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Discussion in 'Dental' started by whitethunder10, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. whitethunder10

    whitethunder10 2+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    Imma break this down real simple like...

    - 30 years old
    - 2 years of prereqs ahead of me (BA in journalism graduated DEC 2005)
    - considering Physical therapy and PT - both seem like a pain in the ass but Dentists make way more.
    - 3.0 undergrad gpa

    Can I do it? Is it fun being a dentist? What sucks? What is good about it?

    I also heard that alot of your money goes to equipment. So If I make $130,000 a year, how much of that goes to equipment?

    How long will Dental school take me?

    I want to start making a living in a job I like before I'm 40.

    Lastly - would you do it again knowing what you know now?
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  3. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 31, 2005
    Anyone can do anything, as long as they want it bad enough.
    IT's fun being the most feared person in the world ...yes. Osama got nothing on us.

    What's good? Hours, lifestyle, money, and all that garbage about helping people.

    I would do it again....I've developed a fetish for the drill...
  4. LetMeIn

    LetMeIn Member 7+ Year Member

    Dont worry about the equipment. If you decide to work as an employee for a group practise, you dont have to pay a dime for equipment. What you make is what you keep. The going rate is between $110-200k depending on where you practise. fyi, the largest overhead a dentist who owns his own practise has to face is not equipment... its employee salaries.

    I think if you really want to do this, you can. We had a few people in our class that were 30-45yrs old, all former contruction workers, stock brokers, housewives. All you really need is the drive. Good luck!
  5. diane07

    diane07 2+ Year Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    If you haven't taken any sciences . . . maybe you should take a few to see how you do.
  6. drpduck

    drpduck Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 1, 2001
    I agree that you should shadow some dentists to get a feel for the field and if it is a fit for you.
  7. DMDstudent

    DMDstudent 2+ Year Member

    Apr 18, 2007
    My first question to you is this. If PT doesn't seem like a pleasant career field to you, then why are you even considering it? Are you only considering dentistry for monitary reasons?

    My best advice to you would be to spend a lot of time shadowing a physical therapist and a dentist, or what ever medically related field you are interested in, and then decide for yourself which of those fields you are most passionate about.

    During your shadowing experience, several important questions will come to mind (hopefully).

    1) Do I like working with sick or injured people, or would I like to work in peoples mouths all day for the next 30+ years?
    2) Do I like the profession enough and do I have the drive to get great grades in your prereq's, score well on the DAT, persevere through dental school and actually become a licensed dentist?

    Another hurtle you may have in front of you is doing well in the required science courses dental schools require. You may be fully capable of doing well in your classes, but you need to realize that upper division science courses are most likely 2-3 times more difficult than most of the journalism classes you have struggled with.

    Once again, find your passion and then chase it.

    Best wishes!
  8. whitethunder10

    whitethunder10 2+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    Thanks guys!

    Yeah still thinking... By this time I have decided that passion is somewaht abritrary. I mean, I went down the passion road and ran into bullwhacky. But, at the same time, I'd like ot develop a passion for somethign new. I feel like my journalism course were really borring as hell and I didn't get lots of experience in science, something I regret.

    Any more advice very welcome!


  9. 1992Corolla

    1992Corolla CheerioKing 7+ Year Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    DMDstudent, you should add a '.com' to the end of your name...:biglove:

    Dentistry is worth it...TO ME. Find out if it will be worth it TO YOU.

    Science courses, shadowing, reading JADA, and do you like to work in the oral cavity?
  10. johntara04

    johntara04 Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Almost anyone can do it. It just comes down to whether or not you are willing to put in the time. I know some dentists that love their jobs, and others that work as little as possible because they hate it so much. For me, I love the artistic aspect. I love the tiny dimensions and trying to get the perfect prep, resotration, etc and how awesome that looks when you are done.

    You are a little off on your idea of the salary. Most dentists collect anywhere between $500,000 - $1,000,000 a year. BUT, like you said a lot of that money goes to pay rent, taxes, employee salaries, health insurance, other employee perks, instruments, supplies, etc. So you end up taking home around 35-40% of that, so your take home before federal/state income taxes is around $175,000-$350,000. The ADA says the average dentist income is $178,000.

    Now that sounds like a lot of money, and it is, BUT it really isn't when you first graduate from school. You will have anywhere from $200,000-$300,000 in debt (unless your wife works/family can float you). As you probably know better than me, money goes fast after taxes, house payment, paying for kids, car, etc. Then throw a 30 year $2,000 a month student loan payment and that cuts into the money even more. So it sounds like a lot of money to make every year, but after your debt, you might not be making much more than you are right now. Just something else to consider.

    Dental school is 4 years, with 2-4 years of pre-reqs (depending on how much you want to take at once).

    Of course I would do it again. Taking all these classes every semester that really don't seem like they really apply to dentistry is a drag, but I hold out the hope that as we take more and more dental classes and I understand the big picture better, I will see the value of learning about the femoral vein, artery, and nerve. But other than that I love it. I love our pre-clinical days, and I spend as much time as possible observing local docs. I think dentistry is a great field, and other than the back and neck problems a lot of docs develop, I would say this is the perfect job for me.
  11. OceanDMD

    OceanDMD Rather be fishing 7+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2006
    Passion for a career certainly is important. Especially in a field like dentistry. It sounds to me like you are changing your profession based on potential income. With no science background, why choose dentistry? Dentistry is not just about getting your 4 year dmd/dds and making coin, but dedicating yourself to working and educating yourself for the rest of your life in this field. This is certainly the wrong place to ask whether or not you would like being a dentist.
  12. whitethunder10

    whitethunder10 2+ Year Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    I think money is a very important part of a job. After all, it is why people work, right? And many people try to become dentists for mulitple reasons. Just like any decision in life, there are multiple factors involved. So if I ask about how much a dentist makes, that means I am asking how much a dentist makes, nothing more, nothing less. And I do think that many people follow a passion in life to realize that is wasn't a true passion. They find out, for whatever reason, that they took the wrong road. And they got in so far that they just didn't have time to learn about other things that could be a true calling. I think I am one of those people. So excuse me if I ask about dentistry in the forum designed to ask questions about dentistry. Also known as the dentistry forum.

    No hard feelings, but really, I'll ask whatever I like in this forum.

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