The reason I chose dentistry as my first career choice, I honestly do not know! There’s no specific reason I just know that since I was in the seventh grade I’ve wanted to be a dentist. I’ve always been that kid proud to go to the dentist for cleanings or just about any procedure I had to go through. When I go to the dentist they make me feel more comfortable than at a doctor’s office, maybe because they’re working in your mouth and don’t want to get bit! I just love being in that environment. I do see myself as a people person, I love to make conversation. Plus this is a profession that really impacts a person’s life in a good way. Just think about if you had some really bad looking teeth, you’re not gone feel as pretty or as good about yourself but once you go through the process of getting everything fixed by your and have that award winning smile you feel so much better. Even a simple cleaning can make a person feel better just the feeling of having a fresh mouth makes me smile! Dentist are there to make sure the oral health of any patients mouth is up to par.
As with any profession there are steps you have to take to get in the position you desire. For dentistry, there are about 5 time consuming steps. First you must earn a bachelor’s degree. It doesn’t really matter in what your degree is in but you should keep in mind that once you apply for dental school, you will likely be required to already have completed courses in biology, physics, or chemistry, amongst others. Most aspiring dental professionals choose to complete their bachelor’s degree in chemistry or biology to avoid having to take extra classes in the end. I chose to major in biology. Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree apply and attend dental school. Generally, the first two years consist of basic instruction supplemented with work in laboratories where you try out your skills. The last two years include clinical studies where you participate in active dental practices under the supervision of a licensed dental professional. Along with attending dental school you must also pass the Dental Admissions Test which covers areas such as chemistry, biology, perceptual ability, reading comprehension, and reasoning. Becoming a part of the dental world you must register with the College of Dental Surgeons to legally work in the province. Registering includes a criminal record check and an annual renewal.
There are many roles in a dentist office and each role is important in their own special way. Dental receptionists aren’t required to have dental education at the same level as the other positions, but they often have to understand many different facets of life at a dental office. Their job is to give appointment reminders or explain insurance to you. Dental assistants help the dentist by sterilizing instruments, ushering patients into exam rooms and through procedures, taking x-rays and impressions of patients’ teeth, and more. Dental laboratory technicians work in labs that manufacture dental appliances for patients based on dentists’ recommendations such as custom mouth guards and oral retainers. Dental hygienist have more responsibility than dental assistants, including carrying out routine oral cleanings and checking patients for oral decay or disease. Hygienists often get mistaken for dentists because of how knowledgeable and competent they are, and because they’re the ones you see the most of during a cleaning! They all work together to make each other’s job easier especially the dentists.
Dentistry is a much respected profession. To be a dentist and I mean a good one, you must have good judgment, decision making skills, communication, leadership, detailed-oriented, manual dexterity and organizational skills, knowledge of dental anatomy and medical procedures. A dentist is a community figure that is highly respected and trusted by the community in which he/she works. Dental patients rely on and trust their dentist to provide them with the best possible healthcare. Dentist will spend all of their time helping other people which is extremely rewarding to them as a dentist. They can make significant improvements in people’s lives by restoring their smile, teeth, self-confidence, self-image, and ability to eat and speak properly.
There’s good and bad to any profession but here’s the drop on dentistry. So the good is that dentistry is an extremely stable career with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Oral healthcare is always necessary and always in demand, but as the baby boomer era of dentists’ retires, the want for cosmetic dentistry increases, and as people live longer the demand for dentists will only increase in the future resulting in more jobs available and a very stable profession. Also, dentistry provides a healthy income with a median salary of $146,340 in 2013 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a dentist you are able to help decide how much you make by how much you work and your business model. Lastly, as a dentist you are able to help dictate how much you make by how much you work and your business model. On the down side, dentistry is very physically demanding, although many people would probably not think so. Doing precise and tedious work in a tiny area with your hands and having your eyes focused on a small area through loupes for long periods of time are reasons why dentistry is demanding physically. It is tough on your back, hands and shoulders. Also, Most dentists work full-time and some will even work evening and weekends. The nice thing about dentistry is the flexibility in your schedule you can have if you own your own practice. You could work less than full-time and not work evenings or on the weekends, but most dentists do due to debt, expenses, etc.
Overall, dentistry is a well-rounded profession. Dentistry is a great profession and a very rewarding one as well. Dentistry offers flexibility to balance professional and personal life. Giving patients the smiles they are proud to wear makes you as a dentist feel prideful. With the aging population and increase in access to care, the demand and need for dentistry is on the rise. This is why I chose dentistry. Though there are some cons to the profession I feel that they are worth seeing others happy.
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