Charles_Darwin

2+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2016
828
831
Status
Pre-Dental
I've interned at all specialties and general dentists that I can and I genuinely love all of them. They all have their pros and cons. I can't comprehend how I could just choose one. Each internship was with a talented dentist and I swear with every internship I think, "wow this is totally my dream speciality / wow why would you ever want to leave general dentistry"

Did you choose to specialize because you were really good at it? Did you prefer the variety of general denyistry? Was it for the money? What compelled you to do what you do?
 

awalke12

10+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2007
50
5
Status
Pre-Dental
If you're not drawn to a specific specialty initially, I would recommend being a GP for a few years to gain more experience and see where life takes you. You may find that something that interested you early on becomes less interesting or the opposite.

In dental school I hated endo and I remember contemplating referring all endo out once I began practicing. Five years later, I applied and have been accepted to an endo residency beginning next year.

You never know where life or your career aspirations will take you so leave your options open early on!
 

Evik23

Ob2r8!
7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2010
23
3
Status
Dentist
The best way to figure it out is to get into general practice. However, you must find a position where you have the freedom to carry out different procedures that you wish to and that is not always easy to do right out of school, so be very picky. If it is a place where you are the add-0n associate and the owner plans the case and does all the fun stuff and won't let you do anything other than fillings etc, it is going to be hard for you to find your passion. You need a place where you take a new patient and plan your treatment however you see fit with of course some guidance. The more you do, the sooner you will know what you like and what you do not. Dental school is too small of a sample size to figure things out. I practiced for 3 years and did close to 350 endo cases before I decided to pursue endodontics. Starting next year!
 
  • Like
Reactions: jk5177

charlestweed

Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2007
1,678
914
SoCal
us.i1.yimg.com
Status
Dentist
I think it’s harder to specialize after practicing as a GP for a few years than if you apply while you are in dental school. Many GPs, who have worked with me, have said they regret for not specializing right after dental school. Now with family and kids, it becomes much harder for them to quit their jobs and go back to school to specialize. I really admire the two above posters, who got accepted to endo. When I didn’t get accepted to ortho, I decided to do a year of GPR because I was afraid that the high income in private practice may distract me from re-applying for ortho. And since I was still in an academic environment, it was easier for me to obtain the LOR from instructors and college/dental school transcripts. Another reason for doing GPR was endo was a second choice in case I didn’t get accepted to ortho.

For me, the reason for applying for ortho was purely money. Who wouldn’t want to make a lot of money and pay off the student loan as fast as possible? When I applied for ortho, I was just a clueless 3rd year student who knew nothing about the private practice world. My brother’s orthodontist told me that in order to survive in this competitive market in CA, I have to specialize. So I took his advice. When I completed my ortho residency and started working as an associate, this same orthodontist told me that I shouldn’t rely on the associate job and I should start my own office ASAP. And I listened to him again. He’s my hero.
 
Last edited:

RoseEndo

2+ Year Member
Jul 10, 2015
50
91
Status
Dentist
I returned back to Endo residency three years after practicing as a general dentist. I knew I would go back to school to specialize in Endo, but i had to work hard for three years since my husband was doing OMFS residency at a time and I wanted to save money for both of us. As Charlestweed mentioned, going back to school is not easy, but at the same time it makes you more focused.
 
Last edited:

rockchic

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2008
10
1
Status
Pre-Dental
If you're not drawn to a specific specialty initially, I would recommend being a GP for a few years to gain more experience and see where life takes you. You may find that something that interested you early on becomes less interesting or the opposite.

In dental school I hated endo and I remember contemplating referring all endo out once I began practicing. Five years later, I applied and have been accepted to an endo residency beginning next year.

You never know where life or your career aspirations will take you so leave your options open early on!
hi!
when are you starting your endo residency or you have already completed it? Could you guide please. I am starting mine next year.
Thank you
 

rockchic

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2008
10
1
Status
Pre-Dental
I returned back to Endo residency three years after practicing as a general dentist. I knew I would go back to school to specialize in Endo, but i had to work hard for three years since my husband was doing OMFS residency at a time and I wanted to save money for both of us. As Charlestweed mentioned, going back to school is not easy, but at the same time it makes you more focused and you appreciate an opportunity to pursue your dream. I tired to take advantage of my training from doing straight forward cases to difficult re-treatments. I completed about 270-280 cases in my residency. It is very interesting to see how your skill level goes up as you do more and more of the same procedure, and after a while it becomes a second nature.
Thats great! I am going back as well after 5 years. So other than the clinical work, what is expected academically. As in research and all. I am starting mine next year but wanted to get ready and prepared before it.
 

awalke12

10+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2007
50
5
Status
Pre-Dental
hi!
when are you starting your endo residency or you have already completed it? Could you guide please. I am starting mine next year.
Thank you
I'm starting next year as well!
 

Pedodel

2+ Year Member
Dec 26, 2015
51
62
I'm starting next year as well!

As a pediatric dentist , I can sincerely say, I can't imagine doing general dentistry. It is so much more difficult and stressfull than pediatric dentistry.

I really love what I do, and I make 2-3 times what I could make as a GP.
You have the right temperament and personality. But if you do, it is so much rewarding ( personally and financially ) if you can do it right and successfully.

I can!t speak for other specialties . But once you get busy ( in Pedo ). and you practice is sound and productive,,,,,, success,is easier and, easier then GP work .
I love it.
 

lemoncurry

tequila mockingbird
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2006
3,823
1,035
42
Vermont
Status
Dentist
I don't think I could ever do Peds and I have 6 kids of my own!

I appreciate aspects of every specialty and almost went into Perio. After practicing for a year or two after grad, I found that I really enjoy doing extractions, but that's really the only aspect of OMFS that I think I would be interested in. Not worth it to me to go back to school for 4+ years to re-learn how to do something I am already good at.

prosths - occlusion and the mechanics of the jaw are not my strong points
perio - I would miss too much of general practice
ortho - same thing, plus too competitive
anesth - can't imagine just putting people to sleep
peds - some kids are great, but the non-cooperative ones that you can't reason with really bug me
orofacial medicine - these patients need a psychiatrist as much as they need a dentist
 
  • Like
Reactions: fancymylotus

jk5177

Just Kidding
10+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2004
1,562
4
Oregon
Status
Dentist
The best way to figure it out is to get into general practice. However, you must find a position where you have the freedom to carry out different procedures that you wish to and that is not always easy to do right out of school, so be very picky. If it is a place where you are the add-0n associate and the owner plans the case and does all the fun stuff and won't let you do anything other than fillings etc, it is going to be hard for you to find your passion. You need a place where you take a new patient and plan your treatment however you see fit with of course some guidance. The more you do, the sooner you will know what you like and what you do not. Dental school is too small of a sample size to figure things out. I practiced for 3 years and did close to 350 endo cases before I decided to pursue endodontics. Starting next year!
Agree with everything you said. That's how I got into endo too.
 

jk5177

Just Kidding
10+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2004
1,562
4
Oregon
Status
Dentist
For me, the reason for applying for ortho was purely money. Who wouldn’t want to make a lot of money and pay off the student loan as fast as possible?
Thank you for your candor.
 

JakeSill

5+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2013
406
31
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Is it harder to get into residency after practicing for a couple years?
 

fancymylotus

A Whole New World
10+ Year Member
Jul 21, 2004
36,052
17,718
I've interned at all specialties and general dentists that I can and I genuinely love all of them. They all have their pros and cons. I can't comprehend how I could just choose one. Each internship was with a talented dentist and I swear with every internship I think, "wow this is totally my dream speciality / wow why would you ever want to leave general dentistry"

Did you choose to specialize because you were really good at it? Did you prefer the variety of general denyistry? Was it for the money? What compelled you to do what you do?

Life situation/SO situation made me not apply to a speciality residency.

Then when I started working I realized I liked the management and business part of dentistry more than any one specific procedure.

Not interested in repeatedly doing only a handful of procedures while running around like a headless chicken being an associate at multiple offices or chains

(Had I not started dating a med student I would probably have taken a different route but I didn't want to risk matching somewhere far from him etc)




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Charles_Darwin

lemoncurry

tequila mockingbird
Staff member
Administrator
10+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2006
3,823
1,035
42
Vermont
Status
Dentist
forgot one: endo. I currently do endo on everything but molars. The potential for complications scares the bejeezus out of me (I have separated a few files), plus it always seems like endodontists are always going on about how the pulp space and canal morphology are so crazy (which they are) but there don't seem to be any major advancements (to my knowledge) on how to access or fill those accessory canals. So, it's tough to do a root canal procedure knowing that odds are pretty high that you're missing some lateral or accessory canals.
 

ladnaania

7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2010
48
3
Status
Dentist
Life situation/SO situation made me not apply to a speciality residency.

Then when I started working I realized I liked the management and business part of dentistry more than any one specific procedure.

Not interested in repeatedly doing only a handful of procedures while running around like a headless chicken being an associate at multiple offices or chains

(Had I not started dating a med student I would probably have taken a different route but I didn't want to risk matching somewhere far from him etc)




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
So are you doing more of a management/running offices and practicing a little less?