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Dentistry or Medicine

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Neil45, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Neil45

    Neil45 Member
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    Since there is a thread called "Pharmacy or Medicine", I thought why not make a similar thread regarding Dentistry.

    Why Medicine over Dentistry?
     
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  3. sejin8642

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    Because they teach false knowledges (fluoride, xylitol, etc)
     
  4. Schaden Freud

    Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II
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    While you chose to post an annoying and pointless thread, I'm happy to see you at least cited a precedent.

     
  5. IckeyShuffle

    IckeyShuffle MS1 t-minus 1.5 months..
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    medicine is sexier:love:
     
  6. KeyzerSoze

    KeyzerSoze Scrambled Member
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    Ok, I'll bite: Why is flouride "false knowledge"?
     
  7. LifetimeDoc

    LifetimeDoc EM Attending
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    You can make more money in dentistry.
     
  8. patrickd223

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    no residency so your soul is semi intact when you finish training :eek:
     
  9. foofish

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    Yeah, but then the OP gets major points off by failing to notice the 14594574 medicine vs. dentistry threads that have proceeded this one.
     
  10. DMO

    DMO Diving Medical Officer
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    Dentistry

    Pro's: lucrative, very little of dentistry deals with life or death situations
    Con's: can become very boring/not very intellectually stimulating (unless you're into research+clinical), the extra "D" in DMD is annoying and cumbersome to write, very little of dentistry deals with life or death situations, can't build a hit drama TV show on dentistry (Colgate's Anatomy :laugh: )

    Medicine

    Pro's: greater responsibility/scope of practice for your patients, a little to a lot more intellectually stimulating,
    Con's: time investment, not nearly as lucrative,

    there's more and better reasons than these
     
  11. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    Dentists may be making more right out of school compared to a FP doc, but they're blown away by MD specialists. An invasive cardiologist can make much more, among a countless other specialties in medicine.

    Besides that I hate going to the dentist, (like most people), and I think its pretty boring. Its teeth after all.....
     
  12. dutchman

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    You choose medicine over dentistry because you want to be a physician more than you want to be a dentist. Simple as that.
     
  13. sejin8642

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    Because they teach that fluoride helps prevent cavity and is good for children's teeth (even government fluoridates water we drink for that reason). But actually fluoride is toxic chemical substance that is deadly detrimental to our health including teeth. And they also teach that xilitol is bad for our teeth since it is one of "SUGAR" kinds. But actually xilitol is the only known sugar that is beneficial to our teeth.

    There are political and social corruptions about this issue why they lie about flouride. If you are curious, just google fluoride and you will get many results.
     
  14. KeyzerSoze

    KeyzerSoze Scrambled Member
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    As I understand it, most of the detrimental effects of fluoride can be avoided by wearing an FDA approved tin foil helmet at all times.
     
  15. somemaybedoc

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    Google brings up all kinds of conspiracy crap with any substance, if your so passionate about it how about some peer reviewed links until then I'll be brushing my teeth with toothpaste.
     
  16. somemaybedoc

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    The current labor data (not trade orgs) doesn't support the idea that dentistry is on average more lucrative than medicine, even FP (not accounting for training time frames).

    Physicians

    Dentists
     
  17. sirmalcs

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    Dentist:
    Pro: (as stated from a heart surgeon I know) most all have better golf scores than doctors
    Con: Teeth, take it or leave it.
     
  18. DMO

    DMO Diving Medical Officer
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    Well, I really didn't know what I was talking about earlier. Sorry about that OP. Props to the corrections SDNers.

    Uh...how about earnings/hours worked? It seems like Dentists have the upper hand here.
     
  19. gary5

    gary5 Senior Member
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    If you're not sure which to choose, then do dentistry. Easier life and more money.

    Myself, I would never choose dentistry. I've never even considered it. I wouldn't do it if it paid twice as much as medicine (which it might). I have absolutely no interest in drilling teeth. Not an ounce.
     
  20. Swatch_VR

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    What about the extra "D" in your "DMO" screename :p ?
     
  21. weathertalk

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    Hate to say it, but anyone who claims to pick medicine over dentistry because they think looking into someone's mouth all day is boring is a hypocrite.

    Sorry to break it to you, but unless you're an academic physician (which, statistically, most people will not become), you're going to do a lot of very routine stuff and the scope of your practice will be very limited. Endocrinology? Prescribe meds for diabetics all day. ObGyn? You're not looking down someone's mouth, but it's still the same orifice every day-- and it smells. Derm? Eczema, acne-- one derm I know has a stamp for "accutane" since he perscribes it so much. General Surgeon? probably gonna cut out appendixes or fix hernias a lot of the time

    Each field has its bread and butter, and it all becomes routine. Being a pediatrician dealing with ear infections isn't going to be any more fun than doing fillings.
     
  22. DocH0lliday

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    If there's one thing I absolutely cannot stand, it's people who speak with authority on topics about which they have virtually no fact-based knowledge.

    First off, general dentists make more than all the primary care physicians, more than ER physicians, and even more than many OB's. Don't look at the statistics quoted on many websites, because they are plain wrong. Dentists tend to underreport their incomes, and non-self employed dentists (whose incomes are included in the average) are generally underpaid. A dentist owning his own practice will make more money than a primary care physician owning his own practice--and for a number of reasons.

    Dental specialists are notorious for their high income. Let me put it to you this way:

    As a general dentist, I perform a lot of surgery, including surgical removal of wisdom teeth. Four full-bony-impacted surgical wisdom teeth extractions take me about 30 minutes to perform. Our office fee for them is $350 per tooth. That's $1400 for 30 minutes worth of work. There may be some insurance write-offs, and of course, the patient does actually occupy the chair for 45 minutes to an hour, so let us say that we make $1200 for an hour's worth of work. That's a lot of money to rake in from an hour's work. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon can perform this procedure in about 15 minutes, plus an additional 30 minutes for sedation (which adds another $300 to the procedure) and recovery. Moreover, their fees are higher. Hence, and oral surgeon extracting four full-bony wisdom teeth will hit the patient with a fee of $1800 or $1900 for an hour's worth of work. And, that's mostly what they do. Extract teeth, especially wisdom teeth. At minimum three to four cases per day, plus all the implants, bone grafts, etc. etc. You do the math.

    Look at orthodontists. Orthodontists charge $3000 give or take for braces. Few take any insurance, so they get paid every penny. And, they have hundreds of cases running simultaneously. Their assistants carry out all the scut-work, and all the orthodontist does is plan the treatment. Hence, he can see many, many patients during the work day. You do the math.

    Look at endodontists. Ball-washing SOBs do nothing but root canals at 150% to 200% the fee of a general dentist. An endodontist spends 30 minutes to one hour performing a root canal for which he charges the patient at bare minimum $700 for a single-canal'ed tooth to $2000 for a molar. And they do this nonstop during the day. You do the math.

    Look at pediatric dentists They take the undesirable patients. The patients who must have dental work but cannot be seen by a general dentist. They can charge whatever they want for any procedure! You do the math.

    And (drum roll please)......unlike medical specialists who work well over 40 hours per week and take call, most dental professionals work about 32 hours a week and don't take call. Oral surgeons take some call, but it's much easier than it is for their medicine counterparts. If dentists worked the number of hours physicians work, we'd blow the medical profession clear out of the water with regard to income.

    I'm two years into practice, I work 32 hours a week, and I make over $170k working for someone else. If I owned the practice, I'd be well over $250k.
     
  23. DocH0lliday

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    I've seen that website before. The income listed for dentists is way, way, WAY off the mark. For the life of me, I cannot imagine where they got that figure for dentists.
     
  24. GoLAClippers

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    :laugh:


    Imagine doing that habitually as a fellow female :( :oops:
     
  25. DocH0lliday

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    Sejin, every last chemical known to man is a toxin at a certain dose. Some, however, in proper amounts, are beneficial. The oral health benefits of systemic and topical fluoride have been proven beyond dispute, so you're really making a fool out of yourself by arguing otherwise.

    Furthermore, "they" don't teach that xylitol is bad. "They" teach that xylitol is good. It's a sucrose-subsitute that decay-causing bacteria cannot metabolize. In addition, it actually has some bacteriostatic properties. As such, I recommend it to my patients (i.e. "buy some chewing gum with xylitol in it")

    You need to do a little bit of reading, my friend.
     
  26. DocH0lliday

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    Granted, much of the work we dentists perform is conceptually simple. When you look at the trend in medicine, you can say exactly the same thing about routine medicine.

    Nowadays, you have PA's performing surgical tasks (i.e. saphenous vein harvests for CABG procedures and even closing the surgical site--i.e. deep and superficial sutures). You have NP's in some states practicing without any physician oversight, autonomously managing diseases like hypertension, diabetes, etc. Either there's enough "routine" in medicine that marginally trained personnel are qualified to handle, or society is so desparate for health care that we're willing to allow anyone who has taken a crash-course in medicine to "play doctor".
     
  27. DropkickMurphy

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    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73qcesR1Ro4[/YOUTUBE]
     
  28. ryandote

    ryandote Member
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    You can't start your career aiming for dentistry... else what career field would you wash out into? Nursing? :laugh:
     
  29. sejin8642

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    Yeah~ I might be wrong about xylitol but i'm pretty sure that fluoride is SUPER DEADLY HARMFUL. I know that fluoride is naturally produced in water but the amount is very small which has no effect on our body at all. But when we fluoridate water with copious amounts, then it sure harms our body. I have done researchs on this topic for a long time and I came to conclusion that fluoride is detrimental.
     
  30. DropkickMurphy

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    Have you ever looked at what the dose of fluoride required to produce systemic toxicity? In reference to your comment about "super deadly harmful", remember that anything is harmful in sufficient quantity; this includes water and oxygen. I suggest you go find yourself a copy of Goldfrank's or Ellenhorn's and do some reading up before you go spouting off hysterical hippie gibberish. Aspirin has a far more dubious safety profile than flouride in the form that is put into water.
     
  31. Eric Lindros

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    This post reeks of insecurities.

    If you like being a dentist, fine. But please don't try to compare it to being a physician. The training, lifestyle, and work are different. In my opinion, being a dentist seems like it would suck. Not everyone thinks this, of course, but I do. And yes, it specifically has to do with looking at mouths all day.

    If I had a dime for every person who used the "doctors look into more foul smelling orifaces every day" ......
     
  32. lovexn

    lovexn The Devil who wears Panda
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    THere's no TV show about dentistry. It's boring.

    After all, we should start the thread "Wizardry or Medicine"

    Hogwarts is way more fun!
     
  33. dutchman

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    Yeah, dentists are underreporting their income, so you decided to come here and blow the lid off their secret. What the hell is this obsession with comparisons of professions on SDN? I don't want to be a dentist, and I don't need to justify my preferences. In fact, from my experience, people that need to justify their career choices are typically trying to compensate for some deficiency. If you are truly making a whole lot of bank, what do you care if some uninformed premed thinks you are broke. Go cash your checks and have a good time.
     
  34. Orthodoc40

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    If you're in it for the money, DENTISTRY is easily the wiser choice.
     
  35. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster
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    Ofcourse.
     
  36. Dauber

    Dauber Big Baby Jesus
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    These threads are great. I can't help but open each one. And to this guy, why is public perception of us earning less than we actually do a bad thing? We've got a sweet gig going. Just shut your mouth and enjoy it. ;)
     
  37. excalibur

    excalibur Member
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    Sounds like he wants respect and acknowledgment. He wants accolades stating that he was much wiser for going into dentistry than medicine.

    Like others have already said, "If you're happy and you know it, shut your mouth. Clap. Clap."
     
  38. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    I choose medicine for a number of reasons:

    1. The variety of choices I can have. Medicine covers the entire body while dentistry is only around the oral cavity.

    2. The different types of lifestyle and group practice choices. Dentists are mostly self-employed while physicians can do group or hospital or even hang up a shingle (getting rare nowadays though). I like to have that option open to me.

    3. I feel that medicine offers me a chance to work on systemic disease, while dentistry is more focused on cleaning, cosmetic and has more nonhealth related aspects to them.

    4. Dentists that we know complain about the physical stress they are consistently under because of working in small, confined spaces all day. It's like smoking, you won't notice it until much later in life. I feel as a doctor, I won't have to do jobs that are so physically demanding.

    I also enjoy diagnosis and treatment, which I feel dentists do not do as much.

    I suggest anyone who is interested in both to shadow both types of doctors and see where their personality fits. In my opinion, both profession will allow you to see patients and help them out while making a comfortable living.
     
  39. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Maybe you should take some of your own advice and not "speak with authority on topics about which they have virtually no fact-based knowledge." As a practicing dentist, how do you know what doctors' salary are? Two years out of practice and you're already an expert on salaries between dentists and doctors? My parents are biologists in BigPharm and knows plenty of doctors including one who says he makes way below average as a gasdoc ($200k) working less than 40 hours. However, that doesn't mean I take his salary and use it as a benchmark for the field.

    If we started using anecdotal evidence, we'd be here until the end of year talking about our uncle's second cousin twice removed cleared two million working 10 hours/week scrapping gunk out of people's cars. While I can see how dentist's salary can be misrepresented since the government salary index is based off of salary workers and not self-employed dentists, I'm not sure you offer any proof that dentists make so much more.

    When I was an IT guru back during the dot-com days, people talked about the 'easy money' that a programmer was demanding but I rarely saw the the optimistic salary that was quoted about when my friends and I started our job search. Only a few people I knew ended up with the high flying six figures. Most worked mundane jobs for $50-80k.

    Also, when people start talking salaries on these forums, I tend to hear only the most extreme cases---people who say they have lived on $30k raising two kids and people who think $150k is near poverty level.

    So I guess I'm very skeptical when people go about touting (on an anonymous board) how much money they make, or speaking on authority about money in general. I think I'll stick with the government statistics no matter how inaccurate. At least I can be sure they are not as leaden with self-interest and bias as postings on internet forums. ;)
     
  40. danielmd06

    danielmd06 Neurosomnologist
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    Medicine is much more time consuming with regards to education and training. Also, when you finally complete your residency or fellowship, your hours will be longer than the average dentist.

    As far as pay scale, practically every example I've ever seen has doctors earning much higher salaries than dentists.

    I think a wiser consideration would be for you to think more about what you are interested in...and do that. There's no law against shadowing both doctors and dentists...

    Good luck.
     
  41. melissainsd

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    Umm...I don't want to work on teeth. Isn't this sort of like asking why Accounting/Law Enforcement/Teaching over medicine? Am I missing something? It isn't like deciding between nursing or medical school...:confused:
     
  42. sejin8642

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    With all respects, that is exactly what I am talking about;anything is harmful in sufficient quantity . We fluoridate water with sufficient quantity. And that has caused many side effects (especially brain-damage-related illness) which we American have and people in other countries(Japan, China, Germany, etc) don't have where fluoride is banned due to its toxicity.
     
  43. DMO

    DMO Diving Medical Officer
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    Attention all! From hence on, I shall be known as MO after having dropped the "D" in DMO. Thank you and resume your activities.
     
  44. somemaybedoc

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    Do you have some sort of source for that assertion? My anecdotal experience is in line with what the BLS data shows for physicians.
     
  45. DocH0lliday

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    Would it help if I told you that I keep in touch with many of my classmates, all of whom make within $10k give or take of what I make. Would it also help if I told you that I have a few close friends who are physicians in primary care, as well as two cousins--also in primary care. They make just a shade under what I make. Once again, the difference between employed and self-employed dentists with regard to income is drastic. Moreover, it is far easier to start and succeed as a solo practitioner as a dentist than it is as a physician. We don't get raped by insurance, and we have patients who come in every six months. When was the last time you've been to a physician for a routine physical? It's been about six years for me.

    I speak from first-hand experience. You speak from your a$$. That makes my word far more credible than yours.
     
  46. DropkickMurphy

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    So I guess we can assume you drank straight from the flouride storage tank? :rolleyes:
     
  47. excalibur

    excalibur Member
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    Do you know the salaries of all your friends and family in the health care profession?
     
  48. uvaGirL07

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    if you have an obsession with teeth like i do, i'd say pick dentistry. muhahaha :smuggrin:

    but i guess on a more serious note, i'm a female pre-dent, and i hope to have lots of babies. sooooooo.... while i want to have a meaningful career, i also want one that would allow me to be a full time mother and wife as well. so for me, that was a major factor in my decision to aim for dentistry rather than medicine. also, since my boyfriend is premed, we figured it'd be more useful to have a doctor and dentist in the family rather than two doctors. hahaha :hardy:
     
  49. sejin8642

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    Well, luckily, I have lived in states where water fluoridation is forbidden :)
     
  50. gary5

    gary5 Senior Member
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    Fortunately, I don't have a very good sense of smell. My sense of taste isn't very good either. Very convenient. :p I could do gyne and would probably be pretty good at it, but I'm not that interested in it right now. I guess I'll find out during rotations.
     
  51. ajmacgregor

    ajmacgregor Senior Member
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    Don't even know where to start with you...Can you please provide any evidence in a peer-reviewed medical or dental journal that a) fluoride added to US water supplies exceeds the toxic levels for humans and b) that the incidence of neurologic disorders in fluoridated communities in the US is statistically significantly higher than in non-fluoridated communities.

    A few facts that you seem not to know (or not to care about):

    1. Regardless of whether you live in a fluoridated community or not, you are still getting fluoride from food and drink produced in fluoridated communities (this is called the "halo effect" of fluoride).
    2. The amount of fluoride in drinking water in the US is typically between 0.7 - 1.2 ppm, which is significantly below that required to achieve a toxic level in human beings. Dental fluorosis occurs at concentrations above 1.5 mg/L, and skeletal damage occurs at concentrations 10x those found in drinking water.
    3. Both the CDC and the National Cancer Institute have evaluated fluoridation numerous times and have concluded that, at the doses currently found in the US water supply, there is no link to adverse health effects and fluoridation.
    4. There is no link between Alzheimer's disease, cancer, Down syndrome, renal disease or any other major illness in the US population.

    So which type of anti-fluoride fanatic are you?

    A) Hal Huggins-type
    B) Backwoods creationist
    C) "It's a government conspiracy" type
    D) Someone who doesn't know how to evaluate scientific information.

    My guess is (d) - good luck in medical school.

    References:
    1. Weesner BW Jr. Managing optimal fluoride therapy: the halo effect.
    J Tenn Dent Assoc. 2004 Fall;84(4):23-30.
    2. World Health Organization website about Fluoride: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/naturalhazards/en/index2.html
    3. CDC Statement on Water Fluoridation: http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/; National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/fluoridated-water
    4. Fluoridation facts from the American Dental Association: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/fluoride/facts/fluoridation_facts.pdf
     

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