beatboxer D

10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2009
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
hey guys, I'm at a crossroads in the healthcare field, and I've always wondered about dentistry, and it seems like a great career salary and hours-wise, but I dont wanna get into something just because of that. I want to love what I do.

with dentistry, I can imagine that you would be lookin at teeth all day, nice teeth, bad teeth, etc. So i'm asking, do you have to like teeth to be a dentist? Or do you simply just get over the fact that its a bacteria-infested oral cavity and get used to it? Or maybe being a dentist is more about having great dexterity? What basically makes someone just want to become a dentist?

With whatever profession I end up in, I do want to help the less fortunate and at least do work in 3rd world countries and I know dentists can provide teeth cleaning, oral surgeries, etc. to the less fortunate. Any response would be great, thanks
 

vlct0ria

10+ Year Member
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Jul 24, 2008
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Dental Student
hey guys, I'm at a crossroads in the healthcare field, and I've always wondered about dentistry, and it seems like a great career salary and hours-wise, but I dont wanna get into something just because of that. I want to love what I do.

with dentistry, I can imagine that you would be lookin at teeth all day, nice teeth, bad teeth, etc. So i'm asking, do you have to like teeth to be a dentist? Or do you simply just get over the fact that its a bacteria-infested oral cavity and get used to it? Or maybe being a dentist is more about having great dexterity? What basically makes someone just want to become a dentist?

With whatever profession I end up in, I do want to help the less fortunate and at least do work in 3rd world countries and I know dentists can provide teeth cleaning, oral surgeries, etc. to the less fortunate. Any response would be great, thanks
If you hate teeth, you may wanna do something else, but no you do not have to love or even like teeth to be a dentist. Its more about lifestyle and what type of career you want...sounds like you know what you want to do as far as helping others, and dentists just so happen to have a pretty good lifestyle to go along with it, so you can't lose :D
 

12345a

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Mar 9, 2009
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No.

Teeth are boring.
Dentistry is dull.
It's a good job.
It's not exactly invigorating.
It's not mentally stimulating.
It's not really a glamorous career.
The pay is good.
The hours are better.
The autonomy is good.
It's the easier option.
Teeth are boring.
 

GoetzItDone

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2009
42
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Pre-Dental
I didn't choose dentistry because I like teeth, I chose it because I'm an artist, a perfectionist, and because I'm quick with my hands.
 

wwdaffodils

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2009
195
3
41
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Pre-Dental
hey guys, I'm at a crossroads in the healthcare field, and I've always wondered about dentistry, and it seems like a great career salary and hours-wise, but I dont wanna get into something just because of that. I want to love what I do.

with dentistry, I can imagine that you would be lookin at teeth all day, nice teeth, bad teeth, etc. So i'm asking, do you have to like teeth to be a dentist? Or do you simply just get over the fact that its a bacteria-infested oral cavity and get used to it? Or maybe being a dentist is more about having great dexterity? What basically makes someone just want to become a dentist?

With whatever profession I end up in, I do want to help the less fortunate and at least do work in 3rd world countries and I know dentists can provide teeth cleaning, oral surgeries, etc. to the less fortunate. Any response would be great, thanks
I don't know why so many people harp on the fact that the mouth is a "bacteria-infested oral cavity". I'm sure proctologists don't particularly "like" their area of expertise, but they make do (yes, pun intended).

Personally, I don't exactly love teeth-- it's not as if I dream of teeth or something-- but I don't mind them either. You obviously shouldn't hate teeth.

I've heard from friends working in the mission field that dentists (and ophthalmologists, interestingly) are especially in high demand. Dentistry is a great path if you want to do healthcare missions-- although people in "well-off" countries generally hate having their teeth cleaned, those in less fortunate countries almost never have the opportunity to see a dentist and they're all so grateful for the treatment you provide.
 

FutureDent020

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2009
1,518
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161
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Dentist
No.

Teeth are boring.
Dentistry is dull.
It's a good job.
It's not exactly invigorating.
It's not mentally stimulating.
It's not really a glamorous career.
The pay is good.
The hours are better.
The autonomy is good.
It's the easier option.
Teeth are boring.
I guess you went with medical
 

redchesus

10+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2007
472
3
241
Status
Dentist
No, teeth aren't particularly interesting... I mean, I do like a nice set of teeth, but I'm pretty suspicious of people who say "I've always been fascinated by teeth"

do you think urologists grew up being like "I've always been fascinated by penises"?
 
Oct 26, 2009
359
10
51
Status
Dental Student
No, teeth aren't particularly interesting... I mean, I do like a nice set of teeth, but I'm pretty suspicious of people who say "I've always been fascinated by teeth"

do you think urologists grew up being like "I've always been fascinated by penises"?
lol, I'm sure some did...
 

alanan84

D1
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2008
1,387
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Dental Student
No.

Teeth are boring.
Dentistry is dull.
It's a good job.
It's not exactly invigorating.
It's not mentally stimulating.
It's not really a glamorous career.
The pay is good.
The hours are better.
The autonomy is good.
It's the easier option.
Teeth are boring.
If you want all this, try for OMFS. They do some really, really cool stuff.
 

Ostracized

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2005
178
7
251
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Dentist
Yeah, teeth are not exciting but a job is a job and dentistry is better than most. I'd be suspicious of anyone who said they were in it because the love teeth.
 

SeattleRDH

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 10, 2010
888
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Duh
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I love debriding perio absesses!

When you play a part in alleviating someone from pain, that is what makes dentistry rewarding. You would be doing that all day long in a 3rd world country.
 

12345a

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If you want all this, try for OMFS. They do some really, really cool stuff.
Yeah, Oral Surgeons are pretty hard core. I saw TMJ and cyst removal when shadowing and it was pretty awesome.

The only thing is that matching into a OMFS residency is nearly impossible and I don't want to go into d-school with expectations of becoming one.
 

dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
7+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2009
5,646
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Sterling Hts, Mi
Status
Dentist
hey guys, I'm at a crossroads in the healthcare field, and I've always wondered about dentistry, and it seems like a great career salary and hours-wise, but I dont wanna get into something just because of that. I want to love what I do.

with dentistry, I can imagine that you would be lookin at teeth all day, nice teeth, bad teeth, etc. So i'm asking, do you have to like teeth to be a dentist? Or do you simply just get over the fact that its a bacteria-infested oral cavity and get used to it? Or maybe being a dentist is more about having great dexterity? What basically makes someone just want to become a dentist?

With whatever profession I end up in, I do want to help the less fortunate and at least do work in 3rd world countries and I know dentists can provide teeth cleaning, oral surgeries, etc. to the less fortunate. Any response would be great, thanks
Well, your questions are very valid. I think you would get a better answer for these types of questions by asking other dentists. Most of us pre-dents really don't know what its like to work as dentists.... I mean yeh sure we can claim how we really enjoy dentistry, but the fact is, we have never worked as dentists, how can we really know. As far as "liking teeth".... I mean, When I tell people I wanna be a dentist, I don't really think about teech, I think oral health. Sure majority of work is done on the teeth, but the big picture is oral health.... Your doing a service so that people maintain good oral health.


No.

Teeth are boring.
Dentistry is dull.
It's a good job.
It's not exactly invigorating.
It's not mentally stimulating.
It's not really a glamorous career.
The pay is good.
The hours are better.
The autonomy is good.
It's the easier option.
Teeth are boring.
lol, this is the ugly truth :thumbup:
As far as OMFS goes, yeh sure if you really feel like you have a chip on your shoulder (Im not referring to you 12345a) and you want to earn that MD behind your name, you can forget all about OMFS and just do 4 years of med school without entering into a residency. You will still be MD, you just can't practice any medicine since your not licensed
 

AmpedUp

The Legend Still Lives
7+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2009
657
6
151
Status
Dentist
Yes, teeth are attractive (the beautiful pearly white ones are - duh!) lol. And personally, I really like taking care of mines for "cosmetic" reasons. I would love to get into cosmetic/boutique dentistry - that should sufficiently challenge my "perfectionist" grind and skills.
 

alanan84

D1
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2008
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Dental Student
Yeah, Oral Surgeons are pretty hard core. I saw TMJ and cyst removal when shadowing and it was pretty awesome.

The only thing is that matching into a OMFS residency is nearly impossible and I don't want to go into d-school with expectations of becoming one.
We had an OMFS attending come talk to us the other day. He showed us pictures of some of the patients he had seen. Among them was a kid who had tried to commit suicide with a shotgun to the face. You wouldn't believe how well they were able to basically recreate his face. It was amazing...

But yeah I get what you're saying. As a predent you can't really say "oh I'm going into OMFS." But if you like the financial aspects of dentistry but think that general dentistry is rather dull (I personally don't) then it's not a bad thing to keep in the back of your mind.
 
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beatboxer D

10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2009
2
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
thanks guys these are all really great answers..and yea you're right, I do need to talk to more dentists about this stuff, probably need to shadow a few. My cousin in Chicago is actually a pediatric dentist and I've been meaning to ask her questions or even visit her, but I guess you could say that I've been kinda lazy recently :oops:

but yea, looking at it as oral health is a good way too. I appreciate all the input guys, and I'd appreciate it even more with more responses and perspectives...
 

Ninja9

10+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2008
182
1
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Tampa
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Pre-Dental
My lifelong dream is NOT to become a dentist. I would much rather travel the world and be able to spend time with my family without working. That being said, that is obviously a pipedream (unless I win the lotto). As a career, dentistry allows for these things and combines many things I like and am good at-science and art. I guess I could become an artist, but I'm no Pablo Picasso and I don't feel like living in a ****ty one-bedroom apartment eating Ramen for the rest of my life.

Also, I like that I not only get compensated for the work I put in (rare to find in a job these days), but that I get to make a serious difference in peoples' lives.
 
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dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
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Jun 25, 2009
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Status
Dentist
We had an OMFS attending come talk to us the other day. He showed us pictures of some of the patients he had seen. Among them was a kid who had tried to commit suicide with a shotgun to the face. You wouldn't believe how well they were able to basically recreate his face. It was amazing...
fa sho... OMFS are pimps
 
Jun 14, 2009
800
3
0
Status
Pre-Dental
fa sho... OMFS are pimps
Dude, they're badass. The one I was shadowing let me scrub in on a LeForte I osteotomy. He and the attending basically broke the guy's maxilla free, pulled it forward, and re-anchored it.
 

12345a

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Dude, they're badass. The one I was shadowing let me scrub in on a LeForte I osteotomy. He and the attending basically broke the guy's maxilla free, pulled it forward, re-anchored it, billed him, and bought new cars to celebrate the procedure.
fixed
 
Oct 6, 2009
18
0
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Status
Pre-Dental
Really dysfunctional, cavity-ridden teeth are neat. Because there is so much to do! Perfection is boring, to me. I would rather treat people with poor oral hygiene, presumably because the quality of life could be increased so much more... presumably. I don't know.

So while I don't LOVE teeth (in the way that I love food), I do find the process of restoring them interesting.
 

yuppers

10+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2009
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The embryology/development of teeth is pretty cool.....but then again I could be classified as a geek. :laugh:
 

AmpedUp

The Legend Still Lives
7+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2009
657
6
151
Status
Dentist
Really dysfunctional, cavity-ridden teeth are neat. Because there is so much to do! Perfection is boring, to me. I would rather treat people with poor oral hygiene, presumably because the quality of life could be increased so much more... presumably. I don't know.

So while I don't LOVE teeth (in the way that I love food), I do find the process of restoring them interesting.
It would be awkward to love teeth in a fetish sort of way...but yes, it's the dental process of restoring and engineering teeth to a healthy, normal state...it does a lot for someone's image and health as well. personally, i first learned how to take care of my health (e.g. through nutrition, physical activity, etc) through dental care.