Whats wrong with dentistry?

<p>So, I come from a family of doctors and was brought up being told that medicine was the only way one could guarentee themselves a slot in the "upper/upper-middle" class. However, with things like national healthcare, malpractice, long hours, residency, and the possibly that you could kill your patients or watch them die, I am beginning to suspect that dentistry would provide me with a MUCH better lifestyle and MUCH more career happines. I mean even in general practice dentistry you make 150K for working 30 hr work weeks, you have great career stability, healthcare rly wont impact you, you don't have any residency period, and your work is normally going to be less stressful. Then, if you work in ortho or something, your income skyrockets even more. Don't get me wrong. I understand many people are simply drawn to other fields of medicine because that's where their interests are. However, is there some big reason that dentistry isnt more popular?</p>

<p>I read where dentists have the highest suicide rate among professionals:
Why</a> do dentists have the highest suicide rate? - Yahoo! Answers</p>

I read that thread and most people seem to think that that "fact" is just urban myth. Though, I think the OP brings up a good question. I really can't find a downside to dentistry (assuming you dont mind looking at teeth all day).</p>

<p>What's wrong dentistry? You work with teeth. But seriously working with teeth for the rest of your life may appeal to some people, but not all. It's still an admirable profession, but some people would rather work and specialize in other parts of the body aside from the mouth.</p>

<p>There's nothing wrong with dentistry, it's probably just a matter of perception. </p>

<p>You might be making it sound too easy though. I don't think dentists have 30 hr work weeks, and they do have a residency period, but it's not as taxing as that of medical residents.</p>

Ya, maybe I exaggerated a bit on the 30 hr a week. However, I think hours would prbly range from like 30-50 per week..which is still not bad at all. However, I thought only ortho and endo people had residency.</p>

<p>^ depends where you want to practice. it's not really "residency" but in NY, for example, you need to have a year of an internship before practicing. and then yeah, residency for specialties.</p>

<p>It's very much a personal thing. </p>

<p>The thing is, until you get to medical school, you really never get an idea about how personal specialty choice is. Reading this site, SDN and other sources you'd think that all any medical student cares about is money and lifestyle. But in truth, especially when you start talking to residents looking at fellowships in medicine, peds or surgery, personality is VITALLY important. Think of dentistry as the same way - just another medical specialty. Just as I could never do developmental pediatrics (I'm looking to do pediatric critical care), I and many other people could never do teeth, no matter how much you'd pay me. </p>

<p>Certainly the things you've said are positive points and attract people to dentistry, but in the end those people need to be able to "do" teeth...</p>

<p>I don't know but my Dentist works four days a week, takes numerous fabulous vacations (he's on a ten day Mediterranean cruise with his whole family right now) plays a lot of golf and has an enviable quality of life.....not a bad alternative if you ask me.</p>

<p>Dentistry is incredibly boring. You dont get the satisfaction of telling people that you save lives (u can live without your teeth) and you can't break 200k a year without working like 70 hr/week except with like multiple joint partner clinics with sharing profit rights.</p>

Isn't it crazy easy to break 200k if you do make it into an Ortho/Endo specialty (Plus, in some states the average income for a general dentist is like 180-200k according to the ADA..it was a report linked on SDN)? Additionally, you may not get the satisfaction of saving people in dentistry. However, there is a second side to that, no? You also would not have to deal with the pain of killing anyone because, as you say, you can indeed live without your teeth.</p>

<p>Btw..I'm getting two degrees from Wharton (haha actually so is RTgrove, rite?). Would I basically be wasting my Wharton degree or will a business degree greatly help a dentist who did want to set up private practice?</p>

Dentistry is incredibly boring. You dont get the satisfaction of telling people that you save lives (u can live without your teeth) and you can't break 200k a year without working like 70 hr/week except with like multiple joint partner clinics with sharing profit rights.


<p>First, you are so obsessed with money.......and greatly over generalizing.....</p>

<p>Second, while it may seem boring and uncomplicated to you, dental health can significantly impact many other body systems especially the cardiovascular system.</p>

<p>Third, income greatly depends on where you live but as I mentioned my dentist makes far more then $200K a year and as I also said works four days a week and I have several other friends who are dentists that do VERY well.....don't have partners or wives/husbands that work. Cosmetic dentistry is enormous here and extremely lucrative and I'm not speaking of orthodontics.</p>

<p>Additionally many dentists decide to go the oral maxillofacial surgery route....some even go on to get their MDs.</p>

<p>Well "significantly impact many other body systems" isnt lethal. If you lost your teeth today, you'd get dentures (orthodontist, not dentist) and laugh it off a few years later.</p>

<p>Anyways, back to the point. Dentistry is just highly specialized manual labor. You bend over a patients mouth a good 10 hrs+ a day. Its pretty repetitive. People usually book a dentistry appointment for cavities or checkups. You dont see Ambulances driving a 70mph on local roads with sirens roaring rushing to the nearest dental clinic...</p>

<p>whether or not dentistry is noble, people are willing to pay vast amounts of money for healthy teeth and a good smile, and dentists provide that service. who cares about its importance, it is important enough to keep people coming back 2 times a year, thats all that matters. a dentist is a great career no doubt.</p>

<p>last time i had a filling, it took about an hour all said and done. it cost $315. split between the partners who run the office and all the staff and mortgage and various other costs, that seems like not a lot of money for a technical procedure. </p>

<p>like i said, dentists have it great because their patients keep coming back twice a year. thats stability and steady income. </p>

<p>i wish i weren't such a romantic. i would be a dentist but this wouldn't satisfy my lust for blood and excitement. this is why i won't rest until i'm a surgeon of some sort, hopefully in an emergency setting. i hope to work over 80 hours a week. i hate not working. i hate watching tv. emergency medicine is in my blood, the last 3 summers i have worked at a job where i occaisionally have to treat an emergency.</p>

<p>it would also be fun to be a surgeon in a war setting, you know, bullet wounds, amputations, the whole lot. although i would not be an army medic because they have to be in the thick of the war. i would rather be on the sidelines, cleaning up the mess.</p>

<p>There are some dentistry specialties that are more demanding than some medical specialties. OMFS, for example, is incredibly competitive and I have heard medical students have wanted to match into OMFS. </p>

<p>and jasoninNy, you have an overly romanticized view of other careers in medicine if you think dentistry is boring in comparison. It's not just dentistry that's repetitive. It sounds like you like specialties that are high-paying, save lives, and involve emergencies, so what would you consider your ideal specialty? I mean even plastic surgery, probably considered one of the most glamorous specialties, doesn't save lives or involve speeding ambulances.</p>

Well "significantly impact many other body systems" isnt lethal


<p>Undiagnosed it can be....it can lead to mitral valve prolapse and even death.</p>

<p>Poor dental hygiene can also lead to a host of problems throughout the body, such as heart disease, diabetes, blood infection and even low birth-weight babies.</p>

Periodontitis, or gum disease, can more than triple the risk of the person suffering from a heart attack or stroke and is also associated with diabetes. It causes an elevation in lipoproteins in the blood, with low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) contribute to atherosclerosis, or artery hardening and narrowing.



<p>Poor teeth leads to increased risk of death. A malignant tumor guarantees death if a radiologist or surgeon doesnt take care of it.</p>

<p>And regard plastic surgery: those plastic surgeons make BANK $$$$$$$$$$$$$. If janitors made 7 figures a year, id be mopping the floors everyday wearing a Rolex 5 digit series Daytona and italian leather. Money first. Respect attributed by others second. Seeing how dentists are bested by MD's in both those catagories, it is strategically better to become a MD.</p>

<p>i mean seriously. At a cocktail party, are you going to talk to the dentist about teeth or are you going to talk to the cardiologist or radiologist about cutting edge treatments?</p>

<p>Heres my biggest problem with medicine. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could correct me here I'd appreciate it as I am just at the beginning phase of researching healthcare professions!</p>

<p>With Med, your kind of opening a pandora's box. Entering med school, you could get stuck doing something you absolutely hate because the human body is so dam broad. Say you love radiology and derm but could NEVER see yourself doing cardiology. Well, derm and radiology are hard residencies to get, so you may just get stuck with some residency like cardiology that you dont like as much. </p>

<p>With Dent, you are working with the oral cavity period. So, at least you will know, no matter what happens, you'll be working on teeth. Even if you pray before you go to bed every night that you wind up as an orthodonist, you at least know what body system you are working on from the get go even if you arent blessed with the opportunity to work as an otho. Additionally, you know you can work a fairly standard 9-5 job and get good pay whereas again in med, there are no real guarentees. </p>


<p>A fairly prominent poster on this board one time said if you are willing to go work as a resident in an underrepresented state (like Alaska or North Dakota), you can indeed be fairly certain in securing one of those ROAD residencies. Firstly, is this true. Secondly, is this also true if you want to secure an orthodontist "residency" after dental school?</p>

<p>You guys have no idea what you guys are talking about. Here is an excerpt of what real OMFS aka “face surgeons” do. </p>

<p>Originally Posted by DrReo<br>
(" Because you’re quoting the most lucrative and sought after procedures [implants] that every oral surgeon, I mean oral and maxillofacial surgeon, chooses to do.")</p>

<p>You know, this quote and a couple of other posts you have made make it seem like you have a serious inferiority complex, let’s be real. YOU WILL NEVER BE AN ORAL SURGEON OR MAKE ENOUGH SNIDE REMARKS TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT SUBPAR BOARDS SCORES WHICH ULTIMATELY HAVE EXCLUDED YOU FROM EVEN GETTING BEYOND THE FIRST STACK OF APPLICANTS (intentionally all caps, not to convey anger, but clarity of a point you may have not yet realized). Deal with it. OS> perio, since beginning of time, now and forever more. Rationalize all you want, I went from 3 sets of wizzies in the AM, a chin harvest at noon, ORIF mandible for afternoon to just now closing up a ludwigs pt, perio…please, I got more interesting stuff out of my infection guy than any of your posts</p>

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Originally Posted by caffeinehigh<br>
(“I can’t even listen to this garbage. Go take your “I’m a physician of the mouth” rant elsewhere. In the end, you’re still a dentist, not a doctor.”)</p>

<p>Last I checked dentists are awarded a doctorate degree. Yes we are all dentists, we should be proud of our roots. Fortunately for society OMFS has a good grasp on the middle road between dentistry and facial surgery. I can’t imagine what would happen to the patient population at my hospital if I wasn’t around. When was the last time a plastic surgeon treated CGCG with great success? Not as often as the ‘physician of the mouth’, I can assure you that. 30 people a week would die at the county hospital if we weren’t around to drain the infections appropriately. Guess what happens when ENT and plastics (the ‘real’ doctors according to you) have a complication related to facial trauma? Guess who’s door they come knocking on? OMFS.</p>

<p>In the end, if you got rid of both specialties and let the GP’s try to handle both patient populations that each specialty treats…well, the OMFS patients would suffer a great deal more, more people would die, more pathology would go undetected and extractions would take a whole helluva lot longer.</p>

<p>I guess if you weigh each specialty by the amount of lives they save, OMFS is more important.</p>

<p>When you are doing pocket regeneration or whatever the hell gay name you guys give biological width regeneration on an 8mm pocket, and I am in the OR removing a 5 cm section of the entire mandible, then cutting down on a fibula or hip to then reconstruct said mandible, you can think that I am not a doctor. When I was on trauma and ‘ran the bowels’ 5 times a night on GSW’s by myself, then you can continue to think I am not a doctor (yes the attending would poke their head in and ask ‘how is the tooth fairy?’, we would get a laugh, and then they would leave while I continued to repair enterotomies and search for bullets, fine, I am a dentist. A dentist who is damn good at soft tissue manipulation, extractions with awesome anesthesia, implants x 5 in max and mand that I can place temporary prosth on same day in two hours, facial trauma guru, double jaw in 2.5 hours by myself, the list goes on.</p>

<p>Yeah, I wonder why we think perio can be ******s when they talk.</p>