Being a dentist is not easy. There are many things you need to consider before making that leap into the world of dentistry. The road to becoming a dentist is not an easy one, but it’s worth it. Thousands of people become dentists every year and they do so because they know how rewarding it can be. It’s a challenging career path with many hours and lots of hard work, but the rewards far outweigh the negatives. Being a dentist is not easy, but if you love working with people, have great attention to detail, are interested in oral healthcare as a profession, and enjoy science then dentistry may be for you. Read on for an honest insight into what it takes to become a dentist, the pros and cons of this career path, and advice on how to get there if it sounds like something you’re interested in pursuing.
Is Being A Dentist Hard?
It depends on your perspective. If you’re asking whether it’s difficult to learn how to be a dentist, then the answer is no. Becoming a dentist requires a reasonable amount of study and hard work, but it is not difficult. If you’re asking whether being a dentist is easy then the answer is also no. Being a dentist is not easy. It requires long hours, constant physical labor, and plenty of interaction with patients who are often in pain. But if you’re prepared for that, then being a dentist can be rewarding.
How To Become A Dentist?
- Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to become a dentist, let’s take a step back and look at what you need to do to become a dentist in the first place. There are many paths you can take to become a dentist, but most people will need to do the following:
- Graduate from an accredited dental school – Pass a state-mandated licensure exam Let’s break down each of these two items in turn.
- There are a lot of people that would love to become dentists, but many don’t know where to start or what it takes to do so. Becoming a dentist is not an easy task; there are many steps involved before you can even begin applying for dental school. There is a lot of work involved, but the rewards can be great. If you want to pursue dentistry as a career path, here are some things you need to consider:
- You will need to plan ahead if you want to become a successful dentist. You will need the proper support from your family or significant other and even your friends. You will also have many hours of study each day. Twelve-hour days are not uncommon in most dental schools.
- Most dentists are self-starters who are very responsible for their careers and their lives outside of work. If this is something that appeals to you then becoming a dentist may be right for you. This can be difficult if it’s not what suits your lifestyle or if it doesn’t provide enough stability for your family during times when they are sick or away from home on vacation.
Why Is Being A Dentist Hard?
A dentist’s job is stressful
One would think that the calmness of a dentist’s office would decrease the stress of patients. However, the frequency of emergencies means that a dentist’s office is more stressful than other medical offices. When patients experience pain and come to a dentist, they are not in a calm state. During these visits, patients are at their most vulnerable and susceptible to anxiety. Dentists are obligated to calm patients down so they can treat them. If a dentist has a patient who is constantly in distress, they cannot do their job. Additionally, when dentists are in school, they are obligated to treat patients and practice on patients. This can create more stress, often making the difference between passing and failing a class.
It takes a long time to become a dentist
While many professions only take a few years to complete, becoming a dentist takes much longer. First off, you have to complete four years at a dental school to be eligible for licensing. Upon graduation, you have to sit for the National Board Dental Examinations, which is a test that all dentists have to take. If you pass this test, then you have to apply for a license in the state in which you’re living. Finally, if you’re hired by a dental office, you have to go through the process of being bonded with a surety company. Dental schools take four years to complete, and students spend two years of that time doing clinical. The rest of the time is spent taking courses, such as chemistry and biology.
Dental school is hard to get into
Dental schools get more applications than they have open spots. The National Board of Dental Examiners reported that there were more than 29,000 applicants to dental school in 2018 and only 16,000 spots. This means that only 83% of applicants were accepted to dental school. To make matters worse, the acceptance rate is higher for in-state students than for out-of-state students. It’s not uncommon for students to have to reapply to dental school for a second or third year before being accepted. Dental schools have strict standards for who they accept. Applicants have to have at least a 3.5 GPA and a 95th percentile score on the DAT.
Dental school is difficult to complete
As previously mentioned, dental school is hard to get into, but it’s even more difficult to complete. Most dental students spend between four and five years of school, but this isn’t even the end of their journey. Once dental students graduate, they have to sit for the National Board Dental Examinations. If they pass, they have to apply for a dental license in the state in which they’re working. To do so, they have to get a job in a dental office. This can take months, if not years to complete since jobs are hard to come by.
Dental treatments are painful for patients
Dentists have to perform procedures on patients that hurt. While some procedures, such as fillings, aren’t particularly painful for patients, other procedures, such as root canals, are extremely painful. Where a patient sits on the pain scale varies from person to person. For example, some patients are prone to anxiety and are likely to experience more pain than others. Other patients try to self-medicate and use alcohol or drugs that make the pain worse. While dentists do everything they can to make their patients comfortable, they’re operating in a very small space. Once the procedure is done, the pain goes away, but the memory of it doesn’t disappear.
The Pros Of Being A Dentist
- You get to work with people every day. Dentists are in a position where they interact with people on a daily basis, and they can help improve and change someone’s life just by doing their job. That’s very rewarding.
- You get to help people in a tangible way. Dentists are able to see their work directly impact someone’s life, and it can be quite gratifying to know that you have helped someone feel better about themselves in some small way.
- Being a dentist is intellectually stimulating work. Dentistry requires high levels of attention to detail and the ability to solve problems quickly under pressure, so it makes for a mentally challenging job that will keep your brain sharp and active!
- You have the opportunity to pursue a number of different specialties, which means you can tailor your career path based on what interests you most!
- People will always need dentistry, so there will always be an opportunity for you
The Cons Of Being A Dentist
- Becoming a dentist is not easy, but it is rewarding and worth it if you know what you’re getting into. If you’re ready for the challenge, then you should go for it!
- If not, there are many other rewarding careers out there that won’t be as difficult on your body or your mind.
- But if you truly want to become a dentist, then there are many ways that you can do so. There are also some cons to being a dentist. Here are a few:
- You see a lot of blood.
- You deal with a lot of anxiety-inducing situations.
- Your hands get dirty.
- You have to work long hours. –
- You have to work weekends.
If you’ve read this entire article and are still wondering, is being a dentist worth it? The answer is yes. Being a dentist is challenging, but it’s also rewarding, and the people you help will make all of the hard work worth it. If you’re interested in this career path, then go for it. It’s not an easy path, but it’s a worthwhile one.