Feb 17, 2010
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I will be a D1 this fall and I am actually excited to learn dentistry (not so much the didactic stuff, however). Is the process of learning the procedures a fun and rewarding experience, or is it mostly frustrating? Sorry if this question sounds stupid ha.
 

Livineasi

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Depends on who is teaching the class. Unfortunately, I'd say mostly frustrating unless you just happen to be good at everything.
 

mantraman1010

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I agree with the poster above. It can get very frustrating sometimes, sometimes the faculty forget this is your first time doing things. Hopefully it gets better as you become more familiar with methods.
 

ziptree

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I will be a D1 this fall and I am actually excited to learn dentistry (not so much the didactic stuff, however). Is the process of learning the procedures a fun and rewarding experience, or is it mostly frustrating? Sorry if this question sounds stupid ha.
Not the didactic stuff? You'll have a miserable first two years or so, depending on what school you're going to.
 

HupHolland

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Learning dentistry (pre-clinical) is pretty miserable. What works in your professors' hands probably won't work in your hands. So, when they tell you to do this first, that last, let that temporary set up for x seconds... it may work for them, not you!

Dentistry becomes exciting when you figure out a system that produces great clinical results in an efficient manner, time after time.

I guess the moral of the story is not to become too discouraged before getting into clinic. Once in clinic, actually learning dentistry on patients can be fun, though frustrating at times.

Hup
 
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When I first started dental school, I was super excited. I was looking forward to working with real patients, creating things with my hands, and taking focussed courses that I thought were going to be 100% applicable to a real life career.

And then I got to school. The first lecture on Day 1 was given by a faculty member from another department, who clearly had better places to be. For two hours, she flashed powerpoint slides of connective tissue and whizzed through them at lightning speed. I thought it was going to get better, but then came the series of lectures on gene regulation of collagen synthesis, and other really detailed and mostly useless courses taught by resesarchers. I felt like I was in undergrad again, only I didn't have the option of choosing classes that were interesting, and the profs were way worse.

But what about the classes where I got to work with my hands? I've always been pretty good at stuff like that, but when I failed an exam because the dimensions of my prep were half a millimeter from ideal, I thought they had to be joking. And instead of showing us how to do things right, we were given powerpoint notes, then sent off on our own, where we spent the next two years being told everything we were doing wrong. It wasn't until fourth year that I actually saw a dentist cut a prep.

I was pretty pumped to get into the clinic. But again, it took about a week before my hopes were completely crushed. Chairs are impossible to book through legitimate means, and I was penalized by the system whenever my patients cancelled or didn't show. Making it even harder to book. A lot of the patients don't have their lives together, so no-shows are common. And recently, they started suspending students from the clinic for no-shows! So we're expected to control the uncontrollable, deal with (some) rude, lowlife patients, and still get everything done with everyone against us.

And if that weren't enough, you work with a different clinic instructor every session, which means the treatment plan gets changed every week and there's always someone who thinks you're an idiot even though you're just doing what you're told. Sometimes they're outright nasty too. I've had comments ranging from "There was nothing good about that appointment" to "I hope I didn't completely humiliate you in front of the patient but you were really awful" to "You should feel REALLY bad about your work today." I dread going to school. Most of my classmates have had the same kind of experiences and feel the same way.

Dental school has been the second worst experience of my life, next to the death of a family member. It has been slightly worse than being bullied extensively all throughout middle school, because middle school only lasted two years and I could still have a life outside of it. So to sum it up, it definitely hasn't met my expectations of a fun and exciting program, and has been mostly frustrating. I sure hope that being a dentist will be worth this hell.
 

Ostracized

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Yeah, this has been the least enjoyable time of my life. I do not find dental school interesting - the material is dull and there is a ****-ton of it. Most frustratingly, two-thirds of everything I've learned has no applicable use for me in the future.

The cycle seems to be: memorize, write test, forget it all, repeat. I don't think I could even tell you much about things I 'learned' last semester.
 
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wjdghks

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When I first started dental school, I was super excited. I was looking forward to working with real patients, creating things with my hands, and taking focussed courses that I thought were going to be 100% applicable to a real life career.

And then I got to school. The first lecture on Day 1 was given by a faculty member from another department, who clearly had better places to be. For two hours, she flashed powerpoint slides of connective tissue and whizzed through them at lightning speed. I thought it was going to get better, but then came the series of lectures on gene regulation of collagen synthesis, and other really detailed and mostly useless courses taught by resesarchers. I felt like I was in undergrad again, only I didn't have the option of choosing classes that were interesting, and the profs were way worse.

But what about the classes where I got to work with my hands? I've always been pretty good at stuff like that, but when I failed an exam because the dimensions of my prep were half a millimeter from ideal, I thought they had to be joking. And instead of showing us how to do things right, we were given powerpoint notes, then sent off on our own, where we spent the next two years being told everything we were doing wrong. It wasn't until fourth year that I actually saw a dentist cut a prep.

I was pretty pumped to get into the clinic. But again, it took about a week before my hopes were completely crushed. Chairs are impossible to book through legitimate means, and I was penalized by the system whenever my patients cancelled or didn't show. Making it even harder to book. A lot of the patients don't have their lives together, so no-shows are common. And recently, they started suspending students from the clinic for no-shows! So we're expected to control the uncontrollable, deal with (some) rude, lowlife patients, and still get everything done with everyone against us.

And if that weren't enough, you work with a different clinic instructor every session, which means the treatment plan gets changed every week and there's always someone who thinks you're an idiot even though you're just doing what you're told. Sometimes they're outright nasty too. I've had comments ranging from "There was nothing good about that appointment" to "I hope I didn't completely humiliate you in front of the patient but you were really awful" to "You should feel REALLY bad about your work today." I dread going to school. Most of my classmates have had the same kind of experiences and feel the same way.

Dental school has been the second worst experience of my life, next to the death of a family member. It has been slightly worse than being bullied extensively all throughout middle school, because middle school only lasted two years and I could still have a life outside of it. So to sum it up, it definitely hasn't met my expectations of a fun and exciting program, and has been mostly frustrating. I sure hope that being a dentist will be worth this hell.
God that sounds horrible. Which school in canada is this?
 

whoaaitzkyle

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When I first started dental school, I was super excited. I was looking forward to working with real patients, creating things with my hands, and taking focussed courses that I thought were going to be 100% applicable to a real life career.

And then I got to school. The first lecture on Day 1 was given by a faculty member from another department, who clearly had better places to be. For two hours, she flashed powerpoint slides of connective tissue and whizzed through them at lightning speed. I thought it was going to get better, but then came the series of lectures on gene regulation of collagen synthesis, and other really detailed and mostly useless courses taught by resesarchers. I felt like I was in undergrad again, only I didn't have the option of choosing classes that were interesting, and the profs were way worse.

But what about the classes where I got to work with my hands? I've always been pretty good at stuff like that, but when I failed an exam because the dimensions of my prep were half a millimeter from ideal, I thought they had to be joking. And instead of showing us how to do things right, we were given powerpoint notes, then sent off on our own, where we spent the next two years being told everything we were doing wrong. It wasn't until fourth year that I actually saw a dentist cut a prep.

I was pretty pumped to get into the clinic. But again, it took about a week before my hopes were completely crushed. Chairs are impossible to book through legitimate means, and I was penalized by the system whenever my patients cancelled or didn't show. Making it even harder to book. A lot of the patients don't have their lives together, so no-shows are common. And recently, they started suspending students from the clinic for no-shows! So we're expected to control the uncontrollable, deal with (some) rude, lowlife patients, and still get everything done with everyone against us.

And if that weren't enough, you work with a different clinic instructor every session, which means the treatment plan gets changed every week and there's always someone who thinks you're an idiot even though you're just doing what you're told. Sometimes they're outright nasty too. I've had comments ranging from "There was nothing good about that appointment" to "I hope I didn't completely humiliate you in front of the patient but you were really awful" to "You should feel REALLY bad about your work today." I dread going to school. Most of my classmates have had the same kind of experiences and feel the same way.

Dental school has been the second worst experience of my life, next to the death of a family member. It has been slightly worse than being bullied extensively all throughout middle school, because middle school only lasted two years and I could still have a life outside of it. So to sum it up, it definitely hasn't met my expectations of a fun and exciting program, and has been mostly frustrating. I sure hope that being a dentist will be worth this hell.
wow, I've already experienced half of your story...guess I just got a glimpse of the next 3 years...grreeeeaaaattt!:(
 

avboarder04

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Apr 6, 2010
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I am just starting my long journey to a dental professional and from all the information I have absorbed, it can be fun but also can be somewhat of a challenge. Be prepared for long nights and extra coffee as there is plenty of information that must be solid.
 

panino

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Mar 11, 2010
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When I first started dental school, I was super excited. I was looking forward to working with real patients, creating things with my hands, and taking focussed courses that I thought were going to be 100% applicable to a real life career.

And then I got to school. The first lecture on Day 1 was given by a faculty member from another department, who clearly had better places to be. For two hours, she flashed powerpoint slides of connective tissue and whizzed through them at lightning speed. I thought it was going to get better, but then came the series of lectures on gene regulation of collagen synthesis, and other really detailed and mostly useless courses taught by resesarchers. I felt like I was in undergrad again, only I didn't have the option of choosing classes that were interesting, and the profs were way worse.

But what about the classes where I got to work with my hands? I've always been pretty good at stuff like that, but when I failed an exam because the dimensions of my prep were half a millimeter from ideal, I thought they had to be joking. And instead of showing us how to do things right, we were given powerpoint notes, then sent off on our own, where we spent the next two years being told everything we were doing wrong. It wasn't until fourth year that I actually saw a dentist cut a prep.

I was pretty pumped to get into the clinic. But again, it took about a week before my hopes were completely crushed. Chairs are impossible to book through legitimate means, and I was penalized by the system whenever my patients cancelled or didn't show. Making it even harder to book. A lot of the patients don't have their lives together, so no-shows are common. And recently, they started suspending students from the clinic for no-shows! So we're expected to control the uncontrollable, deal with (some) rude, lowlife patients, and still get everything done with everyone against us.

And if that weren't enough, you work with a different clinic instructor every session, which means the treatment plan gets changed every week and there's always someone who thinks you're an idiot even though you're just doing what you're told. Sometimes they're outright nasty too. I've had comments ranging from "There was nothing good about that appointment" to "I hope I didn't completely humiliate you in front of the patient but you were really awful" to "You should feel REALLY bad about your work today." I dread going to school. Most of my classmates have had the same kind of experiences and feel the same way.

Dental school has been the second worst experience of my life, next to the death of a family member. It has been slightly worse than being bullied extensively all throughout middle school, because middle school only lasted two years and I could still have a life outside of it. So to sum it up, it definitely hasn't met my expectations of a fun and exciting program, and has been mostly frustrating. I sure hope that being a dentist will be worth this hell.
I can't begin to tell you how right this post is (well I'm about to head into clinic so who knows about that). Trust me, I've been through many many years of school, and so far, the last two have been the worst. I've never felt so alone (not referring to classmates because they are the only people who understand). I feel like there is so little intellectual stimulation that school is making me more dumb.

I keep telling myself that it would be better once I get into clinics.

(though I was under the impression that the people at your school tend to like it.)
 
Mar 22, 2010
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I do think my school is known to be one of the better ones around, despite my overall experience. In the end, I feel like I will be (hopefully) graduating with the skills I need to practice dentistry, and the curriculum prepared us to pass the national board exam. There are a lot of changes happening with the curriculum that sound fantastic, so hopefully students just coming in will have a better academic experience than I did!

Third and fourth year are definitely way better than the first two. You're actually doing dentistry in the clinic, and at my school we book our own schedules so there's a bit more freedom. You still spend 15-hour days doing lab work, but it's a bit easier to stay motivated because the final product is going to make a patient happy (in theory!!)

I didn't mean to discourage anyone who is thinking of applying, because dentistry is a great field. You just have to always keep in mind why you applied in the first place, and make sure your reasons are strong enough to carry you thorough the tough times in dental school. :)
 
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School sucks. It's the lifestyle after school that makes it all worth it.
 

dentalWorks

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god, this thread is depressing.
omg..is it really that bad?? :idea:
lmao, yeh it sounds like dental school isn't going to be all that great. Im not worried about being humiliated infront of people, I am afraid that my sarcastic self along with comments are going to make them hate me ever more.... Oh well, atleast they don't kick you out for being too sarcastic...or do they?
 

DrReo

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Learning pre clinic has its ups and downs. Taking oodles of alginate impressions is definitely frustrating. However, I'd take some of the most irritating days in lab over 4 hours of lecture in the morning and the 2-3 lectures in the afternoon.

Although irritating, makes you question dentistry, etc. learning the hands on parts of dentistry is better than lecture (almost) any day.
 

dentalWorks

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Learning pre clinic has its ups and downs. Taking oodles of alginate impressions is definitely frustrating. However, I'd take some of the most irritating days in lab over 4 hours of lecture in the morning and the 2-3 lectures in the afternoon.

Although irritating, makes you question dentistry, etc. learning the hands on parts of dentistry is better than lecture (almost) any day.
are you suggesting that the year 1 and 2 is more "irritating" than year 3 and 4?

I've actually heard the same thing from a few students / dentists in the past. That the first 2 years are somewhat awful, but the last 2 years are (still awful) but a little more enjoyable
 

Simply_Unique

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It's frustrating!! Some of it is fun but there have been many days were I wonder "wtf did I get myself into." You just have to remind yourself of your purpose of being there and the rewards you'll get in the end (that's what I do EVERYDAY).
 

vlct0ria

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Haha, I've tried to prep my boyfriend on how time-consuming and awful dental school will be for me and how he will not like me/see me very much. He tells me there is NO WAY it can be that bad...but really, I am already busy constantly with 15 credit hours, so 20 something should be even more fun. It may be easier to go in with the "its going to be AMAZING!" attitude, but at least I know I won't be let down when it turns out to be the most difficult thing ever ever ever.
 

playa2652

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It can be really frustrating at times, especially when you have deadlines, but it is extremely rewarding when you finally get that acrylic crown temp right, you get an amazing score on an amalgam carving, or you finally realize you are capable of more things than when you first started. If you compare your first wax-up you have ever done to your most recent one at the end of first and second quarter, you will see what I mean.
 

ziptree

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It can be really frustrating at times, especially when you have deadlines, but it is extremely rewarding when you finally get that acrylic crown temp right, you get an amazing score on an amalgam carving, or you finally realize you are capable of more things than when you first started. If you compare your first wax-up you have ever done to your most recent one at the end of first and second quarter, you will see what I mean.
And then you realize...your assistant will be doing your temporary crowns or you'll use a CAD/CAM system, no one wants amalgam anymore, and the lab can do a better waxup than you ever could. :p
 

divertete

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And then you realize...your assistant will be doing your temporary crowns or you'll use a CAD/CAM system, no one wants amalgam anymore, and the lab can do a better waxup than you ever could. :p
:thumbup: I couldn't have said it better. Although, one of my best days of dental school was the one when I realized that the things I hated most about dentistry (lab work, wax-ups, sterilizing, prophies, temporaries) were not things that dentists even do! So if you just suck it up for a few years, you get to cut out all that junk and just do the cool stuff.

By the way, I have taken some hands-on CE courses recently, and I still get a pit in my stomach thinking that someone is going to judge and grade my work. And then I remember that the real world isn't like that! I am responsible for judging myself, and that's just the way I like it.
 

yorkiepoo

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i loved operative first year. drilling away at those teeth was fun. sure it is stressful, you're learning! things never work out right the first time you do them. sometimes you have to do something 3-4 times until it's even close to right, not to mention another 10 times before it starts looking really good. it all takes practice. some class are better than others. i liked operative (drilling for composite/amalgam restorations) and fixed pros (drilling to make a crown prep). but there are aspects of all the lab class that drive you bonkers: having to make wax-rims for removable or having to find acceptable endo teeth. second year there were nights i was in the lab doing work until 11:30pm. sure it's stressful, but it still beats studying for an exam. first year is less stressful because you don't have that many classes with lab components. but then second year it gets stressful just because you have so many projects to do all at the same time, and still study for exams and go to classes. you also can wear headphone and listen to music while you do lab work. it turns the lab into your own private club ;) well kinda.... so to answer you directly, yes practicing dentistry is fun, a lot more fun than reading about it.
 

eapleitez

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Wow, I am saddened to read some of these posts :(

I'm a D4, graduating from UCLA in two months. My experience is that school is hard work, and many times I did become frustrated and I spent many weekends and nights working on lab projects, but overall I like my school and have been personally gratified with what I have learned and my skills. Maybe it's the great faculty? The school also take suggestions from us on they can improve things for us.

It's all a lot of work. But at UCLA, you generally are not put down or told how terrible of a student you are. Some faculty are worse than others, but overall the students are treated with respect. We have our own home cubes in clinic, so scheduling clinic time is not a major problem most of the time. The main problem is that getting clinical graduation requirements completed requires luck and is not totally in your control.

I look back on my 4 years here and while there were times when I felt soo overwhelmed with stress that I wanted to cry, my experience has been mostly positive, and I will have great memories of the people I worked with and my classmates.
 

bjhath

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It depends on your attitude and your school.

Apparently I am in the minority here, but I am thoroughly enjoying dental school. Sure days are long, frustrating, and exhausting, but, 10 months into it, I still drag my tired, sore, beat-up carcass out of bed every morning excited to go at it again. It may partially be because I realize, if it weren't for dentistry, I would still be sitting behind a desk, working at a job for which I dread waking up, working only for a paycheck, getting zero personal satisfaction out of my work. Dental school is heaven compared to a lifetime of that!

We get plenty of help from instructors and are treated like colleagues, which I think makes a huge difference in students' attitudes. We are given a lot of insight, and have a lot of discussions, about the pros/cons of various dental techniques, which helps stimulate critical thinking. I think this will give us the tools to make our own treatment planning decisions down the road. We get a lot of demonstrations from course instructors and a lot of help from row instructors. Sure, there are days when we get sent up chit creek with a terd for a paddle, but overall, I can't complain (much). And, when we enter the clinic in July, I think we will be well prepared.

With that said, there are no two ways about it: school sucks! I have been jumping through the hoops of academia for so long now (undergrad and grad school in engineering, followed by a pre-dental post-bac) that, after dental school, I never want to step foot inside an academic institution again! Unfortunately, dental school gives you more arbitrary hoops to jump through, just like in high school, and undergrad, and the d-school application process. That's life. Why anyone would expect dental school to be hoop free is beyond me. Alas, all of these hurdles must be cleared in order to pass boards, graduate, and get licensure. And I am pretty confident that life will continue to throw obstacles in your way for all of your years after dental school.

Dental school may suck for some, but if you don't enjoy learning dentistry, you may be in the field for the wrong reasons.
 
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DrReo

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It depends on your attitude and your school.

Apparently I am in the minority here, but I am thoroughly enjoying dental school. Sure days are long, frustrating, and exhausting, but, 10 months into it, I still drag my tired, sore, beat-up carcass out of bed every morning excited to go at it again. It may partially be because I realize, if it weren't for dentistry, I would still be sitting behind a desk, working at a job or which I dread waking up, working only for a paycheck, getting zero personal satisfaction out of my work. Dental school is heaven compared to a lifetime of that!
I really have to agree with you here. When the going gets tough, you always think about what you'd be doing. Well, with a chemistry degree- probably doing some entry level bench top research. I also consider how many people would kill to have my spot. It isn't as bad as they say. A lot is about what attitude you take about school and your friends.
 

AlcoHulk

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Dschool is fun as hell if you try to make it fun :)

It is guaranteed that you're going to hate some stuff. But like some of these other guys said, some people would kill to be here. Just enjoy it while it lasts, cause after dschool you might just miss the long, terrible nights in the lab.
 
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I am an applicant, but I can promise you guys, unless you have had a terrible job where your boss disrespect you, you are stuck in a chair most of the day, your colleagues are phonies, you have an hour commute, and you are totally expendable, you don't know what bad is. If you are worried about hating dental school, get a job in corporate america for a year, then go. Comparatively, it will be heaven on earth. Don't give up on dentistry guys.