Pediatric Dental Residencies- More Competitive?

Discussion in 'Dental Residents and Practicing Dentists' started by jal77, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. jal77

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    Hi Everyone!
    It seems as if the Pediatric Dental Specialty is becoming more and more competitive these past couple yrs. Applicant pool has increased significantly as well as the strength of applicant.
    What do you think the reason is??
    Are pediatric dentists' salaries higher than previous years??
    -To further answer that question, how does the avg salary of a pediatric dentist compare to other dental specialties?
    Significant need for the specialty across the nation?
    Thank everyone and look forward to what everyone has to say!
     
  2. ItsGavinC

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    There's a huge need for pediatric dentists. Many suburban areas are saturated, but that isn't always the case. Some are completely booked (40-60 patients a day) for 3-4 months out.

    There will never be enough dentists to properly treat special needs children, or to take uncooperative children to the OR/IV sedation.

    Pediatric incomes are high, the ADA says they average around $314k/year for all independent practitioners. I think our services will always be in demand.

    I can only offer the following anecdotal evidence: I had 6 job interviews a couple of weeks ago. This comes in a time when a couple of my general dentist friends have had to close the doors on their practices and simply walk away (leaving the equipment inside!) because they can't make payments. I received excellent offers at all 6 of my interviews and the choice is mine as to which practice I want to join. In today's economy that is a sobering thought and I'm blessed to be in this profession.
     
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  3. Huggies

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    I can totally agree w/ the shortage of ped dentists. My region of about 200K people, has only one pediatric dentist.
     
    #3 Huggies, Jan 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  4. dentalman

    dentalman Senior Member
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    Gavin, it depends where in the country you are. I know of a handful of pediatric dentists who can't find an associate position in my area. And a few that are starting up, and its been a few years and still not very busy yet. Of course, if you drive 2 hours from the main city, you can be busy very quickly. It all depends on where you are willing to move to.
     
  5. janalex

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    Hi...I am trying to just make the best option in my future career and was curious about dental residencies.....What are dental residencies like? Are they like medical residencies in which you work 80+ hours a week? Can anyone in a dental residency provide a basic breakdown about how your residency is structured. Thanks for your help!
     
  6. Guy Smiley

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    Looking at your previous posts, it seems like you are planning on med school. But I'll answer the question; with the exception of OMFS, all the dental specialties work significantly less a week than MD residencies with many having 40-50 hours/week at work. OMFS often works as much or more than some of the more rigorous medical residencies i.e. some places do 100+ hours a week easily.
     
  7. janalex

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    Thanks....Im just inquiring and wanted to be 100 % sure Im making the best decision for my age, career, life....etc.. I don't want to end up like some of these people on these forums that become a doctor and regret the whole thing...thats all :) Many of my friends in med school have just said that if they could do it all over again...they wouldn't have chose medicine and would've done dentistry instead. I can understand their reason. Several doctors have told me the same thing so of course one must careful and explore all options since for me, it would be impossible financially to turn back...
     
  8. wodie79

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    janalezx-

    from the looks of your posts, you are tryin to make a pretty well-educated decision. However, it looks like you dont realize that you dont even have to do a residency in dentistry to be a fully licensed dentist. This might help you make your decision as well.
     
  9. janalex

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    What a wonderful profession! I wasn't aware of the many types of dental specialists-I didn't know you could do so much with teeth ... :)
     
  10. charlestweed

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    It is a wonderful profession. Like you, I didn’t know anything about dental specialties before I started dental school.
     
  11. my1molar

    my1molar Member
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    Do you think I have a shot for pedo spot??? Graduated 2008, Rank 15%, part 1:89, part 2:86. Currently working for a practice treating predominantly kids.

    I'm looking for hospital based programs in NY, which pay stipends! AM I competitive enough????

    Thanks for response,
     
  12. ItsGavinC

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    I don't think it depends on where in the country you are. Pediatric dentists are in need and in high demand in every area of the country (northeast, south, midwest, etc.). That doesn't mean you'll be successful if you choose to plant yourself between two other pediatric dentists serving a 10 mile radius.
     
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  13. Firm

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    Pedo is definitely the way to go. You get patients so fast when opening a brand new office. Patients will find you. I'm an orthodontist that opened an office with the plan to build it out for pedo, and either rent it out or hire a pediatric dentist. The demand for pedo was overwhelming at my office, and I did NO advertising for it, except the street sign. I had to ramp up my efforts to find a pediatric dentist (which is another story for another day). The pedo guy will probably take in more money this year than I will.
     
  14. atlanta478

    atlanta478 "Open wide"
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    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. :shifty:
     
  15. janalex

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    Hey Charlestweed Im from Southern Cali so is the market good for general dentists ? ....Literally from my house there is about 4-5 dentists per BLOCK! It seems that way from LA to the OC..... There aren't that many pediatric dentists though.....can any pediatric dentist describe a typical day? I worked in the peds unit a lot .... any insite would be great :) As far as how many patients you have...the type of cases you do.... working with the staff? Is it as stressful or less stressful than working with adults?
     
  16. charlestweed

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    It is pretty tough for general dentists who practice in southern CA. I am doing a little bit better as an orthodontist.

    Pedodontists will always do well because many general dentists don't like treating crying kids. Gavin is right. There are not enough dentists to properly treat special need children….according to the recent report, 1 in 166 children have Autism.
     
  17. gryffindor

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    Where did kids go before so many pediatric dentists started graduating? I'm surprised more GPs don't see kids. I know kids cry and scream and it takes a special kind of patience to treat them, but just like every other specialty, you don't have to be a specialist to be able to treat kids. To turn away such a huge population base and sit around hoping only veneer cases walk in the door seems senseless to me.
     
  18. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
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    What kind of patience do you speak of? I grew up around a daycare and have always enjoyed being around kids; and I've volunteered in a peds devision- it seems really rewarding to be a pedo.
     
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  19. alphaDDS

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    In my opinion some dental specialties will dissolve/merge in the future, and it's also my opinion that general dentists should be more autonomous than they currently are. Then again, I'm just a first year, what do I know?
     
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  20. AGAPE4U

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    It seems the opposite to me, it seems that we are moving towards more specialized care due to new procedures and advancements in dentistry.
     
  21. capisce?

    capisce? ssc machine
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    Pediatric dentistry will always be around. There are some awesome GPs treating children but by and large the second they start to wimper it's off to the pedo office. Really that is a good thing. My most challenging patients are those where the previous dentist pushed their way through and the child had a hard time. If I can get them before that tough visit things are a breeze. After the fact it's a big more difficult.
     
  22. gryffindor

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    I mean that you can't talk to a 5 year old the same way you talk to adults. Some dentists just don't want to talk about Sponge Bob or Mr. Slurpy Straw to get 5 year olds through the appointment, so they'd rather just pass on these patients. It is rewarding to work on kids, if you have the personality to deal with them on their level. If you enjoy being around kids, you might be more inclined to treat them in your practice whether you pursue pedo full time or just treat some kids in your GP practice.
     
  23. Guy Smiley

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    I will say in that I would much rather work on a well behaved child than a well behaved adult, because the good kids are always better behaved than most good adults.
     
  24. runrabbitrun

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    Maybe I'm wrong, so Gavin and Capisce please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that most (like maybe 2/3) pedo residents are female. Does this make a competitive male applicant MORE competitive/attractive? I think it takes a special person to do pedo and I'm pretty sure I'm not one of em, but one of my buddies is pretty set on it.

    Also, since pedo is in such need (and also very lucrative) are pedo residencies expanding class sizes or new pedo residencies opening?
     
  25. ItsGavinC

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    There have been several (4 I think?) new programs open in the past couple of years, including the one I'm at right now. I don't know how many more will open. Those on the public health train always seem to think that graduating more providers will help the access to care "issue," which isn't the case. Graduating more providers simply means there will be 400 dentists in Southern California instead of 300 (you get my point).

    I don't think applicants are viewed as being more or less competitive based on whether they are male or female. I also think, that if we are being honest, it probably takes 2 or 3 female pediatric dentists to equate to one male pediatric dentists, over the course of a career, when comparing hours worked. It is my impression that the female colleagues will eventually taper their work hours down to 1 or 2 days a week, or they may never work full time and simply begin 1 or 2 days a week out of residency. I'm sure there are some stats to back this up somewhere, but I don't have any. My point is that graduating 400 pediatric dentists each year, over half of which are female, doesn't equate to 400 new full-time providers entering the market each year.

    In any event, male, female, whatever, I don't think it relates to being a good applicant *or* a good pediatric dentist.
     
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  26. KinKs

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    Very interesting stuff. It must be said however, that working with kids, particularly those with special needs is not a task for everyone. Financial security should be the last concern when contemplating this specialty.
     
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  27. Case2010

    Case2010 New Member
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    No crap, You couldn't pay me enough to consider a specialty just because of the money. Also, I would not consider Pedo if it made less than a GP. This is because of the huge amount of dept I am in. I would not sacrifice my families future for my career. I got through undergrad with no debt and am looking at 320,000 just for dental school. I kind of feel stupid for puting myself in this position. But I do love pedo and am glad that for the most part one can make enough to live and pay off loans as a pedodontist. I will apply this year so we'll see what happens.
     
  28. ItsGavinC

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    You don't make sense. You'd rather forgo something you ENJOY (pedo) and do something else (general dentistry) simply for the income? Isn't that considering something just because of the money?
     
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  29. Case2010

    Case2010 New Member
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    Well, it made sense in my head. I am just glad in general one can pay their loans and support a family as a pedodontist. I guess I am just expressing my priorities, family first, and then career. One great thing about dentistry is the family life seems great compared to other careers I was considering. To clear up my last post, I just can't handle the thought of doing something I hate for the money and doing something I love that will bankrupt me. I've seen both happen to others and it doesn't look fun. I feel lucky that what I love can support my family. At least that is my hope.
     
  30. DrBadVibes3

    DrBadVibes3 I'm back!!!!!
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    This is NOT true in Southern California....being a successful new pediatric dental graduate around here is not as rosey as Gavin is making it out to be
     
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  31. Case2010

    Case2010 New Member
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    I think the point is that dentists want to practice in nice areas, not inner cities.
     
  32. Cold Front

    Cold Front Supreme Member
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    I would say the competition is taking place at the top 50% pedo programs, bottom 50% pedo programs are still fairly easy to get in. As application pool goes up, more programs are added every year or so.

    So in theory, if you really didn't have any preference of where you go, and how much stipend you get, or type of curriculum the program has - pedo should be easy to get (by focusing on least competitive programs). I wouldn't recommend this, however.

    This was this discussed in another thread.
     
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  33. ItsGavinC

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    I still think a new pediatric dentist can do fine in southern california, but they should be prepared to NOT live anywhere near the coast--they've got to move inland--and maybe quite a ways inland.
     
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  34. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
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    Where do you have your eyes set Gavin?
     
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  35. ItsGavinC

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    I've joined a practice in the Phoenix area, which was my goal from the beginning.
     
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  36. youngmc27

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    Gavin congrats. :thumbup: I hope to match pedo in 2011.
     
  37. sergiuperju

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