1. The SDN iPhone App is back and free through November! Get it today and please post a review on the App Store!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, be sure to check out How To Get Into Dental School, our free downloadable PDF with step-by-step details for dental school applicants!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

The cons of being a dentist

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by DAT_MAN, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. DAT_MAN

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I am shadowing my dentist the other day and I strike up a conversation with his beautiful daughter. She tells me she could never work in someone's mouth. I tell her dentistry isn't for everyone. She goes on to tell me her dad is always complaining about his neck hurting. I really like dentistry because I get to work with my hands and use all kinds of instruments. But if my neck is going to kill me, I don't know if it's worth it. My only other option would be to go to med school and hopefully match into gen surg. Even then, I don't know if it would be any better. What do you guys think?

    I asked my dentist the other day if it bothered him to work in peoples' mouths, and he became very defensive. I quickly reassured him I was not trying to talk down on his profession, I just wanted to know if he had any regrets. He goes on to tell me that I would be surprised how the elderly people have nice gum tissue and teeth. Then he says, "I guess you would think otherwise unless you were a dentist and worked with patients."
    Do you think he was just trying to defend his profession or do most of the elderly have some pretty disgusting mouths?
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Havel

    Havel Newb
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    I've been shadowing for awhile now too, and I've seen some nasty stuff. So if you don't think you can take it you should probly go into something else. As for the neck thing I'm sure that dosen't happen to everyone ya know?
     
  4. Sbosu

    Sbosu Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Non-Student
    One thing I dont think a lot of people realize is how physically taxing dentistry (or general surgery) can actually be on your body. You are usually hunched over and in very uncomfortable positions for long periods of time which Im sure cannot be good for you neck or back.
     
  5. blasterx

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    0
    :thumbup:
     
  6. ltd3972

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Dental Student
    I talked to the dentist I shadow about this very thing several months ago. He emphasized the importance of upper body strength training, good posture and above all, good disability insurance.
     
  7. Lidopaine82

    Lidopaine82 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Dentist
    You really shouldn't be hunched at all.
     
  8. Drill2Fill

    Drill2Fill DentalStudentWannabe
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,097
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Completely agree, I heard this from my dentist.
     
  9. IcemanDDS

    IcemanDDS Dr of Dental Shadowing
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    This is true. You should be able to position the chair and your chair to where there is no hunching going on. My dentist (uncle) sits completely upright MOST of the time with back straight. Poor posture in dentistry I'm sure can be taxing on the body. Just have to take precautions and do it right.
     
  10. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show
    Physician Dentist Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,172
    Likes Received:
    222
    Status:
    Non-Student
    I think exercising regularly can do a lot for this. I've only started really trying to work out again lately, and doing a good amount of back work has already started to improve my posture.
     
  11. dentaldentist

    dentaldentist Junior Member
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Dental Student
    My dental school, and I assume most others, emphasize proper posture and ergonomics in dentistry for this very reason. If you learn to do things correctly in dental school, you can really minimize neck and back issues in your future practice. Most dentists that do develop neck and back issues do so because they are not using the proper positioning and are hunched over their patients. Also, using loupes helps to minimize the degree of "hunching" you do on any given day helping your posture and further helping to prevent back or neck injury.
     
  12. skyisblue

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Messages:
    430
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    this is one of the reasons why i've been making it a priority to workout a lot at the gym..
     
  13. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,869
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Dentist
    I have spoken with 4 dentists and one oral surgeon about their career. 3 dentists and 1 oral surgeon were VERY enthusiastic about dentistry as a whole. The 4th dentist said he would have rather become a baseball player, that he recently needed hip surgery and therapy for his back and he said "don't you ever think that when everyone is in dental school together, they will be willing to help the others in their class out. The competition never ends. It is cutthroat and many would rather sacrafice their morals than lose their spot in a specialty program." Hmmmm.
     
  14. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    Messages:
    11,750
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status:
    Dentist
    LOL. Did he play ball in college? Was he scouted by pro teams? Hell, I'd rather play in the NBA, but that isn't going to happen.

    The grass is always greener on the other side, but dentistry is a great profession that will allow you to earn a good living and have free time to spend on the things you love. As far as professions go, there are probably 800+ worse ones out there, in my mind. I'm honored to be doing what I'm doing.
     
  15. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2001
    Messages:
    11,750
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status:
    Dentist
    LOL. Did he play ball in college? Was he scouted by pro teams? Hell, I'd rather play in the NBA, but that isn't going to happen.

    The grass is always greener on the other side, but dentistry is a great profession that will allow you to earn a good living and have free time to spend on the things you love. As far as professions go, there are probably 800+ worse ones out there, in my mind. I'm honored to be doing what I'm doing.
     
  16. pre-dentalguy

    pre-dentalguy Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    I think that your tact may have been a little off while striking up a conversation up with him. Try a different approach next time. And secondly, try not to do that with your shadowing doc.

    Marion
     
  17. Fuji

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    3
    If you think the mouth is "disgusting", don't go into general surgery. Try psychiatry or pharmacy.
     
  18. Nasem

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Anything related to treating patients is going to involve what some people call "disgusting work"

    You think being a general surgeon is any better? Have you seen on TV what happens when you cut a person open? yeh... its REALLY graphic, and sometimes blood squirts UPWARDS and in all directions, trust me its not better than dental surgeries.

    Honestly, medicine is a GREAT carrier but you HAVE to have the heart for it, not many people can withstand the sight of blood and cutting people open, I am lucky that I never had this problem. When I was in 7th and 8th grade in middle school, every time we had a "lab day" in science EVERYONE wanted to be partners with me cause I got to do all the "cool" dissection stuff that nobody wanted to do (them frogs looked SEXY !!!)
     
  19. SugarNaCl

    SugarNaCl Dental Student
    Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,869
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Dentist
    Ditto for me with the lab thing in HS. I met my best friend over a fetal pig she refused to dissect.
     
  20. Nasem

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Yes its the prefect line for picking up chicks and making them want you

    "hey baby, check out what I do to those frogs and pigs"
     
  21. 1992Corolla

    1992Corolla CheerioKing
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,081
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    loupes and of course an oversized mirror
     
  22. browneyes4

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah i think they really make it a point to teach you good ergonomics at dental school and ditto on what everyone else said, loupes etc. etc. I've talked to one dentist who told me how she'd come home at night from school and would just be totally exhausted but i think it's something your body just has to get used to doing... like pilates or yoga or something, hahha.

    The other thing is about the elderly's teeth... my dentist does a ton of work on elderly patients. I've observed a lot, and to be honest it is grody, but you can imagine I mean a lot of ppl don't take that good care of their teeth and after 80 years it can't be pretty. ON the other hand, I don't think it's totally unbearable. When you're working in there remember what you're trying to do for the patient, how you're helping things be more functional/comfy for them and i think you'll be able to stomach it.
     
  23. Dr.Jamie

    Dr.Jamie New Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    When was cleaning teeth it did get stressful on the neck. I was sitting in the wrong way though. You find a comfortable spot, and make it work for you. Its still better than being on your feet all day, lifting heavy objects....

    and as far as the elderly are concerned, a lot of them have no teeth but do have pretty nice gums. But, if you are even considering the "grossness" of the profession, you'll be surprised at how "gross" some people's mouths get. It can get bad. Overall, I still think dentistry is a fantastic career. You take the good with the bad.
     
  24. dentalwannabee

    dentalwannabee busy bee
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Dental Student
    what are the cons of being being a dentist?

    none! :) :) :)
     
  25. BioABC

    BioABC Fibula Jaw
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
     
  26. McSexyDDS

    McSexyDDS 2009 Applicant
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    perspective of dental hygienist:

    dude, young people have gross teeth!!!! cute girl comes in, dressed cute, designer bag, perfect makeup, athletic body...um what the **** is that on your front teeth...um yeah looked like some kind of black seeds from something, mixed with cheetos (puffs not crunchy)
    hot guy...gosh love pulling that meat out between #2 & #3 along with the lettuce, i could make a sandwich by the time i was done with that appointment

    and the chipping off of the calculus on the lower anteriors of the hott guy/girl, never gets old.

    i always try to be VERY VERY patient with my elderly patients, just pretend its my mom in the chair, just think, every single one of us is going to have our teeth when we're old, we don't need some young wipper snapper not wanting to touch us....

    and i don't like dirty mouths so i'm going to be an MD??...um ok, bloody gums beat bloody body missing bloody limbs any day for me.
    don't change your mind on dentistry because of that...well change your mind if your applying in 2008 to texas schools, but other than that you should have a better reason:laugh:

    posture posture posture....put your patient where you need them, they'll be uncomfortable(if at all) for 30 minutes...you have an 8 hour day ahead of you and about $100,000 in student loans to pay off.:D
     

Share This Page