What brought you to Dentistry, Career Satisfaction or obsession with teeth??!?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by LuckyDogInc, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. LuckyDogInc

    LuckyDogInc Junior Member

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    Greetings everyone,

    I'm LuckyDog and I'd like to take a sort of informal poll of sorts with the members of SDN. I had a very candid conversation with my fiance the other night as she questioned me about my reasons for wanting to attend dental school as she has been with me throughout my journey of figuring out what I want to do with my life as she knows me and my nature very well.

    Let me back-track and give you a quick background, just graduated in April of this year with my B.S. in Pre-Medicine and Finance, and am currently working as an Orthopaedic Consultant for Orthopaedic Surgeons within my territory. I actually go in on surgeries with them (total joint replacements, trauma where hardware is implanted, etc.) and am used as a guide during surgeries to help promote positive outcomes...Don't get me wrong, it's a very cool job being in the O.R. every day but it has it's drawbacks. I am a very analytical person, and have analyzed every professional route out there from Chiropractic school (bro. is one), Naturopathic Medical School, Medical School (hence the reason for my current job in seeing if I wanted to go to medical school to be a surgeon) and currently dentistry.

    BY FAR AND LARGE, I have outweighed the pros and cons of all of these professions and have come to the conclusion that Dentistry offers me the best of all worlds and is going to continue to be a thriving profession.

    So when she asked me why I want to be a dentist I told her the following: (In no particular order)

    1) I will end up being a Doctor. (Dream ever since kid)
    2) Profession where I help people on a daily basis (very self gratifying)
    3) Opportunity to work with many people as I'm very social/outgoing
    4) opportunity to do mission work and even work with the school systems within my community where I want to practice
    5) Opportunity to teach others whether it be at my local college, etc.
    6)Chance to run my own business (Very business oriented, and want to be my own boss)
    7) Great lifestyle after building practice and great Quality of Life (Family is very important to me)
    8) Great income potential
    9) No competition from other professions such as there is for D.C.'s, M.D.'s, D.O.'s, etc.
    10) Little to no Gov't interference and pricing issues as there has been in traditional medicine the past 10 years
    11) Love working with my hands and don't mind working in people's mouthes all day (I currently work in an O.R. and get blood splattered on me and watch people's bones be cut off, rodded, etc. every single day)

    Basically I could go on and on forever about why I think this would be a great profession for me.

    And then she questions me and says "I think you want to be in this profession b/c of what it has to offer and not necesssarily because you want to work in people's mouthes all day with teeth, I don't think it interests you b/c you've never before shown a great interest in it"

    And in that point she does have me as it has been a minimal thought in my mind up until recently but my quesstion to everyone here is:
    Did you have the same thought process as I have in wanting to come into dentistry? Or did you just love teeth growing up? lol I believe in my heart that I will love this profession and the whole working with teeth is a "medium" of sorts of what this career is to offer and that I will come to love working with them in time (I can't say yet that I do as I'm still an applicant to dental school)

    So, I'm ready to hear your opinions, and thanks in advance!

    Sincerely,

    LuckyDog
     
  2. TiggerJSA

    TiggerJSA Examing the colon stinks
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    For the reasons you stated above, I believe dentistry is EXACTLY what you are looking for. "Looking in people's mouths" truly belittles what you will actually be doing. When I work in a patient's mouth, I hardly see it as that. It's more like focusing on a project with a clear (or maybe not so clear :D ) goal in mind, always remembering that there's a person attached to and part of my project. Moreover, the gratification you get in getting someone out of pain, and more relevant nowadays, giving someone a perty mouth :love: is indescribable. Even though my dad is a dentist, I really had no idea if I was going to like dentistry. Once I got my hands wet in preclinic, I knew I had made a good decision. Once I got my hands wet with actual saliva, I had absolutely no regrets. Once I got my hands wet with blood, I got a surge. Turns out I got a spark out of surgery, but nonetheless, think all of dentistry (except for maybe removable :mad: ) is interesting as hell. Still, it's not cut out for everybody. But, like all professions, you'll never know till you try it. Hope this helps...
     
  3. eapleitez

    eapleitez Senior Member
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    I pretty much chose dentistry for the same reasons. I think most people here did as well. I am not "obsessed" with teeth, but I certainly am intrigued by the many techniques dentists use to repair/replace them. And I find myself looking at people's teeth moreso than I did before, lol.
     
  4. ip

    ip Senior Member
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    I went in mostly for the same reasons you did. There are some people who grow up obsessed with teeth and want to be a dentist (like my wife, but she ended up a CPA :rolleyes: ) but I think most choose it for the reasons you listed. I only decided to apply to dental school ~6 months or so before I did.

    There were many times during pre-clinic that I doubted my decision and thought of leaving dental school. I figured it was because I didn't really know what I was getting myself into and crown preps weren't all that interesting to me. But I kept on and found an area that I love and now I'm very happy with my decision to stay the course. Couldn't imagine doing anything else. The "looking into people's mouths" thing is a non-issue. That's just what strangers like to ask about. I tell them that it's better than the other end of the tube.
     
  5. speedy3816

    speedy3816 reality pwns
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    can i say this???.... maybe she deep down inside wants you to be an M.D., perhaps there is more prestige (or something) that comes with being the wife of an M.D. rather than the wife of a dentist.... i hope i didnt prod into something too personal, it was just a thought.... b/c i've had a similar type situtation happen to me. anyways, you seem to be thinking about going into dentistry for the right reasons, i would definitely go for it!!! :thumbup:
     
  6. Dr. Dai Phan

    Dr. Dai Phan Senior Member
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    From what I read, it appears to me that you made the right choice to be a dentist. If your wife is supportive of you then she will be with you with the career choice that you make. Remember that the grass is always greener on the other side who thinks that MDs are always better than DDS in term of salary. I have heard so many MDs complaints of the long hours and little return for their work. I am a dentist at the hospital and my salary is more than most of the MDs here. That is due to the fact that I have a specialty degree and a sub-specialty that bumps my salary to the top, but I am still a dentist. True, dentistry is must more limited than medicine because we only deal with a small part of the human body but it is a very rewarding career for me. I enjoy my life by taking frequent trips, have a big house, driving a BMW, working from 8-5 and hey, that's good enough for me.

    I think that dentistry is a very rewarding career that offers respect, income potential and personal satisfaction.

    Now, everynow and then, I hear some naive and ignorance comments from people regarding dentistry but do not let that bother you. One is "you become a dentist because you are obsessed with teeth? or you become a dentist rather a "doctor" because you are afraid of blood ?" and these just show the ignorance in people. If your goal is to impress people with your degrees then dentistry is NOT the way to go because you will always feel that you should have become an MD or JD or Citibank president. But if you want a excellent career (with some limitations), then go for it. I love being a dentist and it was the right career choice for me. DP
     
  7. DentistBunaHay

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    Wow I am humbled...Dr. Phan you're very good at giving advice, I'm sure you're helping alot of people by your very honest answers. Thank you very much for being such a great help to everyone.
     
  8. pibozh

    pibozh Member
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    Well I pretty much have the same story as you do. I always wanted to become a doctor, and I still love medicine But... About choosing Dentisty as a career, other than the reasons that you have listed above, I think Dentistry has more to offer than Medicine. It's not only medicine, it's also an ART. So not only you will be a Doctor (wich we both like to be) but you will also be an Artist. I think dentistry is a very great and rewarding career, congratulation to you for choosing it as your career. Give it some time and you will see what a good decision you have made :thumbup: (That's what I am hoping for myself too :D )
     
  9. adamlc18

    adamlc18 Senior Member
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    So what is your specialty in?
     
  10. Dr. Dai Phan

    Dr. Dai Phan Senior Member
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    Hello,

    My specialty is Prosthodontics with a sub-specialty in Maxillofacial Prosthetics. Prosthodontics deals with restoration via artificial substitutes of the dentition and maxillofacial prosthodontics deals with maxillofacial structures in the head region. Ex: if a patient requires surgery to remove a large tumor in the palate, then the role of a MP would be fabrication of a device and insert into the palate via srews, wires... in the OR so patient can function after waking up. The MP then will remove and then provide a definitice device that patient wears so they can eat and talk. It is a very intersting specialty. DP
     
  11. USAF_Dentman

    USAF_Dentman Go!! Get to da choppa!
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    That just sounds cool! Is prosth 3 or 4 yr residency? How long does it take for your subspecialty?
     
  12. Dr. Dai Phan

    Dr. Dai Phan Senior Member
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    Hello,

    Prosthodontic residency is a 3 year program that offers certificate and Master Degree. Some programs like VA based do not offer the Master Degree. After you finish your program, then you apply for a one year fellowship (NOT residency) in Maxillofacial Prosthodontics. MF is NOT a specialty by itself but a sub-specialty of prosthodontics. I don't mean to be biased but the fellowship program in Maxillofacial Prosthodontics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY is the world's best! My former mentor Dr. Ian Zotolow is now a professor at UOP. DP
     
  13. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    I like to describe to people what I do in the following way. Being a dentist lets me be part scientist, part engineer, part detective, part psychologist, part architect, part artist, part entrepeneur and part business executive. Plus, I really have fun at work (even on those pain in the a$$) patients that everyone inevitably gets :D

    My own personal interest was from having alot of semi-abnormal treatment needs in my own mouth (congenitally missing 7 teeth, 4.5 years of ortho, fixed prosth - maryland bridges back in the early 90's, ginigival grafting) so I spent quite a bit of time in the chair growing up. Plus my general dentist had a son who was my age and we played alot of sports together, so I got to see my general dentist, not just as Dr. G but as a real out of office person and what the career afforded him both professionally - he's a past state dental society president and long time ADA delegate, plus was a leader in the community - and personally. That combined with my interest in the sciences led me to think about this career as my profession of choice. I basically realized that this is what I wanted to do somewhere around 9th or 10th grade in high school, and 14 years later (4 years high school, college, dental school and 2 years residency) I was there. Worth every ounce of the effort and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Plus as my kids get older, I'd encourage them to head into this profession if they have an interest.
     

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