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CTSballer11

Senior Member
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Jul 24, 2005
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Hey, I have a couple of questions. Here is where I am coming from, I am currently a premed but I have been doing some thinking lately. I have some experience in the dental world. I have worked a little in a private practice that my mom works at and I have gone with her to some free dental clinics. (she is a hygenist). I am not sure which career would be a better choice for me. To all of you aspiring dentists, where any of you unsure which career to choose, if so why did you choose dentistry? What do you think are the major pros and cons of dentistry. Any other adivce would be great. Thanks.
 

onetoothleft

SDN Angel
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Apr 28, 2004
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here are some questions you can ask yourself:

Do I like working with my hands?

Am I an artistic person?

Do I value my free time (home life) to the point that I do not want it to suffer because of work?

Is earning lots of money is important to me?

Do I like the idea of owning my own small business (including hiring, firing, bookkeeping, etc.)?

Am I good at thinking 3-dimentionally?

Am I a perfectionist?

Am I a problem solver?

Do I like working with people?

I don't care if some people view my profession in a negative way.

If you answered "yes" to most of these questions or statements then dentistry is for you. They are the major differences between medicine and dentistry, although medicine can have some of these similarities.
 

I'mFillingFine

Pulptastic
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Jul 23, 2005
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Shuffled off....
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Some additional attributes of dentistry that may not be present in medicine:

--wider variety of procedures, if you're a generalist

--limited to the oral tissues

--lots of patient contact and the need for EXCELLENT interpersonal skills (especially since a lot of patients keep coming back year after year [hopefully :) ])

--more on the micro-scale, compared to thoracic surgery or obstetrics, or anything like that

--the option to go right into practice after 4 years of dental school (except for a few states which require a year's residency)

--high instance of fear or negative associations with your profession, requiring extra reassurance and confidence towards patients

--wide variety within your patients - everyone has teeth (or dentures! :)), and most people have decay at some point or at least get cleanings, so you'll get people from birth to age 115 and from all walks of life


...I think most of the others things were covered in the other responses.

Oh right, one other...

It's the best career there is!!! :D :D :D
 
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ItsGavinC

Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Oct 7, 2001
11,749
18
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Dentist
Solid responses from the SDN crew--very impressive.
 

Dr. Parm

Senior Member
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Oct 22, 2005
114
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Pre-Dental
onetoothleft said:
here are some questions you can ask yourself:

Do I like working with my hands?

Am I an artistic person?

Do I value my free time (home life) to the point that I do not want it to suffer because of work?

Is earning lots of money is important to me?

Do I like the idea of owning my own small business (including hiring, firing, bookkeeping, etc.)?

Am I good at thinking 3-dimentionally?

Am I a perfectionist?

Am I a problem solver?

Do I like working with people?

I don't care if some people view my profession in a negative way.

If you answered "yes" to most of these questions or statements then dentistry is for you. They are the major differences between medicine and dentistry, although medicine can have some of these similarities.

You have to be a perfectionist? In that case, wow, wait till the dental profession gets diluted by easy-going procrastinators like myself. :laugh:
 

CTSballer11

Senior Member
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Jul 24, 2005
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Pre-Medical
Thanks for the great responses. From what I have seen in the last few posts, dentistry offers a great lifestyle with a great salary. How important do you guys think specializing is if you are trying to develop a successful practice? Are dentists allowed to offer cosmetic dentistry without specializing? Again thanks for the response.
 

Dr. Parm

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Oct 22, 2005
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Pre-Dental
CTSballer11 said:
Thanks for the great responses. From what I have seen in the last few posts, dentistry offers a great lifestyle with a great salary. How important do you guys think specializing is if you are trying to develop a successful practice? Are dentists allowed to offer cosmetic dentistry without specializing? Again thanks for the response.
To my knowledge, there is no specialty titled cosmetic dentistry exactly. AEGDs feel that they can call themselves cosmetic dentists, but legally, so can DDSs and DMDs. Specializing does not always mean that you will be lucrative. I know some general dentists that take home around $300-400 grand a year. Then again, I know some Oral surgeons that barely make it to the $150,000 mark (which is comparatively very low for the amount of schooling they have been through). So you see, it all depends on how much of an entrepreneur you are, and how you can optimize your practice, whether it be general dentistry, orthodontics, or Oral surgery.
 

CTSballer11

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2005
717
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USA
Status
Pre-Medical
Dr. Parm said:
To my knowledge, there is no specialty titled cosmetic dentistry exactly. AEGDs feel that they can call themselves cosmetic dentists, but legally, so can DDSs and DMDs. Specializing does not always mean that you will be lucrative. I know some general dentists that take home around $300-400 grand a year. Then again, I know some Oral surgeons that barely make it to the $150,000 mark (which is comparatively very low for the amount of schooling they have been through). So you see, it all depends on how much of an entrepreneur you are, and how you can optimize your practice, whether it be general dentistry, orthodontics, or Oral surgery.
I see where you are coming from. My mom works for a general dentist that does cosmetic work and he is taking home 800k a year while the oral surgeons next door are not nearly as lucky. I was not sure what to think of this, but as you pointed out, being able to run a business is crucial in terms of setting up a successful practice. I just was not sure how important it is.
 
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