So you want to be a dentist?

Posted on: 3 May 2016

Dentistry is a profession that may attract your attention because it has a certain standing in society, is well paid and confined working hours. Not all dentists work office hours, though, but offer an after-hours service. This is a busy and demanding profession.

If you want to become a dentist, you need to have some specific qualities: 

Tenacity and stamina

You will study for five to seven years before you can register and begin practising as a dentist. If you want to specialise in any particular area, you will have to study for longer.

Dentists work for long hours, even within conventional office hours. Sometimes, one patient may need up to 90 minutes of work done in one stretch. Most tooth problems can be tolerated for at least a day, but if there is an emergency, you may be required to work after hours.

To become a dentist and to enjoy the profession, you will have to be determined and have stamina.

Work with your hands

As a dentist, you will have to work in the relatively small area of the mouth. You should be good at working with your hands and dexterous enough to manoeuvre equipment in a confined space.

Relate to people

As a dentist, you will have to interact with a whole number of different people of all ages every day. Some of your patients will be very nervous, some will be in a hurry and some may simply be miserable because they are in pain. Every patient deserves your full attention, part of which will be assuring them that you will be able to help them.

A dentist cannot work alone, but needs an assistant and administrative staff. Most dentists also work with an oral hygienist and even other dentists. You must be able to relate to all of these people every day, no matter what mood you are in or what the world has thrown at you.

Be physically fit

It may seem strange to think about someone whose job is sitting in a surgery looking into people's mouths needing to be physically fit. Dentistry is not simply about sitting, though. A dentist spends a lot of time bending and working in the patients' mouths. This is not a comfortable position to be in for a long time. Dentists work long hours and cannot afford to tire easily. Being physically fit will help you to deal with these demands.

Be consistent in the standard of service

As a practising dentist, you will be in a service profession and must be sure that all your patients receive the best possible service. It is also important to your financial success: if your service is not up to standard, your patients will vote with their feet and find another dentist. If you offer an after-hours service, you will have to ensure that these patients also receive the best possible service.


Looking younger and fresher

No one ever comes in asking to look older. When they want make an actor look old in a movie they do a few subtle things to age their face, like lighten their eyebrows and yellow up their teeth. That's because the signs of aging don't just affect your skin, they also show in your mouth. A natural bright smile leaves you looking and feeling younger. Cosmetic dentistry is a great way to naturally look younger without painful plastic surgery. If you are looking at getting some cosmetic dentistry this site has great articles about teeth whitening, veneers and other cosmetic procedures.