Dentistry is a lot of schooling, meticulous, but rewarding as you help others. I believe dentistry would be a good choice for me because it involves a mix of science and math skills as well as creativity in the detail of making dentures and fillings. A career in dentistry also allows me to have a stable job that is not only secure, but also expanding in need. It would allow me to help those less fortunate as I could use this profession to help with dental care in third world countries. Dentistry would be a great field for me because it combines
The first step to becoming a dentist is taking high school classes in sciences and math and applying to college. Once in college, a future dentist needs to earn a bachelor’s degree in any field, though it is most common and helpful to earn a science degree such as biology or chemistry. The next step is to apply to a dental school with the DAT, Dental Admissions Test. The DAT is conducted by the American Dental Association and results are only one factor considered in evaluating dental school acceptance. Academic records and recommendations are also considered. The DAT test is to Dental school admission as the ACT is to college admission. The subsections of the test include survey of the natural sciences: biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry; Perceptual ability: apertures, view recognition, angle discrimination, paper folding, cube counting, and 3D form development; reading comprehension over scientific passages; and quantitative reasoning that covers mathematical problems. (ada.org) There are many subjects that need to be practiced before one even takes a step into a dental school.
Once in dental school, a student will learn local anesthesia, anatomy, oral disease and health, and radiology. Programs in dental school include experience where students work directly with patients. After the completion of dental school, there is opportunity to continue schooling in a specific field such as orthodontics, oral surgery, pediatrics, or periodontics. After completing dental school or furthering education in a specific field, one must gain a license to work in a specific state.
To be a dentist, one needs various important qualities. The first is communication skills. Dentists must communicate effectively with different groups of people including patients and staff daily. They also need to be detail oriented as they pay attention to miniscule variations in teeth. Another skill is finger dexterity, “the ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects” (Onet). This is helpful as one will…. A successful dentist not only has to have patients but also patience. Dealing with individuals and their needs or concerns is another everyday occurrence that a dentist needs a calm attitude to deal with these individuals. An obvious quality is the understanding of medicine and science including “symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive healthcare measures” (blm). A not so obvious skill is the need for physical stamina as dentists spend long periods of the day bent over patients.
A typical day for dentists involves seeing patients, identifying their problem, developing and evaluating options and then implementing solutions. (onet) This includes face to face discussions with multiple people a day and physical proximity to patients. (onet) Danesi Sadoh, a general dental practitioner and specialist periodontist at a dental practice in Finsbury Park, London, explains a typical day that includes patients from 9 am to 5 pm with a break for lunch. Work is mainly general dental check ups, hygiene visits, fillings, extractions, providing dentures and bridges for patients that have lost their teeth Danesi explains that the work is exiting because there is multiple different types of work each day, “Every patient is a new challenge, therefore there is rarely a dull moment”.
Dentistry is an extremely stable job that will be around for a long time. The need for future dentists is increasing. The employment of dentists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, “much faster than the average for all occupations” (bls). Demand for dental services will increase as the population ages as many members of the aging baby-boomer generation will need dental work. Projected job openings from 2016 to 2026 is 6,400 (onet). With a job like dentistry, it is easy to move anywhere in the country or world because a need for regularly checked teeth is universal. There are 110,400 dentists employed currently in the nation. On average, dentists make $174,110 a year or an average of $83.71 hourly, but this varies on location.
In researching dentistry, I have discovered all the skills it requires ranging from social skills to physical abilities. I was also grateful to learn that there is an above average increase in need for dentists in the future. The pros would be the stability it offers and the great salary. Another positive is the constant fulfillment it brings as one completes multiple different tasks on different patients daily. The cons would be the intensity, stress, and debt of dental school.
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