Dentist career - All that you should know before making a career choice.
There are several compelling reasons to choose dentistry as a career. It may be to make a meaningful difference in the lives of other people by diagnosing and treating their dental problems or it may be simply to choose a profession that offers flexible work hours, commands respect in the society and is financially rewarding. So what does a dentist career entails? What you need to do to become a dentist? Let’s learn about it in detail-
Dentistry is a branch of medicine focused on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases. A dentist, also called a dental surgeon, is the person who is responsible for diagnosing and treating disorders and diseases related with mouth, gums and teeth.
A dentist has to perform several important duties to ensure wellbeing of their patient’s dental health. It starts with examining the oral condition of a person. The various parts of our body are connected to each other and a problem in one part can lead to pain or disorder in the other. And that’s why even though dentistry is related with mouth, at times a dentist also has to examine head and neck of a patient to diagnose the problem. Today dentists make use of modern technology and equipments like radiography, computer imaging etc., to diagnose a problem. Depending on the nature of the disorder or disease diagnosed, he then prescribes medicines or conducts procedures like extracting teeth, cavity filling, corrective surgery on gums etc. With awareness for oral care arising across the globe, dentists today also advise people on maintaining oral hygiene and conducting procedures like tooth whitening, tooth polishing, flossing etc.
In addition, depending on whether he/she is privately practicing or is employed in a healthcare organization, a dentist also has to perform managerial responsibilities like managing his staff and doing necessary paperwork.
Dentistry, like any other medicine field, has a number of specialties. Some popular dentistry specialties are-
The route to becoming a dentist varies across the world. In order to becoming a dentist, one has to enroll into a dental school and complete the course which involves 4 to 5 years of study. The entry to a dental school is generally after obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree. However, in some countries, you can join a dental school after passing out from high school provided you had coursework in Biology, Physics and Chemistry. Most of the countries necessitate clinical training varying from 1 to 2 years before obtaining license in dental practicing.
After obtaining the license, you have the choice to either join a hospital or start your private practice in a clinic.
405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA,90095-1405
500 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA,94143-0244
503 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor, MI,48109
103 South Bldg Cb 9100, Chapel Hill, NC,27599
70 Washington Sq South, New York, NY,10012-1091
Dentistry is a financially attractive profession. Dentists, on an average, earn around $80 per hour. As per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2014 median salary for all general practice dentists in United States was $149,540 per year. These numbers, however, vary depending on factors like experience, location, size of the hospital where employed and personal popularity in the area etc.
Dentists normally either privately practice by owning a clinic or are employed in a hospital. In a hospital, he generally works in the daytime attending patients and treating them. In some cases, if required, he might also have to attend nighttime emergency cases. Private practitioners either own their own clinics or have partners. They work with a small staff employed for helping them in conducting procedures, billing etc.
Dentists normally enjoy a good work-life balance. On an average, a dentist works around 40 hours per week. However, the number of work hours varies and some dentists work for long hours depending on patient visits to their clinics.
Dentists mostly work in secure office environments until a situation demands for visiting a patient at home. There is very little travelling in the profession. However, it is one of the few professions where you can work past your retirement age.
The Dentist career path & growth is exciting and full of possibilities. With some years of experience, one can opt for academics and research and join a dental school as a professor or lecturer. Dentists who join hospitals can earn higher salaries as they move up the ladder in the hierarchy. Those who privately practice can see their income earning with time as they gain experience and name in the society. At a later stage, dentists can also look forward to contribute in developing public policies and programs. The healthcare department seeks opinion and inputs from experts while framing legislations and developing policies.
With time, there has been increased focus on oral care across the world. Changing lifestyle and dietary habits necessitate more dental care and so the demand for good dentists. So if you are someone who wants to create impact in the lives of people, enjoy serving to the society as well as looking for a rewarding career then dentistry is the right choice for you.
Dentals schools & colleges by state