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nontoxic

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Hi. I am a little unsure if dentistry is right for me and would love to hear what others have to say. I love everything about dentistry except business. I am not the business kind of person and have no interest in it all. I do not think I could ever turn down a patient because they did not have the money to pay. I also do not like the idea of being crammed in a small office all day long and would rather work in a big building such as a hospital. Do regular dentists work in hospitals?? In addition (I know this sounds crazy), but I also worry about my health. I have poor posture as it is and worry about developing arthritis, the shakes, etc... Do dentists have many other career alternatives if they do not want to/can't practice anymore? If so what and are there many research opportunities? With that being said, I have always been fascinated with teeth and truely love working with my hands. I also have a great interest in medicine, but want the lifestyle of a dentist. Thanks for reading this. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

pacbum

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there are many other career opportunities if you wouldn't like working in an office...

for example, you can continue to pursue a career in academics or teach clinical dentistry in addition to practicing (that's my plan)

research opportunities are abundant in dentistry...biomaterials and tissue regeneration are currently big areas of research

i think that a career in dentistry can be very fulfilling just because there are a variety of options you have...you don't have to work in a private practice if it's not for you, there is much else to do.

and if you feel you would enjoy working in a hospital setting, there are ways you can do that too...many omf surgeons work in hospitals, so that's always an option

i honesty feel that a dental education opens up many doors that many don't know about until they're in dental school. by no means are you restricted to a private practice

if you like working with your hands, and enjoy the science behind it, then go for it.
 
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rals

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Like pacbum said, there's a lot you can do. I'm pretty good at business, although I don't like it, so I don't know how well I would practice it. But, I would prefer to work in my own office than a hospital so I'm willing to bend and be an entrepreneur as well as a dentist.

Research is awesome too. I didn't love research at the undergrad level because what I worked on was really out there and its practicality was difficult for me to imagine in healthcare. However, research in dentistry has real applications and implications, and so I think I would love it.

Do your homework, and in the end, I would go with my gut feeling as to what you want to do. Shadow some dentists and ask all these questions you have.

Good luck.
 

DJ Quik

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Jul 23, 2006
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I think you would know if you want to be a dentist. Myself, I LOVE having my own business, being my own boss, and I am GREAT at working with my hands (really). It sucks though that I was to lazy to get good grades in my undergrad coursework. You would know if you were ready to be a dentist. And besides, Its hard to get into dental school, with my grades at least.

If you like working in a lab, there are TONS of easy to get into masters and Phd programs that you can apply to and graduate and still make a great living without the stress of knowing if your sick that it costs you 1000 dollars a day in overhead. Just something to think about.
 

pmantz

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I love everything about dentistry except business. I am not the business kind of person and have no interest in it all. I do not think I could ever turn down a patient because they did not have the money to pay.

If you said this to an AddCom they very well could find this refreshing. To many apply to dental school for the money. You will have to learn to accept the buesiness aspect of dentistry, but having a compasionate and charitable side is only an asset. Your own practice will have to run like a traditional buesiness but you can always donate your free time (which you will have in dentistry) at a clinic serving the underpriveledged. As far as your health, they teach you in Dental school about maintaining good posture, and I am sure there is adaptive equipment to aid in this as well.

I personaly find your perspective patient care refreshing, I chose dentistry for that same reason. I know dentists who volunteer, as well as run a very succesful pratice. I feel if I have been blessed with the ability to practice dentistry and take care of my family I should take care of others.

There are other options then running your own clinic, larger dental groups have office managers who take care of the buesiness side.

If you have the grades and the desire for dentistry, I say go for it and don't think of the what if's.
 

SugarNaCl

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Yeah, I get the impression that people that want to go into dentistry REALLY have to enjoy the idea to like the profession. I'm sure there are exceptions. I work in a research cancer hospital in Buffalo and there are at least 3 dentists in general practice and another in a residency here in addition to an oral surgeon and a prosthodontist (probably not all big hospitals have one of those, but you can lose large areas of your face due to cancer.) It's REALLY interesting to see the noses, ears, eyes, lips...all made by a dentist! The VA hospitals have staff dentists too, so there are plenty of opportunities to work in a hospital setting or maybe you would like a large co like Aspen Dental. Anyway, if something happens to your hands or posture and you want to get out of the profession, there are TONS of research and teaching opportunities. You won't run out of options if you think you like the field IMO.
 

Ething

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Go dental. People in medicine are kicking themselves now. I was worried about some similar things. I wasnt even sure if i was good with my hands. Dentists convinced me that most pple can learn the manual dexterity skills in dental school. Even if you CANT pick that up and lets say you pick up the shakes or whatever......there are still sooo many other opportunites. You will be glad you chose dentistry.
 

Divineimpetus

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Business: You can work for someone else, hire a consultant, work for a school, or work in a dental clinic.

Posture/Manual Dexterity: Take a jewelry class in college to find out where you stand here. I took one last year and to be honest, I wasn't all that good but I loved doing it and I got better as I went along. Unfortunately, dentists do complain about having back problems when they get older: it's part of the territory.

my conclusion: be a dentist
 

armorshell

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Apr 13, 2006
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I also have a great interest in medicine, but want the lifestyle of a dentist.
Just from reading your post it doesn't sound like you're really that interested in what people normally equate with the "lifestyle." You're interested in working for others, aren't interested in business and want to work in a hospital. You seem very interested in public healthcare.

Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing. Get out there, do some shadowing and figure out what you like best. By the looks of it you'll have plenty of opportunities in whichever field you decide to pursue.
 
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