tayloreve

5+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2010
822
20
Louisiana
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Dental Student
Shadowed for an entire semester at a dental office. I loved it.

But then again, I think medical school gives you more options.. I've always wanted to be some kind of surgeon....and I just can't decide!!! Has anyone had the same problem as me? I don't know what to do :(

Medical...dental....dental...medical...
Bleh.
 
Jun 6, 2010
80
1
Status
Pre-Dental
Shadowed for an entire semester at a dental office. I loved it.

But then again, I think medical school gives you more options.. I've always wanted to be some kind of surgeon....and I just can't decide!!! Has anyone had the same problem as me? I don't know what to do :(

Medical...dental....dental...medical...
Bleh.
for me, I've always wanted to be a dentist. so no help on the medical vs. dental predicament, but a few thoughts come to mind.

1. dentists are surgeons.

2. dentistry does not have limited options, in any sense. you can specialize, open private practice, join a practice, go into public health, develop public policy, join the military, etc. especially in private practice, the sky is the limit on what you decide to do.

try shadowing a few more dentists, general dentists and specialists, to get a broader view of the dental field. one way a doctor told me to approach it is to put yourself in the doctor's shoes as you're shadowing and try to envision yourself doing what they do. if you can see yourself enjoying it more than any other profession, then you've got your answer.

there are many different types of practices out there [high end, volume, insurance driven, new, "old-school", etc.] and all of them have a different feel. knowledge is power and the more of the dental field you see, the better decision you can make.

good luck.
 
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AmpedUp

The Legend Still Lives
7+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2009
657
6
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Dentist
I know it sounds unnatural, but hey it's part of your experience...shadow some MD's and see if that's something you like. I made it part of my journey as well and found myself here after seeing all the options - but that's because my preferences may be different than yours. Try to find a comfort zone (or else you may regret it).

Good luck!
 
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GOLF

7+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2009
179
3
Status
Dental Student
Shadowed for an entire semester at a dental office. I loved it.

But then again, I think medical school gives you more options.. I've always wanted to be some kind of surgeon....and I just can't decide!!! Has anyone had the same problem as me? I don't know what to do :(

Medical...dental....dental...medical...
Bleh.
i feel ya - im really considering applying to med school bc i don't know if dentistry would keep me interested... i already applied this cycle to dent schools - i'd have to get new recs, take the MCAT, and write another personal statement but it doesn't seem like too much work if it allows me to be happy with my career...
 
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FutureDent020

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2009
1,600
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Resident [Any Field], Dentist
Shadowed for an entire semester at a dental office. I loved it.

But then again, I think medical school gives you more options.. I've always wanted to be some kind of surgeon....and I just can't decide!!! Has anyone had the same problem as me? I don't know what to do :(

Medical...dental....dental...medical...
Bleh.
Put more though into this.

1) Medical school does give you more options
2) You want to be a surgeon- dentist perform forms of oral surgery every day
 

armorshell

One Man Freak Show
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2006
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1. dentists are surgeons.
Errrr, not really. Just performing procedures a surgeon does not make. I think the deifning characteristic of a surgeon is that you wouldn't feel greasy if you introduced yourself to someone you've met as "a surgeon."

Being a dentist doesn't meet that diagnostic.
 
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mooredge

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
May 16, 2005
98
3
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Dentist
Well oral surgeons are most definitely surgeons. 4 years dental school plus 4-6 years residency; 6 yr gives you a DDS MD degree. However, if you know you want to do surgery you might as well go the MD route since it is about the same amount of school and you will have more options for other types of surgery. Periodontist would be the next closest thing dentistry has to a surgeon, but thats a stretch.
 

Azide047

2+ Year Member
Jun 13, 2016
131
137
Status
Dental Student
i feel ya - im really considering applying to med school bc i don't know if dentistry would keep me interested... i already applied this cycle to dent schools - i'd have to get new recs, take the MCAT, and write another personal statement but it doesn't seem like too much work if it allows me to be happy with my career...
How you felt back in 09 is how I feel right now. Exactly how I feel. Tell me, what did you decide and are you honestly happy with your decision?
 

Azide047

2+ Year Member
Jun 13, 2016
131
137
Status
Dental Student
Errrr, not really. Just performing procedures a surgeon does not make. I think the deifning characteristic of a surgeon is that you wouldn't feel greasy if you introduced yourself to someone you've met as "a surgeon."

Being a dentist doesn't meet that diagnostic.
Are you a MD/DMD oral and maxillofacial surgeon? Or did you go to dental and medical both schools, 4 years each?
 

bsfree

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2011
141
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Pre-Pharmacy
Be a doctor if you want to be the real doctor.
 
Dec 12, 2013
472
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Pre-Dental, Other Health Professions Student
You might like the options med school gives you but you have to be absolutely ready to commit to a residency. 4-5 more years on top of the med school portion.
 

Panis et Circenses

2+ Year Member
Sep 29, 2015
603
713
For what it's worth, you may want to consider debt. Dental schools are far more expensive than medical schools, you can expect an average range of $250,000-$400,000 of debt for Dental school. The starting salaries for dentists are $120k-$150k. Then, to start or acquire a dental practice could cost around $500k for a dentist. People say dentists have a better lifestyle, but I'm beginning to wonder if that's true. I don't see how the debt is condusive to a good lifestyle.

On the other side, the medical field has longer hours, less autonomy, and a mandatory residency involved. At least as a medical resident, you get paid. To do a dental residency you have to pay. There are nuisances in the medical field such as corporate becoming the norm, paperwork, Medicaid/Medicare etc.

However, the plus sides of being a dentist (autonomy, name your own price, etc) are in threat due to corporate takeover and dental insurance now. Because the entry costs of being a dentist are so high, if you don't have money in your family, or any dentist who is close to retiring in your family, it will be a tough go the first number of years of you being a dentist.

Edit- I just realized this is an old thread that was resurrected. Oh well information still stands.
 
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DMDDDSHopeful

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
2+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2016
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How has your academic career been? Mostly A's? High GPA?
 

shwayne

Science.
2+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2016
299
340
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Pre-Dental
As everyone has stated, dentistry is a surgery; you become a surgeon in 4 years. However, consider pursuing a general surgery residency after medical school, this will add another 5 years to your education.

So compare 4 years of dentistry to a minimum 9 years of medicine, contingent on you being competitive enough for a residency of that caliber.
 

DMDDDSHopeful

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
2+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2016
1,193
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As everyone has stated, dentistry is a surgery; you become a surgeon in 4 years. However, consider pursuing a general surgery residency after medical school, this will add another 5 years to your education.

So compare 4 years of dentistry to a minimum 9 years of medicine, contingent on you being competitive enough for a residency of that caliber.
I have many friends who have gone to medical school. The hardest part is getting in. They have told me how hard working the dental students were and how they were there day to night. Dental school is more difficult but you don't HAVE to do residency. It's a very hands on job. You have labs that you can't miss meanwhile most medical students skip class and study at home or attend class on webcam. A lot of my friends binge watched Netflix during rotations and in residency. It's not as bad as people make it sound. BUT, it depends if you're gung-ho on those big specialties. If you're okay with going into a field of medicine that pays above $200k but not super competitive like Derm or Radio, then you'll find yourself with other great options and a lax time in rotations and residency.
 
Sep 2, 2016
29
23
Status
Dental Student
Shadowed for an entire semester at a dental office. I loved it.

But then again, I think medical school gives you more options.. I've always wanted to be some kind of surgeon....and I just can't decide!!! Has anyone had the same problem as me? I don't know what to do :(

Medical...dental....dental...medical...
Bleh.

OMFS Sounds like a great solution. If you have what it takes to be a Surgeon (as in MD) then you will also have what it takes to be an Oral Surgeon. Neither road is easy but you will have tons of options as an Oral Surgeon, especially if you do a Plastic Surgery Fellowship
 
Aug 31, 2016
23
24
Status
Dentist
OMFS Sounds like a great solution. If you have what it takes to be a Surgeon (as in MD) then you will also have what it takes to be an Oral Surgeon. Neither road is easy but you will have tons of options as an Oral Surgeon, especially if you do a Plastic Surgery Fellowship
Not true. 90% of OS exists for extraction of 3rd molars. The rest for TMJ, trauma and all related BS that no one will care or pay. And honestly, OS can do PS fellowship but do you really want a dentist to do a boob job for you / your wife? Looool puh-lease, if you have time to do PS fellowship, why don't you just visit GP offices asking for referrals?
 

frozenicecreamDMD

2+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2016
341
277
Status
Dental Student
Not true. 90% of OS exists for extraction of 3rd molars. The rest for TMJ, trauma and all related BS that no one will care or pay. And honestly, OS can do PS fellowship but do you really want a dentist to do a boob job for you / your wife? Looool puh-lease, if you have time to do PS fellowship, why don't you just visit GP offices asking for referrals?
this guy/gal has a huge sense of humor. i start to like you already :)

i mean it
 
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nonociceptors

7+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2012
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Not true. 90% of OS exists for extraction of 3rd molars. The rest for TMJ, trauma and all related BS that no one will care or pay. And honestly, OS can do PS fellowship but do you really want a dentist to do a boob job for you / your wife? Looool puh-lease, if you have time to do PS fellowship, why don't you just visit GP offices asking for referrals?
Yeah plastic surgery is only ever used for boob jobs. I can't think of any possible operations involving the face that would be performed. I wanted to give a **** about your opinion but you're a clown dude.