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Got into dental school... What's next?

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Hi everyone, 

I was just wondering if this ever happened to anyone. I got into dental school about 2 weeks ago, was super excited and all (and still am so much), but I'm definitely starting to think more about it right now and realize it's really coming up. All my life, I've told myself that I wanted to be a dentist, I've shadowed some and dreamed (literally) of becoming one. I feel like for so many years, I've only worked towards this and had a tunnel vision with my goal at the end: getting into dental school. However, now that I got in, I realize that this is getting really serious. I'm so excited to start my journey and still really want to become a dentist but I've heard so many stories of dentists not liking their job/ regretting their choice, so it makes me question myself. I'm really scared of starting school, sitting in my first class and just asking myself "wow.. what have I gotten myself into". Has this ever happened to anyone? I'm not trying to be negative, just trying to see if my questionings are normal. I'm scared that I might end up realizing that dentistry isn't what completely fulfills me. I know I shouldn't think about this right now, but I just can't stop wondering if it's normal to feel that way.

Anyways, thanks so much to those who will understand and share their experience with me :)


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Allô! Mon anglais n'est pas très bon, alors je te répondrai en français en espérant que tu comprennes!

Je veux tout d'abord te dire que je me sens exactement comme toi, et ça me fait du bien de voir que je ne suis pas seul. Je rêve de médecine depuis que je suis tout petit, et maintenant que j'y suis accepté, je me questionne à savoir si j'y serai vraiment heureux. J'ai parlé à plusieurs résidents qui semblent regretter leur choix et qui présentent même des symptômes de burn-out; ce n'est pas rassurant. Pour m'aider, je pense à ceux qui sont dans la profession, toujours passionnés; toutes les histoires ne sont pas tristes, au contraire!!!!

Je pense qu'en mettant autant d'effort afin d'atteindre notre but, on vient à idéaliser la profession. Ça reste une job, il y aura certainement des hauts et des bas! Et au pire, si ce n'est pas pour toi, tu changes/switch pour quelque chose d'autre. Mais je pense que tu n'en arriveras surement pas là (et j'espère que moi non plus). Selon mon expérience, il semble normal d'avoir des doutes, mais c'est en le faisant que tu le découvriras. Aussi, si tu as voulu être dentiste depuis si longtemps.... il y a surement plusieurs raisons! Essaie de te rappeler ce qui te motivait au début (moi ça m'aide!).

Finalement, je te dis profite de ton été, car les prochaines années seront très chargées! Bonne chance pour la suite :) 

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Congrats on getting in!!!

Undertaking dental school a huge task, both time-wise and financially, so it's totally normal to feel a bit apprehensive. You might hear all these stories of gloom, but that might be due partly to selection bias or maybe those people went into dentistry with a different intention. None of it might apply to you. Just remind yourself once more why you've wanted this for so long and keep shadowing (not just to see what it's like, but to get more insight). If it's for the right reasons, you'll end up loving it despite what other people might say!

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Congratulations! :)

Absolutely. I had similar feelings when I got in and even at times while in school. I was happy but I felt like I worked so hard in undergrad to achieve this goal and it was like "Now what?".

Sometimes I felt like I didn't enjoy Dentistry but later I realized it was just that I didn't enjoy the waves of stress that can come with dental school (you'll be very busy!). Just like anything else, Dentistry and dental school will have ups and downs. There will be classes you absolutely love and classes you hate and things in between; things you're good at and things you're not so good at (but can improve on with practice!).

Even if there are some things you don't enjoy, you'll see that the good will outweigh the bad if Dentistry is what you really want to do. At the end of all this, you'll be a dentist. Remember why you wanted this in the first place and what motivated you. It's exciting and can be a little scary. Learn as much as you can in school and take it all in :)

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By the end of the 4 years, I can safely say that some grow to love it even more, some remain enthusiastic, some are neutral and a select few are a bit bitter. It's a wide spectrum of responses you could get to this and like someone above mentioned: it can be selection bias as well.

I don't think I'll get bored of practicing dentistry anytime soon - and I tend to burn out my hobbies pretty quickly. If you're passionate about it... you'll feel it every single time you finish up clinic.

PS: first year of dental school sucked. Then it got better by second. Third and fourth years were great. Why? Because you actually do dentistry.

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