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Creative types in Dental School?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by olafo, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. olafo

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    Dear SDN,

    Are there a few creative types in the typical Dental School? I am passionate about music, sculpturing, drawing and architecture as well as very excited to learn about the human body; its beauty and complexity fascinates me. However, when visiting one of my best friends Medical School I was slightly disappointed with the vast majority of the characters I met, who seemed to be positive, very organised and ambitious, but in most cases not very intellectual or artistic. I am hoping Dental Students are a tad more diverse…

    This has also been the case when I visited some local dentists, who seem to be more… technicians/engineers, and think about the profession that way; a job, it’s ok, pleasant. I find viewing dentistry this way rather boring… I mean, the opportunities to do fascinating, beautiful work seem quite good! Of course there are interesting technical sides to it, but in the end the goal is beautiful form and function, right?

    Replies are most appreciated!
     
  2. 1992Corolla

    1992Corolla CheerioKing
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    There are lots of artists at my school. I think we also have a singing group...

    Dentistry is art, technical art, but when done right is wonderful to look at. I get a warm feeling every time my prep turns out smooth and curvy.:D
     
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  3. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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    Dentistry is the perfect field if you want to combine art, fascination, and medicine. Do a search for the many threads assuring this here in the dental forums. A lot of people are worried about being cold scientists or simple mechanics, but you'll find that the best dentists consider dentistry an art and appreciate the grace and finesse of the many procedures you get to do.

    If your shadowing just seems like the dentist is being a boring mechanic, ask to see some preps done on teeth outside the mouth or an example of more prosthodontics....I think you'll find the immense amount of aesthetics and sculpture and creativity that goes into it.

    Of course, some fields within dentistry tend to be more creative/artistic than others. But at least with a degree your options are open, and I sure as hell hope every dentist considers themself an artist in some way!

    I'm a musician and there are many other artists of every sort in my class, and so I've heard across the country as well. You've chosen the right field.
     
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  4. djeffreyt

    djeffreyt Senior Member
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    I am often surprised that people can't see beyond their colleagues. I mean, yes, you will be stuck with a lot of these people for the next 3-4 years in dental school, but once you get out into the real world, most dentists don't see each other all that often unless they are partners in a larger office. You will be free to have friends and family who work and are interested in all sorts of things...no one says you need to only hang out with dentists. Also, your staff (receptionist, DAs, Insurance coordinator, whatever) will be your choice, so you can hire people who you think you will get along with.
     
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    olafo

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    Brilliant. I was hoping for something along these lines, but assumed dental students would be very similar to the med-school crowd I met… As you put it is exactly how I wish to think of Dentistry and what I would aspire to do in my daily work.

    Anyway, it is absolutely true that one must look at the bigger picture, but it is even better when every step through life feels appealing, inspiring, fascinating and fun. I seek inspiration in good people around me when going through something tough. I find these good people more often than not to have similar passions as myself, which is why I am very glad to hear the replies given. Another aspect of Dentistry confirming it is perfect for myself!

    Thank you!
     
  6. DMdraws

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    I think you'll find some artistic types. It was that combo of art and science that drew me to dentistry.

    I'll start D-school this summer, but I've been an illustrator (i.e. commercial artist) for the past 13 yrs. Also, a friend of mine that will start D-school with me is a pianist.

    As for the med crowd, I go drawing on the weekends with a small group of artists. Two are surgeons and one is an ER doc (he also is a professional sculptor).

    Before I applied to my D-school, I met with the Assoc. Dean of Admissions at a health career fair. He didn't know me, but the first words he spoke about dentistry were, "To be a dentist, you must first be an artist...". My conversation with him was inspiring and made an excellent opener for my motivational statement which described my past art career and how I thought it would benefit my future career in dentistry.
     
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  7. kkikkokka

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    i love art too!:)
    like what other sdners said above...
    my passion in science + art led me to dentistry!!!!!!!!!!
    i love drawing, architecture, photographies,interior design....
    and i strongly believe dentistry is an art.!!! magical art!!!! :D
     
  8. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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    Just a thought....I was the same way going into dental school, and you will likely meet lots of fascinating, creative people. However, also remember that dental school is VERY different from undergrad and that will be reflected in the students too. Remember that you aren't limited to your class and can have a rich social life outside of it (especially if you move to an area that is conduscive to meeting other, young people.) I think I put too much faith in meeting 85 people who would be exactly like me and who would provide low-maintenance, fun relationships. You can find people like that in college since the pool is HUGE.

    However, realize that there will be a lot of older and married people in dental school....probably also more conservative high gunners as well that may not want to go out and have fun as much as you might want to. It's just a different environment. You'll find people who are great, but be sure to keep your mind open for people in other years, other schools within your university (law students ALWAYS want to party ;)) and of course getting out in whatever city you're in and getting a life outside of school.

    DENTISTRY is creative and artistic....just don't expect to find everything in your class. That's just what I've found. Which schools are you researching?
     
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  9. Gulch

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    Art...dentistry IS performance art: messy, in-your-face ART! In a living medium!...my only gripe is that dentistry is COMPLETELY representational. I mean it is anal-splitting retentive precise. For some reason my pre-clinic instructors have not caught on to the possiblity of ABSTRACT dentistry. When you see my #30 wax-ups you can see the passion, the torment, the ecstacy...

    Dentistry is creative to a point. For the remainder of your brimming creativity you will need to find another outlet. About a quarter of my class is creative, but you'd be hardpressed to find anyone with time to do any really great work right now...

    you just have to make time for your art amidst 8-5 days with a grueling exam schedule. Or did you mean going out to party with artsy pseudo-intellectual friends? I wasn't clear on that. Plenty of time for that.
     
  10. djeffreyt

    djeffreyt Senior Member
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    I heart art...but not all of it. I worked in a museum for over a year. 90% of the crap in that museum was the most uninspiring junk in the world...I had a hard time even appreciating it while trying to put myself into the context of it's original time and place of creation. I mean seriously, Ellsworth Kelly, what was that crap?
     
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    olafo

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    Thank you for some interesting responses. Being from Norway, I have the University of Copenhagen DS at the top of my list, but applications are in at the Universities of Oslo and Bergen, Helsinki University and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, not that I’d expect anyone here would be familiar with them. One of the reasons for rating Copenhagen highly is actually the funky area near the Dental School, with lots of things going on. So given there is some time left after everything else, I imagine life could be very good!:D :D

    Of course I am not expecting an art school as such, but rather that I hope to meet at least some people who view dentistry that way. And in any case I wouldn’t want to torment patient mouths with my insatiable need for creative outlets… But I feel doing something requiring an artistic mindset leads to inspiration for more “real” outlets; the ones you can pursue after work is done!

    And of course there is a lot of art/music where, like you, I find myself unmoved, but doesn't every healthy society need this great variety? Isn't the mere fact that all people can express themselves in whatever way they wish an incredible thought?

    I must emphasise that this perception of dentistry is more the icing on an already delicious cupcake rather than the only reason I fall for it. I feel it is one of the most important aspects of the actual work as well as a great source of inspiration!
     
  12. gatorfan99

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    You will fail miserably, leave while you can
     
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    olafo

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    Yeah, I know I to some might sound like a **** going on about art in dentistry, as if this is all there is to it. However, I only wanted to keep to that aspect in my question; to hear if other people with somewhat creative minds were studying to become dentists, and if they were finding at least some small part of it to be artistic! Anyway, my decision for pursuing the field is more complex, but some experiences that led me to dentistry were:

    -Military training as Paramedic followed by working as an assistant to teams of doctors/nurses on exercises as well as in a medical station at my camp
    (where I found most interest in doing work on patients like learning how to insert a cannula to provide fluids in clinical surrounding and in the field, drawing blood, doing an EKG, treating wounds etc. etc. In short: I loved working on and with people!)

    -Working six months as an Auxiliary nurse
    (and quite loving the constant patient contact aspect, nothing has made me happier overall than being able to provide medical and/or practical assistance to people all day long, it means something to me and has made me a more humble person)

    -A fascination of human biology and psychology
    (studied in addition to pre-reqs)

    -A great desire to one day run my own surgery/business
    (my grandfather used to run a small, successful shop in our town, before it was overrun with supermarket chains. I was always fascinated by the dedication and stories he had)

    This comes obviously in addition to enjoying the aesthetic sides of it. There is still a lot to be added on to this list, but I don’t think there is any need to bore you more than I already have!

    In any case I am touring the schools next week and will meet some great people who have agreed to show me around, in addition an OMFS has agreed to let me shadow him at a hospital nearby! Which is fantastic, as there is no culture of shadowing here, especially not in a private clinic. This is also why I have not had the possibility to be exposed as much as I'd wish to dentistry as such. I have been limited so far to talks with dentists and an inspiring orthodontist just recently!

    But perhaps you are right and I would be a hopeless dental student/dentist. There is only one way to find out though!
     
  14. Fuji

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    GatorFan was joking. You sound like you have the interest, the experience, and the drive to be a great dentist. Your artistic abilities and creativity will only help you.

    Just ignore what anyone from Florida says on SDN.
     

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