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Seriously considering pursuing dentistry so i've been weighing pros and cons but i wanna hear from students, retired dentists, practising dentists/specialists, etc. of why they love or hate their job. Be real and honest.

And a followup, if you didn't choose dentistry (or wish you did) what alternative would you have chosen and why?

 

 

Thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'll take a bite. 

First off, you have the right state of mind by asking for honesty. Every profession has it's pros and cons. Half of it is perspective.

I highly suggest working at a dental lab to see, hands on, if you are able to pick things up quickly. If you like being messy, and being honest with yourself. Being able to memorize the phone book isn't a skill that's useful in real world dentistry. Incredibly useful in dental school though.

You have to ask yourself some very tough questions because everyone from the uber driver to the hair dresser will say that dentists make a lot of money, or that they are suicidal. Those are two extremes. However, there is some truth to each of those blanket statements. 

Cons:
- Student Debt. Dental school can be anywhere from $150k (Alberta) to $200k Canadian dollars. The issue that is arising in the profession isn't so much that you cannot pay that student loan, it's the pressure to service that loan ethically while also running your business. You are competing with US/AUS grads in Ontario especially. NYU/Case/Nova/Detroit Mercy pump out a lot of Canadian dentists who come back to Ontario in hopes to service these loans. On the surface, dental school administrators will tell you time and again to not worry about the money but none of them are picking up a hand piece.
- Stress. Related to practice management, student debt, your team. Public image. It can definitely take it's toll if you do not take care of yourself.
- It's a very physical profession. If you have no experience in any type of manual labor job, it can be shocking.
- It's a customer service profession. Again, no experience in customer service? This can be tough. You have to have a thick skin and that isn't something that's taught.
- Opportunity Cost. You'll be spending time in a very specialized trade. Should you want to leave dentistry, it can be very difficult since you have mouths to feed. (i.e. a family, responsibilities to aging parents, overhead.)

Pros:
Plenty of pros are thrown around, autonomy, respect, impact. Ask any dentist who loves their job; it's a blend of manual labor/art/business. They have a true passion for the profession and care where it is headed.  

Hope this helps put things into perspective.
 

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LOL this was asked on YCONIC (copied and pasted below, all credits go to the anonymous user who originally typed this..) 

https://yconic.com/discussion/dentistry-or-medicine/sOJT2i3zQ86I7ndR8PbsC2IVqqzTgwX7/0/25#4aVRXHBDqMxgvpaQwxwJNYpEUfrBYsX

 
Dentistry Pros + Cons
 
- Schooling is a lot shorter. No residency training and you're able to graduate and start working right away. Though lots of people don't get to do this and have to do other things after they graduate from dent school.
 
- Still have a good salary, especially when compared to the majority of Canadians. Apparently jobs are a bit harder to find as a freshly graduated DDS. GTA is oversaturated and most people do want to live and work there. If you don't then hey, better for you.
 
- Teeth and mouths are scary as f*ck. I personally couldn't do this for 40 years, but some can. All the power to you if you're cool with this. 
 
- A lot less prestige than saying you're a physician. Again, please don't make this the ultimate deciding factor.
 
- Supposedly better lifestyle in dentistry. If you're a family type guy or a woman expecting to have young children you can usually work in private practice or under someone else with set hours. A.K.A no on call or obscure hours that you will get in medicine. 
 
- Paying comparable tuition to med students with a much lower expected salary. Sometimes you're even paying more (UBC for example). Comparable debt except you would have made 100-200K more in certain medical specialities. You can still as a dentist make what some physicians make on average, it's just unlikely and I wouldn't bet on it. 
 
- Because of over saturation in dentistry lots of people end up having to specialize, find a niche, or accept a salary lower than expected.
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4 hours ago, timets6 said:

LOL this was asked on YCONIC (copied and pasted below, all credits go to the anonymous user who originally typed this..) 

https://yconic.com/discussion/dentistry-or-medicine/sOJT2i3zQ86I7ndR8PbsC2IVqqzTgwX7/0/25#4aVRXHBDqMxgvpaQwxwJNYpEUfrBYsX

 
Dentistry Pros + Cons
 
- Schooling is a lot shorter. No residency training and you're able to graduate and start working right away. Though lots of people don't get to do this and have to do other things after they graduate from dent school.
 
- Still have a good salary, especially when compared to the majority of Canadians. Apparently jobs are a bit harder to find as a freshly graduated DDS. GTA is oversaturated and most people do want to live and work there. If you don't then hey, better for you.
 
- Teeth and mouths are scary as f*ck. I personally couldn't do this for 40 years, but some can. All the power to you if you're cool with this. 
 
- A lot less prestige than saying you're a physician. Again, please don't make this the ultimate deciding factor.
 
- Supposedly better lifestyle in dentistry. If you're a family type guy or a woman expecting to have young children you can usually work in private practice or under someone else with set hours. A.K.A no on call or obscure hours that you will get in medicine. 
 
- Paying comparable tuition to med students with a much lower expected salary. Sometimes you're even paying more (UBC for example). Comparable debt except you would have made 100-200K more in certain medical specialities. You can still as a dentist make what some physicians make on average, it's just unlikely and I wouldn't bet on it. 
 
- Because of over saturation in dentistry lots of people end up having to specialize, find a niche, or accept a salary lower than expected.

Keep in mind the hours worked per week are very different in dentistry and medicine on average. If you work 50% more hours for example, I'd hope that you would make 50% more income (200 vs 300K, 250 vs 375K, 300 vs 450K, and so forth). But if you wanted to work fewer hours in medicine, it's possible (less than 1.0 FTE) but it is not as easy as it is in dentistry (not to mention the mental stresses of taking your work home with you in medicine). IMO, the best comparison for income is $/hr. 

For some people, people dying scare more than messing up an RCT for example which would not be fatal.

Specializing doesn't really resolve issues of oversaturation (except for OMFS). In times of economic hardship, specialists get squeezed the hardest when generalists keep more specialty procedures in-house. Specialists are also having to compete with generalists more and more for ortho (invisalign, clearcorrect), endo (rotary), implants, extractions, etc. Specialists cannot even often market to the public (except for pedo and ortho).

Ultimately, choose based on your preferences. Not really a big fan of the pros/cons list since it's not really talking about the work itself which IMO is the biggest difference. Dentistry attracts a certain type of personality which I'm sure is quite obvious. Certain traits find more success in dentistry than others. Some people who do well in dentistry wouldn't like medicine and vice versa. What fulfills people can be found in many fields beyond just dentistry/medicine. We tend to put a lot of stock into "saving lives" but I believe that improving/maintaining the quality of life of patients is just as important (e.g. prevention before major issues).

If you're going to compare by income (see my point above as to why this is an unfair comparison), prestige, etc. I hope you enjoy the work in dentistry/medicine first.

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Also keep in mind that searching "average salary of a dentist" is pretty much useless, which I'm guessing that poster did. Some work part time, some spend time in academics and I know of many who give themselves a low salary (for owners).

I agree with Steins;Gate. If a general dentist were to have an established patient base and work the same hours as those "certain medical specialties", that would be comparable.

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6 hours ago, Pingu48 said:

Also keep in mind that searching "average salary of a dentist" is pretty much useless, which I'm guessing that poster did. Some work part time, some spend time in academics and I know of many who give themselves a low salary (for owners).

I agree with Steins;Gate. If a general dentist were to have an established patient base and work the same hours as those "certain medical specialties", that would be comparable.

Yes, additionally both salaries in medicine and dentistry (when incorporated) are going to be underreported when you try to find the average salary figures. There are many reasons why a doc decides to pay themselves a lower amount than what they actually make. For example, many pay themselves a mid-100s salary to have an income figure that can allow them to maximize their RRSPs and TFSAs and then keep the rest in their corporation for investing/tax deferral purposes.

Also, after a certain point in income some people would prefer earning less and working less (due to burnout, family reasons, etc.). It is possible in dentistry (in several different ways such as some stick with associateships like @malkynn, some decide to bring in an associate, some reduce hours/days they work - there are some who take weeks/months off during the summer months every year, etc.) and also possible in medicine (0.5 FTE, 1.0 FTE, etc.). It's therefore not really possible to look at average figures since you're probably trying to figure out average full-time doc and this is a different figure. And not to mention average full-time doc vs. average full-time established docs in their 40s are going to be very different figures as well.

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Ok I'll bite... most of the answers here are pretty generic and can be extrapolated from most things that are posted here. My experience is that the best and worst parts of dentistry are the patients. You'll have patients that are patient, thoughtful, and so appreciative of your work. I have a patient doing a HUGE case, comes in on time every appointment, extremely patient (never gets annoyed if I'm running late), extremely thankful for everything I do at every appointment. Always chatting me up about whats going on in my life and tells me about the stuff going on in hers, super friendly. People like that will make you enjoy dentistry very much. I can't wait to finish her case for her.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people out there who see absolutely 0 value in your work. And I mean absolutely 0. You can break your back bending over for an hour and a half trying to get vision on the back of a bombed out molar, doing compromised heroic work to try and save the tooth cause the patient refuses to pay for the better option. You'll sweat out the appointment, get frustrated cause the patient won't stop moving their tongue and coughing or fidgeting around, pull every trick in the book to give them something good.... to repair a teeth THEY let decay due to their own pop drinking and lack of oral hygiene. Everything that can, WILL go wrong at that appointment. Oh, and they'll never follow your post operative instructions. For all your work, you'll be rewarded with the complaints that the numbing is uncomfortable, you took too long, and you're too expensive/overcharging. That's when you want to reply "Sure, I studied for 8+ years in post-secondary education, trained for thousands of hours, and spent hundreds of thousands in tuition so I can work for you at 15 dollars an hour F YOU. Also there's no such thing as soft teeth." except all you get to do is smile and make a joke about your overhead or paying back those darn student loans ha ha ha.. ugh.

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10 hours ago, malkynn said:

Lol, yeah....that's so not my approach. 

I am completely unapologetic about my fees, but I'm also known for being extremely direct. It works for me, we all have our own styles. 

Personally, I would say that my assistant has far more impact on my day than my patients. That said, I've been spoiled by AMAZING assistants and anything less is now unbearable. 

Overall, there's a lot to love and a lot to hate and the critical thing in choosing any career is figuring out your deal breakers and going from there. 

My MAIN deal breaker was geographical mobility. I walked away from a career in research because I would have had to go where the research opportunities were and after the post-doc I worked with ended up in a city that I would NEVER want to live in, I realized that that could be my future and instead prioritized finding a highly portable and geographically flexible career. I also wanted the option to live rural, so that was a huge plus. 

I wanted the flexibility in my schedule. I wanted to be able to change my hours or to work part time and not compromise my career. 

I HATE sitting in front of a computer and doing a lot of paperwork. Sure, dentistry feels like a lot of paperwork at times, but that's only because we're often rushed to do it. I wanted to spend most of my day *doing something* not writing about something. I also didn't want to work standing, I have a knee injury, so standing is a no-go. Dentistry allows me to sit but still move throughout the day. It's actually easier on my body than most other jobs I've had (as long as I do my physio).

I don't like having a direct supervisor overseeing my work. I like to be as autonomous as possible. I work best when left to my own devices, very few careers allow this at a high end level. Constructive criticism from colleagues and mentors is great, but for me, there is no worse situation that a person in authority having the power to make me do something that I know I don't want to do. 

I prefer small business with staff of less than 12. Again, very few high end careers have very small teams. Bigger environments have more office politics, and office politics is utter shit. Less people, less chance of being stuck working with someone I hate. 

I needed a job that I couldn't take home. When I'm done for the day, I'm done for the day. It's very rare that I have tasks for work that need to be done on my personal time. This was critical for me because I have a hard time truly resting when there's work that could/should be done. I need finite tasks in my life, discrete deliverables. 

I enjoy repetition. I really like fine tuning the same task a thousand times over, or refining my verbage for explanations to get those "aha" moments, or finding the exact right delivery for my humour, etc. However, I also need to be constantly learning new things. Dentistry is this odd balance of ridiculous repetitiveness combined with perpetual change that's just the right balance for me. 

Virtually no life and death. Sure, when I was 22 I wanted to be a surgeon or some shit like that. These days, I'm grateful that there are specialists that I can refer freaky shit to. Autonomy is great, but responsibility can be brutal. I'm glad I'm mostly just responsible for teeth. The older I get, the less consequences I want to stress about. 

Those are my main factors that lead me to this career. Sure, I love working with my hands and working with people, but those weren't my deal breakers. 

People tend to make career choices based on the primary tasks of a job, when really, it's the circumstances of a job that make it enjoyable or unbearable. 

By the end, I hated dentistry at my old job, I love dentistry at my current job. The dentistry is the same, the circumstances are different. My old job started violating some of my deal breakers. 

The more familiar you become with your deal breakers, the wiser you will be when it comes to making career decisions. 

+1 for the freaky shit..  I like dealing with freaky shit, but don't like to mop up other ppl's shit.  
I am fine with once or twice, hey sometime ppl don't know their limitations, however, repeat offenders... I get very annoyed. 

Haha. don't take work home, not always, but rare in dentistry.  But post-op complications do occur, however, most DDS in the community just tell them to go to emerg, which is my pet peeve

 

No careers are without ups and downs... you just have to find out what you can and cannot tolerate and go from there..  At the end of the day, try to find something you love to do. because min. 25 years is a long time...

 

20 hours ago, powerpenguin said:

Yeah... but 99.9% of the patients who say it don't actually have amelogenesis or dentinogenesis imperfecta.

I know. but just correcting your sentence as there is "soft teeth" and yes most don't have that condition.  Sorry just a habit,my thesis was in oral path while I was doing my specialty training... :) 

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I think future of dentistry is bleak. Low demand, over supply, declining income, decrease in fees are all recipe for disaster. Its just simple economics. Its not going to go back to where it was and its just getting worse and worse each year. Thats the reality and all prospective dental students should know that. Unfortunately most of them are clueless about the reality of the profession. They see some of these job ads that advertise for 300k per year and they have no idea that these ads are all bullshit and once you go there and work you soon realize that the practice doesn't have a patient base to support that kind of income and you have been tricked. If you hear from me its just best to switch to medicine where your hard work at least pays off and you will have a high guaranteed income! 

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13 hours ago, Mesentric123 said:

I think future of dentistry is bleak. Low demand, over supply, declining income, decrease in fees are all recipe for disaster. Its just simple economics. Its not going to go back to where it was and its just getting worse and worse each year. Thats the reality and all prospective dental students should know that. Unfortunately most of them are clueless about the reality of the profession. They see some of these job ads that advertise for 300k per year and they have no idea that these ads are all bullshit and once you go there and work you soon realize that the practice doesn't have a patient base to support that kind of income and you have been tricked. If you hear from me its just best to switch to medicine where your hard work at least pays off and you will have a high guaranteed income! 

I would also take all the sensationalist 'sky is falling' issues with a grain of salt. A lot of the concerns you hear about dentistry is because the profession has changed in a very real way in the last 15 years (and that's accelerated in the last 5). However, this is largely coming from a group of baby boomers (aged 45-60) that used to make $400,000 a year, and now face increased competition to make $150-250k (depending on where you live). It's a huge change for them.

Our generation is different. We Airbnb and Uber rather than own $1.5 million cottages, and BMWs. I'm a new-ish grad, working around 1.5 hours outside of Toronto, and I'm going to make around $190k give or take in 2017, as an associate. You're going to hear a huge spectrum of incomes, and your mileage may vary, but I truly believe it's poor expectations that lead to people thinking dentistry is dead. 

We're remunerated so highly per procedure, that if you do 4 fillings in a day (not much) and a few recalls, you can bill $1000 very easily. At 40% that's $400 per day. At ~250 working days, that's $100k per year. 

I won't have a McMansion (nor would I want one) or a Muskoka cottage. But I can easily afford a beautiful single family house in the GTA, a car that drives me to and from work safely, the ability to dine with my fiance 3-4 times per week at all the trendy spots. I don't want for anything. And even if my income declines, I'll have more than enough for everything I could want (travel, leisure, recreation, experiences etc.).

Medicine also has a huge range of issues. Deb Matthews and Eric Hoskins are scaling back physician remuneration. There is competition and saturation, even in primary care. Every career has roses and thorns. 

I chuckle when I see this sky is falling attitude. To get philosophical on ya'll - contentness comes from within.You'll make more than enough money to have everything you should want. Even if you work in Toronto, all my friends there are doing fine. I don't know their incomes, but they have nice apartments, they eat out, go to traveling etc. They decided Toronto and saturdation is better than outskirts and higher income. They chose to be happy, and they are. I am not trying to say the struggle isn't real, and other dentists will disagree with me, but you can hack it. At $85,000 yearly income you have $62,000 after tax. Take $2000 a month for rent, $1500 a month for misc expenses ($375 per week) and $5000 for vacation, and you have $15,000 for savings / other. And over time, income grows because savings lead to investments (compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world). 

And that's at $85,000 per year. If you make $150,000 per year you have $100,000 after tax.

Please, to all the predents who read this one off post and feel terrible about their career choice, don't believe the hype. Talk to dentists (a range of them, not just your uncle dentist who's practiced in downtown Toronto for 40 years, he'll tell you the profession is terrible because it's changed so much for him).

As long as you want a nice life and not a crazy luxury one, you're going to be just fine. 

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45 minutes ago, realdealdent said:

I would also take all the sensationalist 'sky is falling' issues with a grain of salt. A lot of the concerns you hear about dentistry is because the profession has changed in a very real way in the last 15 years (and that's accelerated in the last 5). However, this is largely coming from a group of baby boomers (aged 45-60) that used to make $400,000 a year, and now face increased competition to make $150-250k (depending on where you live). It's a huge change for them.

Our generation is different. We Airbnb and Uber rather than own $1.5 million cottages, and BMWs. I'm a new-ish grad, working around 1.5 hours outside of Toronto, and I'm going to make around $190k give or take in 2017, as an associate. You're going to hear a huge spectrum of incomes, and your mileage may vary, but I truly believe it's poor expectations that lead to people thinking dentistry is dead. 

We're remunerated so highly per procedure, that if you do 4 fillings in a day (not much) and a few recalls, you can bill $1000 very easily. At 40% that's $400 per day. At ~250 working days, that's $100k per year. 

I won't have a McMansion (nor would I want one) or a Muskoka cottage. But I can easily afford a beautiful single family house in the GTA, a car that drives me to and from work safely, the ability to dine with my fiance 3-4 times per week at all the trendy spots. I don't want for anything. And even if my income declines, I'll have more than enough for everything I could want (travel, leisure, recreation, experiences etc.).

Medicine also has a huge range of issues. Deb Matthews and Eric Hoskins are scaling back physician remuneration. There is competition and saturation, even in primary care. Every career has roses and thorns. 

I chuckle when I see this sky is falling attitude. To get philosophical on ya'll - contentness comes from within.You'll make more than enough money to have everything you should want. Even if you work in Toronto, all my friends there are doing fine. I don't know their incomes, but they have nice apartments, they eat out, go to traveling etc. They decided Toronto and saturdation is better than outskirts and higher income. They chose to be happy, and they are. I am not trying to say the struggle isn't real, and other dentists will disagree with me, but you can hack it. At $85,000 yearly income you have $62,000 after tax. Take $2000 a month for rent, $1500 a month for misc expenses ($375 per week) and $5000 for vacation, and you have $15,000 for savings / other. And over time, income grows because savings lead to investments (compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world). 

And that's at $85,000 per year. If you make $150,000 per year you have $100,000 after tax.

Please, to all the predents who read this one off post and feel terrible about their career choice, don't believe the hype. Talk to dentists (a range of them, not just your uncle dentist who's practiced in downtown Toronto for 40 years, he'll tell you the profession is terrible because it's changed so much for him).

As long as you want a nice life and not a crazy luxury one, you're going to be just fine. 

ya, you are making good money right now but thats gonna change in 5-10 years. The demand is changing and there is a sharp decline in demand amongst adults. The dentist to population ratio is sharply increasing and that is going to impact future income for dentists . A new grad in 5 or 10 years won't make that much. Some dentists do very well and some are just not lucky and are broke. My friend got bankrupt couple of months ago and bank took her case to court and wanted to garnish her wages. Lots of dentists look good but they have bad balance sheet, lots of growth in canada is credit based and not demand based and real. Bank gives them a big practice loan but the patient base is just not there and they keep struggling. 

 
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20 minutes ago, Mesentric123 said:

ya, you are making good money right now but thats gonna change in 5-10 years. The demand is changing and there is a sharp decline in demand amongst adults. The dentist to population ratio is sharply increasing and that is going to impact future income for dentists . A new grad in 5 or 10 years won't make that much. Some dentists do very well and some are just not lucky and are broke. My friend got bankrupt couple of months ago and bank took her case to court and wanted to garnish her wages. Lots of dentists look good but they have bad balance sheet, lots of growth in canada is credit based and not demand based and real. Bank gives them a big practice loan but the patient base is just not there and they keep struggling. 

 

There's basic economics that will influence this. As income decreases, demand for the profession decreases, and competition lessens. People will talk about a race to the bottom, but that has diminishing effects as income does decrease. 

I feel like you've missed my point here. 

If your point is that there are better paying jobs, I agree with you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make a good income.

My point, rather, was that for those who want to be dentists and have realistic expectations for a realistic life, there is nothing to be concerned about. And that the 'sky is falling' mentality is largely inflated because the dentists that see the greatest change in income were accustomed to a lifestyle that our generation won't know. In 30 years who knows what the world will look like, with artificial intelligence et al. Just pursue a career that you enjoy. 

That's all for me now. Opinions will vary. 

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I will add pro and con from my experience of finishing two year of dent, I'm the semi-dentist if you would like:

Pro:

Career with good potential as there will always be demand due to oral health problems (people will always drink soda and eat sweets)

You get to work in team environment, which is fun. 

You get to learn cool dental procedures in dental school 

The science is easy to understand in dental school. 

You get to deal with people all the time, which is also fun. 

Con:

The biggest one is being in an awkward position for possibly long period of time (up to 30 min for root canals). You try to bring the patient jaw toward you and away from you, sit on right side and left side.. but in the end, you always end up in awkward position. This probably have bad consequences on one's neck and back as they grow older. Neck pain and back pain is quite common in people who work full-time in this profession.  

Dental school is very tough environment. Dental procedures, technical hand skills which you are doing for the first time, can be very difficult to be successful at. Add to this the strict cross-infection protocol you need to follow all the time in clinic and dental hygienist assessing you all the time there. Add to this also the high expectation of faculty for someone at student level in clinic, you are seeing someone mouth for the lets say the fourth time, but you're expected to catch where the tooth decay is at (visually not with radiographs). My school also had a negative grading system, where if you do not do well in clinic or clinical skills lab, your grades becomes lower and lower, until you can possibly fail out of the program. 

 

Anyways, dentistry has its good and bad. Working four times instead of five times or six times a week I think is more healthy for a dentist in the long run. Working four times a week can still bring in good living standards for a dentist. 

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I'll put my 2 cents in here

Dentistry is always changing period. Procedures are changing, materials are changing, people are changing, demographics changes as well. 

Every profession changes over time, it's about how you adapt to it, not how it adapts to you. It's kind of like when you go from high school to university. You adapt to the learning style, not the university adapting to your learning style.

 As with this income thing I always chuckle when people ask now because it's you talk to 3 different dentists and you'll get 4 different answers. 
It's a "business" and with all businesses there are ones that do extremely well and there are ones that are struggling. 

Most do pretty well, at least the ones I've spoken to. 
however, Yes the profession is changing, yes saturation in major cities are a problem BUT that's a choice you have to make. 
If you don't like the fact that you're not going to make 500k take home the first year out of dental school then i think you seriously have to look at other professions. 

nevertheless, it's a great profession. I love what I do everyday and I love that I get to make a difference in people's lives even if it's just a small impact sometimes. 

My opinion in regards to income is: Do what you love and the money will follow <--- feel like that's a quote from somewhere:lol: 

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On 8/30/2017 at 7:21 AM, malkynn said:

However, the "focus on happiness" approach falls right the fuck apart when the conditions under which we have to work become unlivable because of the industry hurting. 

Downturn and excessive competition in dentistry means very bad things for young dentists: poor working conditions, compromised ethics, old/expired/grey market materials and equipment, hygienists having their appointment times cut so much that they can't do their jobs properly, assistants being made to cut corners (see the recent closures due to infection control violations), basic human dignity going out the window, loss of autonomy, pressure to do procedures WAY above your skill set, etc, etc. It's all becoming far too common. 

When the bottom line of a clinic is hurting, the life of the associate becomes much harder. 

Life sucks when you get pressured not to refer out exos but your clinic only has super old, dull, dangerously ineffective tools. Many new grads are being expected to do upper molar endos, which is insane. How does that serve the patient??? It simply doesn't, and it's painful to work in an environment that does not put patient well being first. It goes against everything that most of us got into this for in the first place.

All of this.

Income is always relative. You have to look at how much someone works, what procedures they're doing, what their hours are & what sort of volume of patients they're seeing. I can see the influx of dentists, increased competition, international board challengers, etc. etc. causing income deficits across the board, but the bigger concern really is how cutthroat the industry as a whole becomes, to the detriment of essentially everyone, patients included. 

The biggest lesson I've learned over the past year is that dentistry as a culture is faltering. Dentistry is a profession that always has, but particularly in most recent times, eats its young. There are simply a lot of unscrupulous people out there that have been created out of facing financial & logistical challenges they are uncapable or unwilling to face, and they will always try to foist these hardships onto those below them, whether that be their employees, associates, or even patients. You just see weirder and weirder, more and more reprehensible stuff on a daily basis, and this is all because the field as a whole can often be rather opaque and confusing; there are very few 'standards' in terms of how dentists treat each other and how they treat patients. There's a whole lot of grey, muddy waters to wade through, and as time goes on and the industry is further squeezed by the imbalance of dentists to patients, it gets worse and worse.

So no, my income is not bad by any means. It is not as high as those before me, and yes, costs are rising, but I am not starving, nor am I uncomfortable. The bigger issue at hand is that the experience of practising dentistry beyond income is taking a huge hit. Being treated poorly by owners, viewing other dentists or clinics as 'competition', the aggressive marketing toward and retainment of patients. That's what I don't like.

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On ‎2017‎-‎08‎-‎30 at 7:21 AM, malkynn said:

Life sucks when you get pressured not to refer out exos but your clinic only has super old, dull, dangerously ineffective tools. Many new grads are being expected to do upper molar endos, which is insane. How does that serve the patient??? It simply doesn't, and it's painful to work in an environment that does not put patient well being first. It goes against everything that most of us got into this for in the first place.

 

The whole point of doing endo is to eliminate the infection in the root canals and their apex. If there is an infection (as determined by radiographs showing radiolucency at the apex of the canals) and you do not preform RCT (root canal treatment), then in the case of upper molars, the infection can spread into the maxillary bone and the maxillary sinus. If the infection reaches maxillary sinus, the face will swell and there is pain associated with that. 

RCT is important in eliminating infection, preventing re-infection, and maintaining what is left of the tooth structure. 

If new grad is not good at doing endo, then refer the case to the endodontist. Maybe that's what you meant there?

I just wanted to clear things up. 

 

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1 hour ago, withnothing said:

The whole point of doing endo is to eliminate the infection in the root canals and their apex. If there is an infection (as determined by radiographs showing radiolucency at the apex of the canals) and you do not preform RCT (root canal treatment), then in the case of upper molars, the infection can spread into the maxillary bone and the maxillary sinus. If the infection reaches maxillary sinus, the face will swell and there is pain associated with that. 

RCT is important in eliminating infection, preventing re-infection, and maintaining what is left of the tooth structure. 

If new grad is not good at doing endo, then refer the case to the endodontist. Maybe that's what you meant there?

I just wanted to clear things up. 

 

I don't think you have to explain the indications for root canal therapy to malkynn. I'm not sure how you didn't understand from the rest of her post that she's a practicing dentist. You're not really clearing anything up. 

What she means is that the grand majority of new graduates are not proficient enough at upper molar endos (or even endodontics in general) to be tackling that stuff right out of the gate. But their principal dentist/owner has increased pressure to keep procedures in-house, and more experienced dentists who are more picky about what they do and don't do are unlikely to stand for a higher-up pressuring them to do things they normally wouldn't, whereas a new grad often doesn't know better, and can falter in their clinical decision-making. It's very easy to take advantage of a new dentist in that manner.

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Back on topic, I enjoy when I set myself with a challenge that is in the upper range of my comfort zone and I succeed.  Dentistry is all about your comfort zones and slowly expanding them.  

Today I was working (yes on a long weekend Sunday) and I had a patient with a decayed and painful 38 (wisdom tooth). It was partially impacted and I could tell from the x-ray that the roots were really hooked.  That's something that many dentists would refer but it's the long weekend and the patient was in pain (and I love taking out teeth) so what the hell.  

So when elevating, the distal roots (two of them) broke off but with a little sectioning and troughing I was able to shuck them out.  It only took me about 10 minutes for the whole extraction.  Here's a photo of the tooth which gives an idea of how hooked these roots were (warning: a tooth and a bit of blood): 

It's always a bit exhilarating when you do better than you think you will.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Ostracized said:

Back on topic, I enjoy when I set myself with a challenge that is in the upper range of my comfort zone and I succeed.  Dentistry is all about your comfort zones and slowly expanding them.  

Today I was working (yes on a long weekend Sunday) and I had a patient with a decayed and painful 38 (wisdom tooth). It was partially impacted and I could tell from the x-ray that the roots were really hooked.  That's something that many dentists would refer but it's the long weekend and the patient was in pain (and I love taking out teeth) so what the hell.  

So when elevating, the distal roots (two of them) broke off but with a little sectioning and troughing I was able to shuck them out.  It only took me about 10 minutes for the whole extraction.  Here's a photo of the tooth which gives an idea of how hooked these roots were (warning: a tooth and a bit of blood): 

It's always a bit exhilarating when you do better than you think you will.

 

 

 

what happens if you broke the two roots and couldn't get it out...? 
hate to be the devils advocate here but who do you call? 

Do you just refer to an oral surgeon and fork up the bill for them?

 

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