceless because they give you the privilege to do something that not everyone else can do. In other words, it immediately sets you apart from the rest and what you choose to do with it from there is up to you. Just make sure that you enjoy doing it or else no amount of money in the world will make you happy.
     
  46. shiftypoptart

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    Like one of my professors said "You wanna be a dentist? Good Choice! Everyone has teeth" =D then again he also said everyone needs drugs and everyone has pets... lol
     
  47. bing12

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    this is a flawed argument. You are not guaranteed to make 6 figures going into accounting or finance. The job outlook is not great now, and once you have a job, you will prob end up working like a dog to have the small chance of climbing up the ladder to make something you are actually satisfied with. The income potential is there, but rare to climb up to the " wall street" incomes. Dentistry is an almost guaranteed 6 figure income career. Working hours for dentists are on avg, significantly better than most finance and accounting jobs out there. You are your own boss( if you chose to be) in dentistry. You will end up working for someone/big corp for a large portion of your career in accounting or finance( for the most part). Dentistry has job stability, finance and accounting do not ( relatively speaking).

    Most say " I would have gone into finance if i wanted money", but I believe this is untrue.
     
  48. justwant

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    ive heard from lots of ppl that after time, all jobs suck. I hear quite often, "You don't need to love your job."

    Dentistry is not going to be that lucrative and I think it will end up like pharmacy (way too oversaturated).

    From a couple of dentist surveys:

    "When we asked dentists if they've ever suffered from professional burnout in their dental careers, a whopping 81% said yes"


    "When we asked dentists if their areas were over-served, under-served, or just about right, three out of four feel their areas are over-served."

    I wouldn't be so optimistic about dentistry, but wouldn't be so pessimistic either. You can at least feed your family, and maybe take a vacation every now and then. I think its best to go into dentistry with a little lower expectations and I think that will make you happier.
     
  49. Golfguy

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    You have a link for those surveys?

    What field would you recommend, Mr. Pre-Health?
     
  50. tayloreve

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    phew. I will be able to put food on the table (and maybe if im lucky take a vacation in the bordering state!!!) I feel better.

    Seriously dude.
     
  51. superspike

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    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    hmm sucks for you because I already made it to dental school, and have the luxury of an accepted deferral so I can make a better judgement. even with all the new schools opening, not even sure you'll make it :)

    To the others, I understand this is a pre-dent forum, but look at some the the threads in the dent forum, research surveys, talk to other dentist, it won't do you harm.

    Maybe the people who were in my pre-dental club and on my interviews were a lot different, but most of them made it seem like they did not want to or had no idea how to run a business or have any client services skills. This profession is denfinetly NOT all brains.

    To anyone who finds my post depressing, I'm sorry just disregard it. but it was meant to pass along some good advice I received from recent dental grads and dentists.
     

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