Why did you go to dental school and would you do it again?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by bipolardoc, Sep 26, 2008.

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  1. bipolardoc

    bipolardoc Banned

    Jun 24, 2008
    I have had a new profound respect for dentist, I think the statement is true that no one calls a dentist a doctor until they have a toothache and need help bad................. I have gone thru recent tooth pain that hollly crap.... was the worse pain ever. I really respect the field. I was wondering why did those who entered the field go to dental school, be striaght up. Did you consider medical school? Did you change careers to get into dental school, do you regret it? Do you enjoy the field, what would you have done if you were not a dentist or dental school? Any non traditionals in your class, if so what did they do before in their career? How come I always hear extremes of stories from I know this millionaire dentist, to a dentist posting on here that cant even get a full-time associate position in So Cal, is the field that saturated in certain areas? Do you have to have that much of dexterity? Does practicing get to your eyes or back after a while?

    Thanks for your time and responses.
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  3. Rube

    Rube Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    I considered med school very carefully, and worked in a hospital, but after investigating the pay and lifestyle of the primary care physician I really didn't want to do it. I have never regretted choosing dental school over med school. I went to d school because I could get an comprehensive education on the human body and a specialized education on teeth, and dental surgery and help people. Dentistry is a cool profession in that no one else knows and does teeth but a dentist. Equally, I was attracted to autonomy, income and lifestyle of a dentist. D school is a very difficult 4 years so thankfully I don't have to do it again.
  4. bipolardoc

    bipolardoc Banned

    Jun 24, 2008
    Does it take long learning to deal with teeth and oral fluids, did you always have the hand skills. Seems to me all answers tend to point to financial ones, any other REAL reasons? I guess autonomy and financial are important but I don know other fields in medicine offer this as well like Derm. and pychiatry, etc...
  5. Rube

    Rube Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2005

    Let me set you straight: You're not "dealing" with teeth, you're treating teeth and soft tissue and bone connected to a real person. The first year of dental school and most of the second mimics med school's curiculum of gross anatomy (with cadaver), physiology, biochem, histology, ect. In addition, dentists take courses in biomaterials, pyschology, anestheiology, radiology, and loads of courses on restorative dentistry, occlusion, TMD, perio, pros, removable pros, oral surgery, and I could go on. Now we learn all of that AND we learn how to actually perform these little micro surgeries based off of that foundation. I think I averaged 30 credits a semester. It takes 4 years to learn all of that and I will still be a learning CE my whole life on how to better treat patients and rebuild the dentition.

    Your suggestion that I'm not being honest is a little silly, we all do what makes us happy and hopefully we do a good thing for our patients.

    Read up a little more on dentistry then you'll have an informed opinion. This is a great article and is very true to life.

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  6. loved

    loved 2+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    Real reasons? I think that the only word you read in Rube's post was "income."

    This may sound bizarre to you, but other people like science, interpersonal contact, and working with their hands. Dentistry is not for everyone. I considered medical school, as well as optometry school, pharmacy school, nursing school, business school, .. the list goes on. I think that one needs to explore their choices before committing. I can see how in other situations, exploration may not be feasible, but you gotta do the best you can.

    Yes, the field is saturated in certain areas.
    Dexterity can be learned in dental school.
    Yes, it does get to your eyes and back after a while so dentists have to learn how to take care of them and not strain themselves.
  7. bipolardoc

    bipolardoc Banned

    Jun 24, 2008
    Relax guys, no need to be defensive, no insult was intended, just pure inquiry.
  8. gryffindor

    gryffindor 10+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2002
    No no no. It's not this complicated. I know I've said this before:

    Year 1: Incisors
    Year 2: Canines + gums
    Year 3: Premolars
    Year 4: Molars

    Four years is probably overkill to learn it all. They just keep us there for a few extra years to get some more tuition money out of all the suckers. Since it's so simple, people like bipolardoc are better served by going to med school, where they get to be real doctors with a stethoscope and drug rep pens.
  9. DMD-2-B

    DMD-2-B Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    I am a non-trad dental student. I worked as a mechanical engineer, and wanted to change to health care. I originally wanted to go to medicine very badly, conceptually. Then when I started to shadow/research/informational interview, etc. I decided I would not want to be a MD. The lifestyle and ethical issues turned me off. My dentist and I have a good relationship, and he one day drew me a vector diagram of my tooth to illustrate what was going on each time I occluded my teeth. That was my first time considering dentistry, and since then I've just found more and more reasons to love it!

    Dental school is very tough, and there have been times when I am too exhuasted to maintain posture while drilling a prep in pre-clinic. Yes - my back hurts those nights! But loupes (magnifying glasses) help!

    MONKEYBOY 2+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Non-trad here. In 1st year so still green, but I have never regretted going into dentistry.
  11. setdoc7

    setdoc7 10+ Year Member

    Aug 29, 2006
    New York
    Been a dentist 25 years. Autonomy, interesting challenges, interaction with other professionals, and of course....the money. Has let me live a great life, give my kids a great life, and every day is different. Diversifying modes of practice (I have a private practice and direct a residency program) has allowed me the best of both worlds, and some time to explore other none dental ventures. Dentistry, like life, is what you make of it. It's a big world. Keep you eyes open for opportunities.
  12. dr.rex

    dr.rex rexadactyl nights 5+ Year Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    I would first say that I have no idea why I came to dental school. I am here and I am alright with it but I for sure could be happier elsewhere but this is going to afford me the life I want.
  13. Chika217

    Chika217 I want to destroy the DAT 2+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2012

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