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Why I Have Decided To Become A Dentist

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Smiling is a biological reflex. Babies practice smiling as soon as they are born. This is not something they are taught to do, it is a natural, innate response. However, I sometimes forgot how to smile in front of a camera because I was unhappy with the appearance of my smile. After losing deciduous teeth, I gained huge and bucked front teeth like a rabbit. My self-consciousness about appearance began with puberty, as do most adolescents. You have to smile! Put more smiles on your face! Smile naturally! These three phrases were what photographers shouted at me every time I took a picture. I was so conscious about how I look at that time that I was almost frozen in front of the camera. Furthermore, I was concerned that people would notice my rabbit teeth and make fun of me. So, I hesitated exposing my teeth in front of others and covered my mouth with my hands every time when I laugh. I grew increasingly conscious of my teeth as the years passed. I became introvert and lost self-confidence more and more. My parents worried about me, brought me to the dental office, and made me to get braces. Shiny silvery metal brackets attached to my teeth with arch wire for 2 years. During I wore braces, my personality was same as before. However, after I removed it, I could make a big smile without covering my mouth with my hands, did not have to worry about the looking when I laugh, and gradually recovered self-confidence. It is the experience that now encourages me to pursue a career in dentistry: I value the importance of dental health, of its health and social impacts, and I want to provide compassionate and meaningful service to patients who may face the challenges and concerns I once faced.

While attending school, I volunteered at Martha Jefferson Hospital and Barringer Pharmacy in my junior and senior year. Through my volunteer activities, I have learned to connect with people from a variety of ages and social backgrounds. While some people are naturally outgoing, I was shy and had a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gave me the opportunity to practice and develop my social skills, since I constantly met new people and developed friendships. It became easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts gradually. I have always wanted to be involved in a profession that helps others.

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Following graduation from college, I shadowed a dentist to glimpse the daily duties of a dentist. I became interested in dentistry because I saw dentistry as the perfect profession that allows one to physically change a person’s wellbeing through treating the mouth. I witnessed that the dentist creates the close relationships with his patients, and I found meeting and working with new people and diagnosis very stimulating.

My first experience with dentistry was deep cleaning. The patient came for dental check-up because he felt pain on his gum. The patient said he started feeling discomfort and irritation on his gum about a month ago but hesitated to go to dental office because he could not afford dental care and was afraid of dental cost. The reason of the pain was bacterial infection. Doctor used specially designed instruments to go below the gum line and gently removed the calcified deposits off of the patient teeth. I realized that there was a great need for dental care, especially among low-income families. Also, I learned that how critical it is to take the time to personally explain to each patient the importance of regular check-ups, proper oral hygiene instruction, and how oral health affects systemic health It led me to work as a dental assistant at a dental office. Although I was mainly an observer, I had the opportunity to interact with the patients. I came in contact with a diverse patient population with different problems and dental needs. As I assisted the doctor when he completed exams and procedures, I could watch dental procedures such as fillings, crowns, implants, and extractions.

Dentistry encompasses all of the traits that I have been raised to value the most. I am confident that a career in dentistry is right for me: if my greatest desires are to provide pain relief, to develop patient relationships, to utilize creativity in working with my hands, and to provide care for others, and if there is a great need for good dental care, then dentistry is, indeed, my vocation.

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