Dental Practice Management: 10 People Not Fit For A Career In Dentistry

Dr Keerthika Natarajan

Dr.Keerthika Natarajan is a bright young dentist and has a great talent in expressing with words. She writes about the emotional quotient of dentistry as a career & life.



Dental Practice management: 10 types of people who are not fit to be a dental surgeon and the changes you will need to succeed in your career as a professional dentist.


Dentistry as a profession is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, most of us get into dentistry without much planning and idea. Once into dentistry, we adapt and change ourselves to fit the program. However, if anyone ever asks you, who are the people not fit for a career in dentistry, how will you answer it?

This question holds much meaning for us dentists too.

By asking ourselves these questions, we can do a self-analysis and improve ourselves further.

 “People who are not fit for a career in dentistry.”

or 

“Ten Changes You Must Bring in Yourself to Survive Dentistry”



As kids, we all had dreams of becoming someone significant when we grew up. 

Someone big and famous.

I sometimes had the thought of becoming an army person defending my country.

Some days I dreamt of becoming a Prime Minister and provide exotic foods to every citizen.

The dreams were innocent and knew no boundaries. 

Moreover, I guess there will hardly be anyone who had exclusively imagined to become a Dentist.

For those of you who thought of becoming a dentist, then you are the right person, in the right profession. Also if your father or mother is already an established dentist, you are probably in the right job profile.



However, if you are still not sure if you are cut out to be a dentist, then you should read this article.

If you are already into dentistry, then this article will tell you some points that you must add to your thinking and attitude to survive and do well in dentistry.

You will find the following points in this article, that will help you immensely in improving your career in dentistry.

  1. You will learn about ten kinds of people who should never try their hands at dentistry.
  2. If you feel you are one of those ten, then you can either change yourself or its the time to change profession. 
  3. If it is too late to modify the occupation, then you can at least guide any youngster you know who is confused regarding the choice of dentistry as a career option.
  4. Also if you are already into dentistry, then you can modify some of your habits and mannerisms that will help you in the long run.
  5. This article will tell you the changes you must bring about in yourselves to survive and thrive in Dentistry.

So, let’s start with the article.



1. Not so Artistically Inclined?

If your artistic skills are poorer than a ten-year-old, you might have to reconsider choosing dentistry as a career stream.

Because, as a dentist or a future dentist, you are expected to carve out replicas of teeth with almost accurate measurements from wax blocks smaller than the size of your fingers.

You even have to draw almost perfect polyhedral shaped cells or to carve out your restoration to mimic the natural tooth.

Pic Credit – kmdental.com

  • It needs some skills, and if you are just not good with your hands, it is better to stay away from dentistry!
  • However, as you are already into Dentistry – Invest time in improving your skills.

Always remember as a professional dentist, you are going to carry out multiple procedures on a live tooth and oral cavity (having numerous blood vessels and nerves).

One of the most important factors in dentistry is maintaining the cosmetics and shape of the teeth or smile. That is only possible when you have spent hours in working on dummy items like carving a tooth from a wax block or drawing tooth on papers.


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Point No.2 To Survive Dentistry

If You want to make overnight money

in Dentistry, then Change your Thought

2.The Ones in for a Quick Buck

One of the biggest misconception regarding dentists is that they earn a truckload of money!

Yes, they do but that does not happen soon and nor does it happen to everybody.

Be prepared to work for peanuts in your initial years and that too after spending a fortune on your dental education.

Dentistry in most of the cases is like a waiting game where you wait & hold on, and then you strike gold like a long chess match.

“So Build Patience To Survive Dentistry”

You need to play the waiting game

3.The Ones Who Underestimate The Dental Course

If you are one of those, who consider dentistry as an alternative to get a doctor’s degree and easier than MBBS/Medicine, then you should talk to final year dental students who are about to appear for their exams. After hearing them, you might think twice before joining dentistry.

Some basic facts to realize:

  • It is a common opinion that if you do not qualify for MBBS/Medicine then enter dentistry as it is relatively cheaper & easier.
  • The above notion is a complete misconception.
  • Similar to medicine, dentistry is also a five-year course with multiple subjects ranging from anatomy to dental materials and much more.  You are also required to complete many clinical procedures from nine separate departments of dentistry. It is very hectic and stressful.
  • So people who are joining dentistry assuming it as a relatively easier course are in for a rude surprise. 

Nothing in this world comes easy and especially a degree in dentistry or any other health specialty.

If you are already into Dentistry and now worried about the amount of work you are going through, 

then calm down!

You are not alone.

Every health professional has to go through a similar grind. Moreover, it is not unjustified. You are not dealing with some computer device or software code. 

As a health professional, you are working on a living human body. 

In the case of dentistry, you are dealing with a human tooth which is dynamic. 

Moreover, it is just not the tooth, but the entire oral system around the tooth which also has the link to the other major systems of the human body.

So, you should not lose your patience and be ready for the long haul.


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Point No.4 & 5 To Survive Dentistry

If you feel Dentistry is just Pulling out teeth

The Change your attitude

4.The Ones Who Think Dentists

Just Have to Pull Out Teeth

“God … I am Bored … I thought all I need to learn was how to extract the tooth ?”

If you are thinking similar to the picture above,

Then you need a serious change in your attitude right away

I am sorry to say, but life in dentistry is not all that comfortable.

Dentists not only pull out teeth but they also fill them, clean them, save them, whiten them, straighten them, score them, find out what’s wrong with them and even slice & study them under microscopes.

However, wait! That was just what we do with teeth; a dentist also has to worry about gums and every other structure, surrounding the teeth.

Dental treatments are not one-dimensional procedures. For every task in dentistry (including pulling out tooth), on a real patient, you need to consider and evaluate rest of the body functions like heart, liver or allergic reactions and much more.

Many times, it takes hours of chairside work, to remove a small piece of a broken tooth (that is hardly visible in all the blood and saliva)

Anything goes wrong in your clinic while working on a patient; you are liable morally, financially and legally.

So, you see dentistry is a complicated work. If your idea of dentistry is just simply pulling out the tooth, don’t join it.

If you are already into Dentistry, then it is time to give it the respect it deserves, and that starts with you.

5. The fun-seekers

If your ideal college life is like the one you see in the picture below,

then dentistry is so not your territory.

Everybody wants their college life to be full of fun. That may be the case with many other professional degrees. However, with dentistry, it is little different. You should not expect an epic level of fun.

  • Yes, we do have our share of college fun and cultural activities. However, life in a dental college would just seem like an extension of school to a point where your best days would include the day it rained heavily, and the patients did not turn up.
  • Dentistry curriculum is highly demanding, and people are always under the pressure of completing it. 
  • So don’t feel bad when people are not so friendly. If you are already into dentistry, then try to have fun that comes your way. Don’t join the course and then make a face like below. 

So, Stop Expecting a Movie Style Fun Life and Get Practical About the Grind of Dentistry. 


 See Next Slide

Point No.6 & 7 To Survive Dentistry

You are rebellious! Then don’t join dentistry Or Change Yourself.

6. The Rebels Of The System

In the process of becoming a dentist, there would be times when you would be yelled at, laughed at, sometimes ridiculed or even punished for some unreasonable things.

Apparently, these things are part of your training, by the end of which you would become immune to everything.

However, if the rebel in you refuses to remain silent, you would make the things more complicated for you. There are so many variables and people involved in dentistry, that you cannot afford to be a rebel or a shaker.

The golden rule would be-Never argue. 

Never do something similar to the picture below.

If you are the one who is rebellious and aims at starting a revolution, then change yourself 😀

Learn to be silent

7. The Weak Hearted – Panic Button Prone

If you are the one who would cry at the drop of a hat, then you are just not emotionally made for dentistry.

In dentistry, expect things to go wrong at the most crucial moment. For example, the exam dates.

They always manage to give you tension 😀

 

You might get ditched by your patient before your exam; your model might fall and break, your ‘just perfect’ restoration might just crumble in a moment and much more!

Here are some of the most stressful aspects of dentistry in a dental college 

  • Medical & Dental exams are very very stressful. The exam dates always come as a surprise.
  • The marking pattern is such that sometimes students fail just by one mark.
  • There are instances where students do well, in theory. However, the teacher gives a little score in practical without any substantial reason.
  • Commonly all these factors take a lot out of a dental student. Long hours of study, rigorous curriculum, clinical cases & finding patients for exams.
  • It all sounds tough but in reality, it much more challenging.
  • You might get ditched by your patient on the day of your exam. Your model might fall and break, your ‘just perfect’ restoration might crumble in a moment and much more!
  • It is like a lengthy game that keeps running for the entire year and then the fate of the whole year depends on the exam only.
  • If you are not strong enough to handle all these stressful situations you might just collapse midway.

  • It gets very frustrating. However, you cannot do anything but just shout when you are alone.

If you are not strong enough to handle stressful situations you might just collapse midway.

However, if you are into dentistry, then it is better you toughen up fast if you are not yet already.


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Points 8 and 9

Dentistry is not for the ones with money issue

8. The Ones With Money Issue

If you are among those who need to be careful about the money being spent on education, then you need to give it a second thought.

    • Dentistry curriculum is quite expensive. The money spent would not only include your course fees but the books, expensive equipment, conferences, programs and at times bribe to your patients to come for your exams.
    • Dentistry is a very investment oriented profession. The investment starts right from the day you join a dental college.
  • Even after passing out of dental college, the investment does not stop. You will want to start your own professional set up. That again requires a huge financial investment.
  • Yes if you are a government-sponsored dental student then the expenditure is very less. However, the number of such students are meager.

9.The Poor Communicators

If you are not good at convincing people, you will have a tough time in dentistry.

 

Being a little street smart can help you get through and take you a long way in this profession.

However, if you are just not a people’s person or you find it hard to communicate and convince people, you will lag in the race of dentistry, despite doing well academically.

After all, dentistry is a Public Relation based business.

You need to talk well and look professional.

You need to be polite.

You have to tackle angry patients tactfully and much more.

All this you can do only when you are calm in mind and heart.

You just can’t afford to lose your cool like in the picture below 😀

Do not lose your cool & temper!

You need to get good at your communication skills & ANGER MANAGEMENT and always be cool/calm like the picture below next

I am cool! I am calm!


Next Slide

The Final Point To Survive Dentistry

If you tend to give up quickly, then Dentistry is NOT for you!

10. The Ones Who Give Up Easily

Why I joined dentistry?

“Don’t Be A Cry Baby”

A good dentist is the one who is fearless and would take on any challenge thrown at them at any moment.

So, who are the ones with more chances to be successful in dentistry?

  • The ones who are ready to go against all the odds to make it big and have immense faith in themselves. 
  • Those who, despite being in the stressful profession of dentistry, always manage to have a smile on their face and make sure they bring out the best from everybody else. 
  • Those who realize that being a health professional is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. The only way you can survive this career is by NOT being a Cry Baby.

Conclusion:

As mentioned before, the aim of this article is not to discourage people from taking up dentistry as a career option. However, it is always better to explain the false misconceptions or expectations, that a newbie might have about dentistry.
It is just to enlighten those aspirants beforehand on what they are getting into. Because everybody who joins dentistry, eventually says this one line at least once in their life. “I wish somebody had warned me before joining.” 

In the case, you are already into dentistry professionally, and you feel that you fall into any of the categories mentioned in this article, then do not be worried. 

Take this as a wake-up call. Start improving and working towards a better career in dentistry.

If you feel like you have traits similar to  few mentioned above, then it is time to bring about some significant changes in you! 


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