• Please review the updated member agreement. Included is a new statement supporting the scientific method and evidence-based medicine. Claims or statements about disease processes should reference widely accepted scientific resources. Theoretical medical speculation is encouraged as part of the overall scientific process. However, unscientific statements that promote unfounded ideological positions or agendas may be removed.
May 9, 2020
3
14
Status
Dentist
I would also like to add, its easy to fall into the thinking of 'okay is it possible to pay off 6-700k of debt while being a dentist and also handling basic financial needs and dealing with some financial emergencies along the way?' But remember to imagine where you will be in life when you do project to have that accomplished. Because that moment is great but bitter sweet in that you finally paid off your student loan but once the dust settles you realize you are out of debt but have 0 dollars. So ensure that your plan accounts for paying off the 700k and then leaves room to create an additional 1-3 million before you hang up the handpiece. Im not being a naysayer here but just wanted to cast light on the idea that the goal cant be making and paying off 700k and then you're finished.
Also while in school i was under the hypnosis that specializing is much better and prestigious and you shouldn't even dare question how much more it would cost or you were 'looking at it all wrong'. Ortho being the biggest hardest specialty to get into, but paying another 150-200k and allowing the 600-700k to continue to spawn little interest babies only to come out now all ready to 'make bank' and finding out that 45 percent of the easy bread and butter cases are now just using smile direct, and general dentists are doing an increasing number of cases through invisalign and you move into a town and still have to compete with the well known ortho for the remaining cases. Ill tell you im making more than my classmates who became orthodontists and I started with less than half the debt. Erase all pre programmed notions and beliefs about this profession and specializing and really just look at the numbers like a nieve child who isn't under any persuasion and question the plan through that lens. Not saying its a bad profession, but insisting there is a cross over point where financially it doesn't make sense anymore.
 

2TH MVR

Orthodontist
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2017
1,379
2,737
North Scottsdale, Arizona
Status
Dentist
I don't think young people have a realistic view on HOW HARD IT IS TO SAVE MONEY. I'm nearing 60 yrs old.. Trust me. It is hard to save money. Unexpected life events (multiple recessions, covid19, health issue, death, loss of job, taking care of your ailing mother, etc. etc.) along with expected events (kids college, marriages, need a larger house, remodel existing house, pools, cars, retirement,etc. etc. ) will disrupt the best laid out plans for your future debt service. I've made alot of money in my life, but have spent just as much on life events. I've also made some bad investments. But I graduated with less than 100K for everything. I cannot imagine having the OP add 6-700K to this debt hole. A dream is one thing, but a growing family is the reality.
 

P7898

2+ Year Member
May 14, 2017
688
483
I would also like to add, its easy to fall into the thinking of 'okay is it possible to pay off 6-700k of debt while being a dentist and also handling basic financial needs and dealing with some financial emergencies along the way?' But remember to imagine where you will be in life when you do project to have that accomplished. Because that moment is great but bitter sweet in that you finally paid off your student loan but once the dust settles you realize you are out of debt but have 0 dollars. So ensure that your plan accounts for paying off the 700k and then leaves room to create an additional 1-3 million before you hang up the handpiece. Im not being a naysayer here but just wanted to cast light on the idea that the goal cant be making and paying off 700k and then you're finished.
Also while in school i was under the hypnosis that specializing is much better and prestigious and you shouldn't even dare question how much more it would cost or you were 'looking at it all wrong'. Ortho being the biggest hardest specialty to get into, but paying another 150-200k and allowing the 600-700k to continue to spawn little interest babies only to come out now all ready to 'make bank' and finding out that 45 percent of the easy bread and butter cases are now just using smile direct, and general dentists are doing an increasing number of cases through invisalign and you move into a town and still have to compete with the well known ortho for the remaining cases. Ill tell you im making more than my classmates who became orthodontists and I started with less than half the debt. Erase all pre programmed notions and beliefs about this profession and specializing and really just look at the numbers like a nieve child who isn't under any persuasion and question the plan through that lens. Not saying its a bad profession, but insisting there is a cross over point where financially it doesn't make sense anymore.
This is why I advocate to not put yourself into position. I do not care if it was the only school you got into. I wouldn't buy a $500k car when I could just wait for the $200k car next year.
 
About the Ads
Mar 12, 2019
161
178
I think a lot of people think "once I make 200k I'm rich"
So they are willing to get in a ****load of debt to get there.
I think the reality is just a salary doesnt ake you rich. 200k after tax only gets you so far, then you have a mortgage etc. Life is expensive.
Yes, earning 200k over a career you will be very well off. But using up half of your career just to get out of debt doesnt put you in that category, you're probably closer to someone earning 100k over their career
 
  • Like
Reactions: drcobad

Hamtaur

7+ Year Member
May 29, 2012
16
7
Status
Pre-Dental
I like many of the posts here and agree with quite a few points, so I will add something that may not have gotten enough attention:

Do YOU REALLY want to become a dentist? Seriously.

There are so many people who walk around their entire lives with some kind of chip on their shoulder because they did not pursuit what they truly desired. If you're someone who can walk away from dentistry and find another path to fufillment in life, that should be the way to go. As many pointed out, dentistry for the sake of finances, prestige, whatever else, isn't worth it for alot of people anymore. It's so much debt and the pay isn't as good anymore.

If less stress, quality of family life, stability, are all a higher priorities, you can have all those things with AND without dentistry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: drcobad

P7898

2+ Year Member
May 14, 2017
688
483
I like many of the posts here and agree with quite a few points, so I will add something that may not have gotten enough attention:

Do YOU REALLY want to become a dentist? Seriously.

There are so many people who walk around their entire lives with some kind of chip on their shoulder because they did not pursuit what they truly desired. If you're someone who can walk away from dentistry and find another path to fufillment in life, that should be the way to go. As many pointed out, dentistry for the sake of finances, prestige, whatever else, isn't worth it for alot of people anymore. It's so much debt and the pay isn't as good anymore.

If less stress, quality of family life, stability, are all a higher priorities, you can have all those things with AND without dentistry.
The truth right here ^. I myself cannot imagine doing anything else because I have done other things. Sometimes it takes that too.
 

princesspeach2

5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2015
121
131
Status
Pre-Veterinary
OP, what have you decided? I am in a situation that has some similarities. I am 31 and wanting to go to vet school. Also wanting to have a baby at some point. I am currently in an RN program and will graduate May of next year. I am wanting to apply to vet school this cycle and have a decent shot at getting accepted (I already took all prerequisites during 2016-2018). My fiancé is not on board with me going to vet school. He is wanting me to work after I finish my current program for us to be able to buy a house and take some of the financial burden off of him. He is not happy with the idea of me not having a real income for the last 3 years while in school and then going another 4 years with no income and racking up debt. He is also not in agreement of having kids that late. I am not in complete disagreement with this as I understand where he is coming from, but I also don’t know if the longing of wanting to be a veterinarian will ever go away. Vet school won’t cost nearly as much as what you’ve proposed dental school will cost you, but on the flip side jobs are not readily available and pay is not great I’d say average would be $70,000 a year for a new grad vet (some people make less and some more I guess it just depends) and it will still cost me roughly around $100,000 to attend vet school.
Not to derail this thread (I know nothing about dentistry) but I was lurking in this thread and saw your comment. I would recommend posting your own thread in the pre-vet forum, as you'll get more answers and help there.

By "decent shot at getting accepted" do you also mean that you have the average 500+ hours of veterinary experience (shadowing, volunteering, or employment?) in various settings? (Ie large/food animal, small animal, lab, wildlife, shelter, etc.) The prereqs vary by vet school, so you might be missing some depending on what courses you took. RN programs usually have different classes then the tradition pre-vet prereqs (2 semesters gen bio, 2 semesters inorganic chem, 2 semesters organic chem, 1 semester bio chem, 1-2 semesters physics with lab, and often upper level stats, microbiology, cell bio, genetics. etc.)

This is a handy chart https://www.aavmc.org/data/files/vmcas/prereqchart.pdf

I will say, I will be a similar age when I finish my bachelors, am essentially married, and have gone back and forth on vet school myself. The return on investment is not the best in veterinary medicine as you are aware. By cost roughly around $100,000 to attend school, is that just tuition and books, or are you also including cost of living loans to help with housing, food, etc? Are you looking at just 1 school, or several schools? If just 1 school because it is your state you and you don't want to move, that will severely limit your chances of getting into a DVM program (depending on your state school as well I would think).

What are you wanting to do as a veterinarian? Why are you wanting to be a veterinarian over RN? What experiences have you had that have made you convinced this is the path for you? Would volunteering with animals in your free time fill the need to work with animals? A lot of vet techs end up becoming RN's after getting burned out over low pay for the hard work they do. Most vets say if you could be happy in human medicine, do that instead!

Not too mention, just based off of my own interactions with my family around nurses and vets, people generally seem to really appreciate their nurses (and like them), while a lot of people focus on the cost of the veterinary services. One clinic in town has only 1 doctor and very few staff, and charges less than other practices. Upon discovery of this clinic, all I hear from family is how OUTRAGEOUS and MONEY HUNGRY that the other larger vet practice is for charging $10 more, "those greedy aholes." When I worked at a clinic, clients would call the vets out daily for how expensive they felt the bill was. For nurse interactions on the other hand, I hear about how great their nurse was and how much they loved them. n=1, but still. Unless you choose to work in a lab/shelter or similar non-client focused medicine, $$$ will be a huge factor for everything (and even there, money still will be a huge factor in decisions you make. You just won't get yelled at or blasted on Yelp as much since animals are valued less than people and the limited insurance options work differently than human medical insurance- they have to pay up front, and then submit a claim to be reimbursed x days later)

Are you already in debt from becoming an RN? What is about being an RN that you don't like to the point where you would want to go through 4 more years of rigorous schooling for a profession that has an awfully high suicide rate, debt to income ratio, and patients who try (and sometimes succeed) to bite and scratch? Why did you choose RN over MD/DO (since RN is more like an RVT, not a DVM)? If it is the nursing model that you don't like, what about PA (faster, higher paying, they might even have RN to PA bridge programs)

The fact that your hubby is not on board and that you also want kids complicates things of course since you are on the "older" side compared to the 22 year old pre-vets. I am unsure if I want kids, and my hubby is 100% NO for the time being, so that isn't a huge concern of ours. I'm assuming you have had timeline talks, when were you both wanting to start a family?

While I don't agree fully that people should base their careers off of what their spouse says (since the future is uncertain), I do feel that spouses should be considered when making career decisions that will drastically affect your lives since you are a team. I think you need to sit down with him and figure out what are your most important priorities. Is it buying a house and having a baby in the next 1-3 years? That will be pretty much impossible if you go to vet school. It sounds like he has been the one supporting you both while you worked on your RN, and if that is how it will be while you are in vet school, then you both definitely need to be on the same page.

Perhaps a compromise could be continue with your RN schooling, graduate and work full-time and pay back any loans, build a savings, buy a house-pretty much what your plan was before. Have a kid, keep saving money, and then if you still feel like vet med is your calling (and you can afford it, and your husband is on board), then ideally you would have some money in savings that you could use for vet school tuition or your portion of living expenses at least so it isn't as much of a financial burden.

I really would try to remember what the reasons were that you wanted to pursue an RN in the first place, and see if those still hold true. You might decide that having a baby is more important to you then vet med, or perhaps after having a baby you might decide that you no longer have an interest in vet med.

Also, love your username! :)

For me personally, my SO is on board with whatever grad route I want (although he did just say no to NYU dental school after hearing how stupidly high the tuition is :p ), although he would prefer to stay in our state, or move to only a couple other states due to family and his business that he owns. He has been the primary earner for us for nearly 7 years, and it was a huge burden on him as the years have gone on. He was locked in a job that he hated for a year because I only earned minimum wage and could not support us on it even working full-time.

I apologize OP for derailing your thread. Is moving to a cheaper state a possibility? That level of debt is mindblowing, and I shocked people would even apply there knowing how much debt they'd be in. I do think it is sorta crappy that your husband is telling you that you can't become a dentist, while wanting to further his own education. If it is truly your dream to be a dentist, then moving to somewhere cheaper (with an in-state, cheaper dental school, and taking the risk to put all your eggs in one basket, and working on your app for another year) might be a compromise. I know someone mentioned the loss of 1 year income, but it seems that the stress of that debt would far outweigh any benefit of 1 more year of income. At the same time though, if your main goal is to be a mom and stay home with the kiddos, perhaps hygiene might be a better route if you are equally interested.
 

toothmagic

2+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2017
36
14
Status
Pre-Dental
I think you shouldn't make decisions base on your husband, or on his debt. If dentistry is what you really want to do, then do it. No b/c of debt, or because other people, you'll be miserable seeing him be successful when you are just his wife & housewive. Maybe he should think it's about time you do your life. ALL if you really want it, if you iffy about dentistry don't get in there. Trust me, it'll eat you alive. If it's your calling and your passion never ever stop for nothing.
 

Big Time Hoosier

Man. Myth. Legend.
5+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2015
1,571
4,210
Murica
Status
Dentist
you'll be miserable seeing him be successful when you are just his wife & housewive.
Just a housewife?! A wise man once said, “No worldly success can compensate for failure in the home.” I do what I do outside of the home so that my wife can do what she does inside of the home. Unfortunately I am not independently wealthy, so I can’t be a househusband with my housewife of a wife and just focus all of my energy on raising my awesome kids.

Big Hoss
 

nounours_l0l

2+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2015
62
24
Status
Dental Student
Just a housewife?! A wise man once said, “No worldly success can compensate for failure in the home.” I do what I do outside of the home so that my wife can do what she does inside of the home. Unfortunately I am not independently wealthy, so I can’t be a househusband with my housewife of a wife and just focus all of my energy on raising my awesome kids.

Big Hoss
as a woman myself i know how hard it is to raise children yet, i want a career on my own as well. i would consider myself ''just a housewife'' because i want fulfillment both at home and at work and that's part of my personality and it might be for OP. nobody is saying it's bad to be just one or the other (we could say someone is ''just a dentist'' if they don't have kid in a way). I doubt she would be satisfy staying home if she was planning on dental school; not that she wouldn't work just as hard but it's definitely not the same.
 

Cold Front

Supreme Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
2,615
2,225
Ohio
Status
Dentist
if your main goal is to be a mom and stay home with the kiddos, perhaps hygiene might be a better route if you are equally interested.
Wouldn’t this be considered quitting on the OP’s dream career/or goal as an individual - with all things being equal? She worked very hard to be a dentist, and choosing dental hygiene path will only lead to an very depressing and emotional regret at some point later in life. It will be a powerful psychological mind block for her, that she has what it takes to be doctor but passed on the opportunity because of societal norms muddied the water for her. If being a mother and staying home was really a “main goal”, the OP would not be as conflicted. However, deep down she made the personal decision, but I sense that she is also curious on how the world would see her if she chooses not to be a stay home mother.

I personally think this topic would have been a non-starter 20 years ago. More women are delaying marriage, kids, and the idea of staying home mother. In fact, the opposite is true, and the current and future trends are pointing towards - more educated women > more career oriented priorities, goals and attitudes toward life > the pressure of staying home in a rear ending style life will slowly wither away and die in future generations.
 
Last edited:

Big Time Hoosier

Man. Myth. Legend.
5+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2015
1,571
4,210
Murica
Status
Dentist
I’ll never understand why people think they’ll find the highest personal fulfillment through a career. A career is by and large a means to an end.

On your deathbed, are you really going to be wishing you could hit your quarterly sales goals just one more time? Or wishing you had one more diploma hanging on the wall? Or in the OP’s case, wishing you had delivered just one more crown or scaled one more quad? If so, you lead one sad life.

Big Hoss
 
Apr 16, 2020
27
18
Status
Medical Student
Geee......I have a friend who is in dental school and told me about how much loans are for you all, but I honestly did not expect it to be this much! I just looked at NYU dental tuition online, and that seems insane (and on top of that you have cost of living in NYC).

I'm a medical student, so I would not be able to give the OP as good advice (and just looking at the date of the OP, she has probably already decided....so this is a moot point), but from my humble perspective I think you have to view it as an investment and decide if it is an investment you want to make. Also, are you comfortable with that much debt?

If it is something that you have dreamed of for all of your life, and really see yourself practicing dentistry for the rest of your, then it could very well be worth the investment. If you see dentistry as something more part-time and raising a family is just as important as working (which is completely understandable), then you may want to re-think or maybe even compromise. I'm guessing that being a dental hygienist isn't nearly as expensive or long of training and I've always heard they make very comfortable salaries, so maybe that's a compromise to still be in the dental field without all the debt and stress? That's something only the OP can decide.

I'm a MS3 medical student, in-state, and based on frugal living and a decent amount of savings, I should be graduating with just a hair over $200K. I am debt averse, so I honestly wouldn't be comfortable with any debt over $300K and certainly not in the $500-700K range that the OP is looking at. I personally wouldn't be able to pull the trigger in the OP's situation, but again, we all have different goals. If the OP views it as an investment over the course of her life that she is willing to take on for her dreams, then I'm sure she can find a way to make it happen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: princesspeach2
Mar 12, 2019
161
178
Wouldn’t this be considered quitting on the OP’s dream career/or goal as an individual - with all things being equal? She worked very hard to be a dentist, and choosing dental hygiene path will only lead to an very depressing and emotional regret at some point later in life. It will be a powerful psychological mind block for her, that she has what it takes to be doctor but passed on the opportunity because of societal norms muddied the water for her. If being a mother and staying home was really a “main goal”, the OP would not be as conflicted. However, deep down she made the personal decision, but I sense that she is also curious on how the world would see her if she chooses not to be a stay home mother.

I personally think this topic would have been a non-starter 20 years ago. More women are delaying marriage, kids, and the idea of staying home mother. In fact, the opposite is true, and the current and future trends are pointing towards - more educated women > more career oriented priorities, goals and attitudes toward life > the pressure of staying home in a rear ending style life will slowly wither away and die in future generations.
This has nothing to do "societal norms". It has nothing to do with gender.
This is someone who is looking at a ridiculous amount of debt that isnt worthwhile financially.
If it was a male in the same position who wanted to work part time after grad I'm sure everyone would give the same advice.
600k debt for dental school is just a bad life decision, all the other facts about the individual are irrelevant.
Some people just need to face the hard truth that if you cant get into a reasonably price dental school you shouldn't be a dentist (unless your parents are loaded and paying)
 
  • Like
Reactions: endodonia

princesspeach2

5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2015
121
131
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Wouldn’t this be considered quitting on the OP’s dream career/or goal as an individual - with all things being equal? She worked very hard to be a dentist, and choosing dental hygiene path will only lead to an very depressing and emotional regret at some point later in life. It will be a powerful psychological mind block for her, that she has what it takes to be doctor but passed on the opportunity because of societal norms muddied the water for her. If being a mother and staying home was really a “main goal”, the OP would not be as conflicted. However, deep down she made the personal decision, but I sense that she is also curious on how the world would see her if she chooses not to be a stay home mother.

I personally think this topic would have been a non-starter 20 years ago. More women are delaying marriage, kids, and the idea of staying home mother. In fact, the opposite is true, and the current and future trends are pointing towards - more educated women > more career oriented priorities, goals and attitudes toward life > the pressure of staying home in a rear ending style life will slowly wither away and die in future generations.
I would agree with you. That is why I said if she was equally interested in it. If she feels that being a dentist is her calling or the only path she feels she would truly be happy with, then all by means she should do that, I agree that doing hygiene would be a depressing and regretful path if that is the case.

I also agree that there are a lot of societal norms and pressure for women to have to give up careers to have a family, or be seen as a "bad mom" (or at least in my family/friend circle).

As a women approaching 30, I spend a lot of time thinking about goals and priorities. I also have seen women in my family who had large career goals, decide that they no longer cared about reaching that goal anymore, and genuinely want to be a stay-at-home mom. On the other hand, I have seen other women struggle with infertility as they pursued their career first and regret it, which is the lense that I was approaching this post from when I referred to a "main goal." Especially since she was saying how she planned to work PT, paying off her debt while making PT pay compared to FT pay sounds like it would be quite difficult. Clearly family is important to her, and having a lot of debt and having kids does not work the best from my understanding.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Cold Front

princesspeach2

5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2015
121
131
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Geee......I have a friend who is in dental school and told me about how much loans are for you all, but I honestly did not expect it to be this much! I just looked at NYU dental tuition online, and that seems insane (and on top of that you have cost of living in NYC).

I'm a medical student, so I would not be able to give the OP as good advice (and just looking at the date of the OP, she has probably already decided....so this is a moot point), but from my humble perspective I think you have to view it as an investment and decide if it is an investment you want to make. Also, are you comfortable with that much debt?

If it is something that you have dreamed of for all of your life, and really see yourself practicing dentistry for the rest of your, then it could very well be worth the investment. If you see dentistry as something more part-time and raising a family is just as important as working (which is completely understandable), then you may want to re-think or maybe even compromise. I'm guessing that being a dental hygienist isn't nearly as expensive or long of training and I've always heard they make very comfortable salaries, so maybe that's a compromise to still be in the dental field without all the debt and stress? That's something only the OP can decide.

I'm a MS3 medical student, in-state, and based on frugal living and a decent amount of savings, I should be graduating with just a hair over $200K. I am debt averse, so I honestly wouldn't be comfortable with any debt over $300K and certainly not in the $500-700K range that the OP is looking at. I personally wouldn't be able to pull the trigger in the OP's situation, but again, we all have different goals. If the OP views it as an investment over the course of her life that she is willing to take on for her dreams, then I'm sure she can find a way to make it happen.
This is exactly what I was trying to say! Agree with you entirely.
 

Cold Front

Supreme Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2005
2,615
2,225
Ohio
Status
Dentist
I’ll never understand why people think they’ll find the highest personal fulfillment through a career. A career is by and large a means to an end.

Big Hoss
That’s very true. A good friend once told me, “everything is about money”.

A well planned and timely invested career comes with a bright roadmap to the future, and gives a person many options in life - mainly financial. A career is usually a 3-4 decades long for a dentist, and that is usually (to most dentists) a purposeful and financially rewarding life. I have never met a retired dentist who said otherwise. There is also a legacy aspect, in how impactful a person wants to be in their community, the people they worked with and society in general - and dentistry checks all those boxes. Many decades ago, a person’s family and kids were more of your legacy than their career. Today, at minimum, both are equal.

Kids are raised to aim a very purposeful life through a high caliber career, by going to college and beyond. So by default, we are programmed that the journey and destination to a desired career is as important (if not more important) than having a family or any other personal goals. Ask enough people under 30, which of the 2 matters most to them, and they will by far say a “career”. Why? Money! I know, it’s not what most people expect at you and I’s age group, but it’s the realities of today’s perspective of how a person views themself within a society and the external economics.

So it’s a function of society to work hard in life and pursue a career that comes with a certain level of personal fulfillment but also financially rewarding - whether it’s truly fulfilling or not, that’s very
relative and can only be answered largely in retrospect, through a rear view mirror later in life.
 

dentistrydmd

5+ Year Member
May 17, 2014
90
28
Each year she reapplies is $150-160k potential income loss. It’s like spending a $1 to save a quarter.

Even if she reapplies, the competition to cheaper schools gets tougher the next cycle. The cheaper schools also get more expensive the next cycle. There is always the chance and risk of not getting into any school as well - nothing is absolutely guaranteed at each cycle.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
No this is not accurate. If she comes out with 500-600k loan due to an expensive school she will be paying 70k each year post tax just to pay down some of the principal. Remember it is not only the extra debt she will take on but the accumulated interest on that extra debt and when you have a larger debt that interest in much larger every year and it is much harder to cut costs to make a dent in the principal of the loan. She is much better off applying for cheap schools 250-300k loans and then she'll be able to manage the debt and pay it down in a shorter period of time.

Most of my colleagues with 500-600k debts+ from schools like NYU have given up on trying to pay it down and are hoping to pay the minimum payment instead and have the loan forgiven (hopefully) 25 years later (when that debt balloons to 1.5 million. Not a great financial move in my opinion due to the risks...
 
  • Like
Reactions: FitDMD
About the Ads