I will be outlining the 5 reasons why you should not become a dentist. If you can overcome these then you are well placed for a career in dentistry.
Most of us work a job expecting to get paid so that we can use that money to do the things we want to do. Unless you are volunteering, you expect that on an agreed date, your employer or customer will have paid you for your services. It is reasonable to assume that we would want to get paid well for the time and effort we put in. This applies to every job and dentistry is no exception. YES, I want to get paid well as a dentist. However, the reason you will excel in a career will be determined by the passion you have for the career.
Could you wake up every morning to work as a dentist if your financial commitments were met by other means and the job did not pay you anything? This gives you an indication of the passion you have for the job. What I can say is that when you are passionate about a job and are not driven by the money, the by-product is that your patients will love you, spread the word about you and you will be paid well as a result.
The mouth is not glamorous
Over 700 strains of bacteria are found in the mouth alongside the tongue, cheeks, teeth and saliva. In some cases you will see blood. The job is not for the faint hearted. You have to be prepared to face mouths that have bits of food stuck in between the teeth, teeth that have decay and bad breath in some cases. If you are still reading this and relishing the opportunity to become a dentist then you can be more confident that the career is for you.
You have to be willing to help people
At the expense of your preferences, you have to be willing to do all you can to help your patients. They may not be compliant and may have ignored your preventative advice, turning up to your surgery with pain that could have been avoided. You have to be able to reassure them and deliver the best care possible to help them in their time of pain. Can you be non-judgemental with people from all walks of life even when they think dentists are money-grabbing and evil? Can you communicate in a way that helps them understand what is happening and in a way that manages their expectations?
Are you willing to commit to a life of learning? Intense studying during university, learning new skills, developing skills as new dentist, investing in courses to take your skills to another level. As a dentist you have a minimum number of hours to carry out on courses and seminars to keep up-to-date with any advances or to refresh on key knowledge. Learning is mandatory and does not end at graduation.
There is a feeling that some people become dentists because they could not get into medicine and dentistry was their plan B. This is a waste of your time and commitment, to study the course and work a job that you have no genuine passion for. Your patients will pick up on this and it will make your career feel like work. You will be counting down to retirement or looking at ways to get out of the profession. Check out the article on ‘medicine vs dentistry’ if you want help choosing a career.
If you have read the ‘reasons why you should not become a dentist’ and you are fired up to become a dentist then I hope you are successful in your application. The career is extremely rewarding and being a dentist equips you to help people in their time of need. By your hands, you can relieve people from pain and you can provide them with a reason to smile.
Check out my YouTube channel for help with your application to dental school