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Pros and cons of dental field

Jul 8, 2020
9
4
26
  1. Pre-Dental
Hi guys,

I would really appreciate any advice you can give me because im just so overwhelmed right now. Im a junior in undergrad and ive been pre-pharmacy the whole time but now ive having second thoughts as there are many red flags in this field (job saturation, etc.) so i've been thinking about going into the dental field recently because ive just been watching a lot of procedure videos like fillings, etc. and i used to be so afraid of doing these things and also i didnt really like looking in people's mouths but after watching these videos and also following some dental students on insta i was very drawn to this field and i also like doing a lot of hand work.

also i would appreciate if you guys can just give me any advice because im really stuck and i don't want to end up going into a profession where theres a lot of saturation.

and i was wondering how many of you have any dental work experience? ive been working as a pharmacy technician for the past year now and i kind of wanna look into being a dental assistant but with covid that just seems impossible as of now.. do a lot of pre-dental students have this experience?

thank you and hope you're all having an amazing day/night!! :)
 

TheBookCookout

Full Member
Feb 5, 2020
84
114
66
  1. Dental Student
I'd get off the pharmacy bandwagon as soon as possible if I were you. I've heard nothing but bad things about the future of the profession, and it just doesn't seem worth it to me. I know, because that was a career I was looking into at some point. I'd imagine that most of the people you hear from on this forum will be a little bit biased (I mean, we're all pre-dental), but dentistry really is a great IMO. There are pros and cons to every profession, you just have to be realistic about what you want out of life, and what you don't mind putting up with. Google a breakdown of the upsides and downsides to dentistry if you want a realistic picture (many predentals have a tendency to romaticize the profession).
First step is to go get yourself in an office to shadow though. You'd be surprised at how many dentists are willing to extend that opportunity even now.
In regards to dental assisting, you could probably still find a job despite all that is going on. I'm looking to start that kind of work soon, and there are still a ton of recent job openings on sites like Indeed (at least in my area). Shadow first, scope out the field a bit, and then worry about employment.
 

NJ_Doc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2017
132
106
116
  1. Pre-Dental
I would recommend looking for jobs as a sterilization tech, front desk or assistant to get a feel for the profession since there is no license required. It is almost impossible to get a shadowing opportunity now unless you are friends with a dentist because that's the last thing they want right now. Also google and old forums are your friend since the pro vs con of dentistry is brought up weekly.
 
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I think it is wise for you to be looking into the Future ROI of your professional degree! And I would also agree that pharmacy is currently a sinking ship. Do not do it, unless you can get out of school debt free and don't mind making 60-80k.

I wanted to be a pharmacist throughout high school and well into my undergrad. I didn't become interested in dentistry till near the end of sophomore year. Now a D3, I can say making the switch to dentistry is the best choice I have ever made. Before you make the switch you really need to shadow/work in a dental office. You need to know what you are getting into.

In terms of the future of dentistry/jobmarket/saturation it looks pretty bright. Good projected job growth last time I checked and there arent a bunch of new dental schools popping up every where flooding the market with new grads.

I will tell you the biggest con is the price of schooling. It can be absolutely insane at some public and most private schools. A DDS degree is not worth 550k - 600k+, but there are a lot of schools that will try to tell you it is...

Just my two cents...
 
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Reactions: 2 users
Jul 21, 2004
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Hi guys,

I would really appreciate any advice you can give me because im just so overwhelmed right now. Im a junior in undergrad and ive been pre-pharmacy the whole time but now ive having second thoughts as there are many red flags in this field (job saturation, etc.) so i've been thinking about going into the dental field recently because ive just been watching a lot of procedure videos like fillings, etc. and i used to be so afraid of doing these things and also i didnt really like looking in people's mouths but after watching these videos and also following some dental students on insta i was very drawn to this field and i also like doing a lot of hand work.

also i would appreciate if you guys can just give me any advice because im really stuck and i don't want to end up going into a profession where theres a lot of saturation.

and i was wondering how many of you have any dental work experience? ive been working as a pharmacy technician for the past year now and i kind of wanna look into being a dental assistant but with covid that just seems impossible as of now.. do a lot of pre-dental students have this experience?

thank you and hope you're all having an amazing day/night!! :)

Over 10 years ago, pharmacy was already a sinking ship and I left that ship to go into dentistry. Unfortunately, dentistry is becoming more expensive and if you're not flexible enough to relocate/get your hands dirty, you are essentially an indentured servant to the cost of your school.

Pros:
- Money (if you're willing to go anywhere, do anything)
- Less hours/better hours (30-ish hours a week)
- Less schooling (only 4 years compared to medicine)
- More autonomy
- Less government controls if you don't participate in government programs

Cons:
- Cost of school
- Less respect than MDs
- More exposed to aerosols for those afraid of coronavirus
- Back/eye strain
- Earning potential lower in more saturated cities
- Difficult/hostile patients

Some of these pros are pros to some people and same thing with the cons. Most of these cons are not really cons, IMO.

If you want to do dentistry and make money with less hours, you have to be flexible in terms of location, be able to talk to patients, be willing to work quickly/efficiently/hard, and have some common sense in business. If you follow that simple formula, you can make 2-3k/hour with relative ease.
 
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TheBookCookout

Full Member
Feb 5, 2020
84
114
66
  1. Dental Student
Over 10 years ago, pharmacy was already a sinking ship and I left that ship to go into dentistry. Unfortunately, dentistry is becoming more expensive and if you're not flexible enough to relocate/get your hands dirty, you are essentially an indentured servant to the cost of your school.

Pros:
- Money (if you're willing to go anywhere, do anything)
- Less hours/better hours (30-ish hours a week)
- Less schooling (only 4 years compared to medicine)
- More autonomy
- Less government controls if you don't participate in government programs

Cons:
- Cost of school
- Less respect than MDs
- More exposed to aerosols for those afraid of coronavirus
- Back/eye strain
- Earning potential lower in more saturated cities
- Difficult/hostile patients

Some of these pros are pros to some people and same thing with the cons. Most of these cons are not really cons, IMO.

If you want to do dentistry and make money with less hours, you have to be flexible in terms of location, be able to talk to patients, be willing to work quickly/efficiently/hard, and have some common sense in business. If you follow that simple formula, you can make 2-3k/hour with relative ease.
Out of curiosity, what exactly do you mean when you say flexibility of location? Of course you can't set up practice in a heavily saturated city, but what are the areas that will be most lucrative to dentistry in the future of the profession? And how exactly does one figure out where that is?
 
Jul 21, 2004
1,424
2,202
326
Out of curiosity, what exactly do you mean when you say flexibility of location? Of course you can't set up practice in a heavily saturated city, but what are the areas that will be most lucrative to dentistry in the future of the profession? And how exactly does one figure out where that is?

You have to be willing to move anywhere to make money. If you are stuck in one location, your ability to strategize and make money is limited unless that one location is a gold mine. I may share my thoughts about where to find the most lucrative places in the future. Right now, my thoughts are incomplete.
 
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Aug 3, 2017
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North Scottsdale, Arizona
  1. Dentist
You have to be willing to move anywhere to make money. If you are stuck in one location, your ability to strategize and make money is limited unless that one location is a gold mine. I may share my thoughts about where to find the most lucrative places in the future. Right now, my thoughts are incomplete.


As always. Good advice. New patients are the lifeblood of a growing practice. Same goes for referrals for a specialty practice. No new patients. Practice fails. Practice in a saturated area .... well .... the new patient pie can only be divided in so many pieces.

As for OP. Dentistry > Pharmacy PERIOD. Even with saturation .... there are plenty of jobs everywhere. Dentistry offers the real chance for practice ownership, but like Tanman said .... you have to find the right location. The right location is where no one else wants to go. Less competition. If you decide to work as an associate/CORP in dentistry. That maybe fine if you're looking for PT or you are trying to raise a family, etc. etc. I've owned multiple practices for the last 27 years. I now work Corp for LESS STRESS and PT. It's fine for my situation, but I CANNOT IMAGINE WORKING CORP AS A LIFELONG JOB AS A NEW DENTIST otherwise known as working RETAIL.

So. Dentistry > Pharmacy. Graduate with reasonable debt. Private practice in the RIGHT location. Private practice in the right area will allow you to practice dentistry how you want to.
 
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rippedbx

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2014
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Temecula
  1. Dentist
ROI of dentistry isn't the greatest for most dentists. But if you're motivated to work hard and do a lot of treatment it can be an amazing. I know several people that own there own practice(s) that do very, very well. But MOST people probably make less than $200k.

Dentistry is much more stressful than pharmacy. I was very surprised how stressed I felt even as an associate when choosing to do difficult (and lucrative) procedures. I can't sleep the night before.
If you want to make a great living, you should be willing to relocate. Also, personality and interpersonal skills is probably directly correlated to a dentist's income where I would imagine it isn't as important for a pharmacist.
-my $.02
 
Jul 8, 2020
9
4
26
  1. Pre-Dental
ROI of dentistry isn't the greatest for most dentists. But if you're motivated to work hard and do a lot of treatment it can be an amazing. I know several people that own there own practice(s) that do very, very well. But MOST people probably make less than $200k.

Dentistry is much more stressful than pharmacy. I was very surprised how stressed I felt even as an associate when choosing to do difficult (and lucrative) procedures. I can't sleep the night before.
If you want to make a great living, you should be willing to relocate. Also, personality and interpersonal skills is probably directly correlated to a dentist's income where I would imagine it isn't as important for a pharmacist.
-my $.02

thank you for your response! i am curious, what procedures do you usually do on a daily basis as a dentist? i havent been able to shadow a dentist yet because covid ;(
 
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