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Thinkin Bout Dentistry-is It Right For Me?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by queenskillers, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. queenskillers

    queenskillers Member
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    I am very business minded. I am very outgoing and I love talking to people. It would be great to help people and hear those Thank U's. I have an interest in health sciences and learning about my own body. However, my main reasons for going into dentistry are because I would be making alot of money (my family does not hav much so i missed out big time and hope to be rich in the future to help them), my hours would be short (i value family life greatly) and because I would be my own boss (thus i get to use my business skills). Would my reasons be considered okay for going into dentistry? I also wanted to know, i have heard of stories where general prac's make more money than specialty doc's. is this true? i just want to finish school as fast as i can and start making money to help my family. i also value social life very much and spending time with my family, therefore, i wanted to know if i kept my dental school grades at the bare minimum and graduated, would i have alot of time to spend outside of school. how hard is it to keep at the bare minimum (approx hours of studying, im thinkin not much)? i also wanted to know what is known to be the most "easiest" school academically for dental school once ur in. thanks alot!!!!!!
     
  2. The Musketeer

    The Musketeer Guardian of Justice
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    I suggest that you should volunteer at several dental offices to get a feel of what are involved in being a GOOD dentist. To be a respectable dentist and to gain the trust of your patients, you HAVE to dedicate time in BOTH dental school and your office once you have graduated. You shouldn't have an impression that as long as you get into dental school you can fly through it without much work. To be good at what you do you need to learn the general techniques and skills that are presented in by the dental school, if not, what will be use of becoming a dentist. Dentist is much more than making money, it is about taking care of your patients and to do this, you need to devote much time and effort into it to make it work.

    In summary, please volunteer at several dental offices to see if dentistry IS for you.
     
  3. Comet208

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    The Musketeer is more than right.

    queenskillers, you are the best example of someone who would drop out of dental school or become one of those very unhappy dentists (if you make it out of dental school). Money, being your boss, and hours are not good reasons to motivate someone to go through the hell of application process, then into the school, and finally in the world of practice. Dentistry is about delivering quality care, patient education, and being a professional. Sorry to break it to you but not too many dentists get "thank you" at the end of the procedure. Why? because ther are still so many ignorants out there and your responsibiliy as a dentist would be to educate them rather than drill, fill, and bill.


    Comet
     
  4. queenskillers

    queenskillers Member
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    i dont care if i get any thank u's, its okay. however please answer one question if u can....how come every pre-dent that i know who went into dentistry for the money and the limited work hours were happy and successful after finishing d-school and going on with their careers...thanks for the feedback though
     
  5. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    Would my reasons be considered okay for going into dentistry?

    Your reasons are exactly that: YOURs; no one can "tell" you if those are good reasons. And even if they do, it doesn't matter as long as you're content.

    I also wanted to know, i have heard of stories where general prac's make more money than specialty doc's. is this true?

    Many of the dentists over at Dental Town said that they have Physician friends that make the same money as they do, but they work twice the amount of hours. Your location, abillity to market yourself, chair-side manners, and other things influence your success.

    how hard is it to keep at the bare minimum (approx hours of studying, im thinkin not much)?

    Well the bare minimum of credits per semester, at my school at least, is 12. Canadian schools are a little higher, I think. Once you're doing a full load, don't worry. Just keep your GPA as high as possible, and have balance in your life.

    i also wanted to know what is known to be the most "easiest" school academically for dental school once ur in.

    Easiest, according to incoming average stats, I would say (in any order):

    - University of the Pacific School of Dentistry
    - Howard University College of Dentistry
    - Boston University, Goldman School of Dental Medicine
    - University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine
    - New York University College of Dentistry
    - University of Puerto Rico, School of Dentistry (but you need to speak Spanish, and be a native to really have a chance)
    - Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry
     
  6. UBTom

    UBTom Class '04 official geezer
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    Let me add the caveats:

    - UOP: It is an intense 3-year program. They don't have a regular 4-year program like other dental schools.

    - Howard: They prefer ethnic minorities, predominantly African American. Those of other ethnicities may find it hard to get in there.

    - Puerto Rico: They take 5 candidates from the U.S. every year. VERY difficult to get in if you are not Puerto Rican.

    - Meharry: Same caveat as Howard.

    Don't let their "lower" stats fool you. They are looking for particular kinds of candidates.


    Also, to the OP: Money and lifestyle don't mean squat if you will be miserable doing something you have no interest in. What you want is a career choice that gives you a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day, not a sense of entrapment. You don't have to *love* dentistry, but make sure you will at least *like* what dentistry involves before taking the plunge.
     
  7. Jack Worthing

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    Definitely talk to/observe some dentists in your area - why not your own dentist? - to learn more (some schools require/highly recommend it, also). Visit a nearby dental school/hospital to talk to current students/residents (or browse dental schools' websites- very helpful). They can give you an accurate gauge of how "hard" dental school is, how social life fits into the equation, what's fun and exciting about dental school, how their application process was, etc. I've heard that the amount that dental students go out can vary a lot. Still, I think you'd be surprised about the studying part. Go to http://www.apdentistry.com. .... or try http://www.nyu.edu/dental/ (click on "student viewbook" in the side-bar) ... http://student.sdm.buffalo.edu/ ... http://www.hsc.stonybrook.edu/dental/index.cfm

    One dentist in my neighborhood was very helpful and gave me a rundown of things to consider. Off the top of my head:
    -dentistry is very rewarding and worth the hard work in dental school
    -financial success can depend a lot on where you practice (is there a lot of business in the area?)
    -choosing a specialty or choosing to stay general can depend a lot on your temperament (children vs. adults vs. gums vs. braces, etc.); an open mind is best in the beginning
    -general dentistry offers a varied workday and more than enough remuneration if your business sense is good and you're a good dentist (my cousin is a general dentist and made enough $ in his first 6 years to renovate his parents' home and buy three cars for his brother and parents).
     
  8. HBomb

    HBomb Senior Member
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    Yikes!!! Where to start...

    Are your reasons okay for going into dentistry? Well, you listed money, hours, and being your own boss. While, to me, your reasons are okay to go into dentistry, I would also say that those three reasons alone are not enough. Your reasons can apply to many, many professions. So the question is why choose dentistry? Personally, I think it's something you need to think about more.

    It's not enough to say you like talking to people. That applies to practically ALL types of work. It's not enough to say you like business. Same reason. You like health care. Now that's a start in the right direction in favor of dentistry. You want to make a lot of money. Well, it depends on what you think is a lot. It's suffice to say that once established, you can live comfortably. But you make it sound like your life will instantly become easy or money will flow in readily once you become a dentist. I really don't think that's the case. It's hard work in dental school, and it's not the easiest thing in the world to be a new dentist. An established dentist, okay, probably lives the lifestyle you speak of, but how far is that down the line? 4 years of dental school + say 5 years before being established? It's not as easy a road as you may believe it to be (but perhaps not as hard as I make it).

    Finally, you scare me when you ask for the bare minimum hours for studying and the easiest academic dental school.
     
  9. Bickle

    Bickle future NYC taxi driver
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    Ditto to what HBomb said. You want to make money. Who doesnt? You want to be your own boss. Who doesnt? You dont want to work long hours. Who doesnt? :D

    I think you need to look at other aspects of densitry. Mainly, do you enjoy working with people, people who may or may not appreciate what service your provide? Do you like working with your hands? More importantly, are you competent with your hands?

    Do you enjoy constantly learning? In dentistry, you will need to take additional continuing education courses to keep up with the evolution of the field. I bring this up because I noticed you seem to be keen on just getting by (ie keeping at the bare minimum and wanting to know the easiest schools to get into).

    The one thing that will really help you is research. Research the profession, and shawdow your dentist. You should get a really good idea of the pros and cons of dentistry by seeing what a day, or even a week in the life of a dentist is really like.
     
  10. queenskillers

    queenskillers Member
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    thanks alot for ur posts...im gonna definately shadow a dentist before i declare my major...thanks for ur advice....when i said i want to pass by with the bare minimum, i was just trying to figure out if i will have a good amount of time to spend with my family thats all...but i guess that depends on me and how i manage it all....thanks for the help
     
  11. gatorfan99

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    If you want to make quick, instant money when you graduate then get a degree in accounting or business! Engineering is a good choice also, but you never know where outsourcing is going to lead.

    Consider dentistry only if you truly like the profession. If money is a reason why you are going to D-school, remember that its VERY LIKELY that you will NEVER make enough money to satisfy your greed..
     
  12. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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  13. LibertyB

    LibertyB BusyBee
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    Dentistry is going to be my second career. My advise to everyone in this world is to do what makes you happy, not what makes good money or what you think you should do.

    Don't waste tons of money and your valuable time with dentistry unless you are absolutely sure!

    I quit my established career (only four years into it but I was doing very well) to become a chairside assistant. It was the best thing I ever did!!! My income was cut into 1/3, but I learned sooooo much and proved to myself that dentistry is exactly what I want to be doing for the rest of my life!!! I am more excited about it after the assisting than I was before!!!

    It is great that you are considering dentistry, but take it from me, money doesn't buy happiness!!

    best wishes on your decision,
    LibertyB ;)
     
  14. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    Nice insight Liberty! :cool:

    One thing though: I don't agree that you have to be ABSOLUTELY sure that you want to be a dentist. Sure, it is the most attractive option, but I am sure many people embark on careers with some doubt, and do fine. I think having some doubt is natural, and why not? This is a HUGE decision: the rest of your life! :luck:
     
  15. Balki

    Balki The Perfect Stranger
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    I must agree with many things mentioned in this specific quote and others. Shadowing will not only help you understand if this is for you or not, BUT also
    motivate you for the next 4 years. However beware, of bad expereinces. I was fortunate enough to work with a great dentist: passionate (after 35 years!!!), patient and talented. So it was incredibly motivating for me. However, I heard many people turn away(or become more hesitant) from the profession after encountering a bad practitioner.
    I also think seeking a financially rewarding profession is not a bad thing at all. But you must know that patients KNOW a MILE away if you are there only to take their money. Also i think you need to decided just how much money would be enough for you, how much are you willing to work, what to do etc. Be honest with yourself. When you shadow, ask yourself is this something you could do for the rest of your life, from a day to day? Also consider that it is by no means easy to get into a dental school and become a good dentist
    These are just some of the thoughts that I had. At any rate I wish you luck and happiness.
     
  16. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    Balk,

    Just because you are a financially rewarded professional, doesn't necessarily mean you are out to take patients' money. :p
     
  17. Balki

    Balki The Perfect Stranger
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    That's not what I meant. Perhaps I ought to rephrase the statement. What I was reffering to is that patients often notice how the doctor is "pushing" certain unnecessary procedures to maky money. And are often very hesitant to trust a doctor (especially a new doc). That's it. But no I don't think every financially rewarding profession is there to take patients money.
     
  18. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    gotcha ;)
     
  19. busupshot83

    busupshot83 S.D.N. Vet
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    I agree HB. :luck:

    Then again, according to a survey taken by the ADEA in 2000, of graduating dental students, 88% stated their primary reason for becoming a dentist was the ability "to control their time of work in relation to family and personal interests. Factors of self-employment and service to others were equally ranked as the second most important factor by 82.5% of the seniors."

    For the full article:

    http://www.adea.org/DEPR/Assocreptjune01.pdf
     

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