Dentistry students are usually aware that they are in for a long road including many years of education and specialized training. This article will outline the path to becoming a dental professional and what sort of job and salary you can expect when you’re done.
While many people are afraid of the dentist, some particular individuals are called to the line of work that involves sticking their fingers and hands into people’s mouths. These professionals play a vital role in oral hygiene and health, which in turn can affect the rest of an individual’s overall health. Dentists are essential players in the medical community and becoming a good one takes a lot of time and training.
Most dentists spend at least eight years in higher education after they graduate from high school. The first few years are similar to medical degrees and involve a large amount of information pertaining to anatomy, microbiology, physiology, clinical sciences, pathology, and diagnostics. In order to be licensed to practice as a dentist in most states, you have to pass a series of written and practical board exams. Further subspecialty education for an oral health professional may include maxillofacial surgery or orthodontics (training in the placement of dentures and braces).
When newly trained dental professionals first enter the workforce, they usually start out in an established clinic until they can build up their own clientele. Most dental professionals are solo practitioners that work in an office setting with dental hygienists and other oral technicians. Some dentists choose to work in a bigger office with other medical and dental professionals. This helps establish a strong client base where patients are referred within the office to their colleagues.
Since many oral professionals work in solo office practices, they can usually dictate their own hours. Most work four or five days a week and often adjust their office hours to accommodate patients with 9-5 work days. As such, they may be open later in the evenings or on weekends. If a dentist is attempting to widen his patient population or establish a new clinic, he or she may work more than 40 hours each week. However, those with established and stable clientele can get away with much less. Many often choose to work beyond their retirement age and into their golden years while keeping part-time hours at their clinic. This flexibility is one of the things that draws many young students to the profession in the first place.
Maintaining a positive relationship with your patients is of utmost importance to most dentists. Whether young or old, many individuals have an inherent fear of going to the dentist and having their teeth worked on. Some have had bad experiences in the past and some are just afraid of the unknown. Whatever the cause, your professional manner and attempts at making them more comfortable will go a long way to ensuring that particular patient will return to you for years to come. In conclusion, becoming a dentist is a long and rewarding process.
Source by Andrea Avery