Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why I Chose to Become a Dentist

 In my lack of motivation to study today, I began surfing the internet...only to stumble upon this article. Apparently dentists have been announced as the best job to have for 2015. Well if that wasn't enough motivation to get my butt into gear, then I don't know what is. The U.S. News describes dentistry as a low stress job with high rewards: 4 day work weeks, high paying salaries, and low unemployment rates. While these are all wonderful perks of the field of dentistry, that's just skimming the surface. So I felt inspired to share my own reasons for why I think dentistry is the best career and why I chose this path for myself. 

When I meet someone for the first time and tell them that I'm training to become a dentist I get a slew of responses, both positive and negative. But many of them are just pure incredulous: 

"Why would you want to dig around in people's mouths all day?" 

"Why don't you just become a real doctor?" 

When I encounter those incredulous reactions, I just smile and say "how much time have you got, because I could talk about dentistry all day". It's actually pretty hard for me to summarize just why I love dentistry so much, but here and now...I'm going to try. 

I've known that I wanted to devote my life to the medical field since I was 10 years old, and I decided that dentistry would be the best route to follow by the time I was 11. That's not to say that I never had doubts or strayed a little. I thought about optometry fairly seriously for a while and I even interned/worked at a veterinary clinic for several years. But no matter what I always returned to dentistry. I had my first dental internship in high school and since then I've never looked back. 

I've devoted the last several years of my life to becoming a dentist. In college, I studied the sciences tirelessly, while making as much time as possible to continue shadowing dentists. While my friends spent their Spring Breaks and Summers on vacation, I took on dental internships. I'm sure sitting at the beach would have been lovely, but I much preferred all of the surgeries I was able to take part in: laser assisted dental implants, bone grafts, and tumor removals!  

A big draw of the medical field is obviously service. How many people get to come home from work everyday and say "I made a difference". To me dentistry offers a real tangible opportunity to make a difference...to give someone a better smile, to relieve someone's pain, to make them feel better about themselves and their appearance. And with cavities being one of the top chronic diseases in the country, with less than half of the population having access to affordable dental care; there are endless opportunities for service.  

Merging Two Loves 
I'm about to reveal just how much of a nerd I am....I love studying anything to do with microbiology, virology, and immunology. It's a sector of biology that focuses on human disease....how we are infected and how our bodies fight those diseases. Dentistry is that science in practice-understanding and removing decay. Add this in with getting to be hands-on and I'm hooked. 

Real Life 
A practical aspect of dentistry is getting to have a real life. Unlike an ER doctor or a heart surgeon, I won't be on call. During the day, I can be a superhero by helping people have better healthier lives. But when 5pm rolls around, I get to go home. Because one day my family will be larger than me and husband and PJ. And I want to to live a full life. 

So I won't drone on about how much I love dentistry anymore, because after all I do need to go study, but I would like to leave you with this: 

"Do something that you love and you will forever be happy" 


  1. Love this! It sounds like it has the best of both worlds with preventative care and lots of patient interaction, plus the procedural side too! You get to do so many different types of things, work with all age groups, and the hours sound amazing! I can definitely see why you'd love it.

    1. Thanks girl, I'm sure you and your hubby can relate since your both entering medicine too. We are all so lucky to be in such a great career field

  2. Being a dentist takes a lot of skill and a love of helping others. It's a career that is profitable both monetarily and emotionally as you know that you are helping someone take care of their teeth. There are also times when you are able to restore the smile with implants and other treatments.

    Milton Wilson @ A+ Family Dentistry

  3. Thanks for sharing. I didn't realize that dentistry has several benefits. I always considered the dentist " the bad guy", but now i realize that working as a dentist has many perks to it. Nice to know you don't have to work 6 days a week! And just think of all the people you can help while working as a dentist.

    Freddie Gray @ Ballantyne Dentistry

  4. I think of all the reasons you listed having a real life made me think about my career choice. You have chosen something that makes a difference in the world and helps people, and at the same time you have enough time and a low enough stress load for a life of your own. It is a perfect balance.

    Bennie Chandler @ Pine Creek Dental

  5. I am continually amazed by the amount of information available on this subject.