These days, choosing a school and a career can be a lot like rolling the dice. It can be hard to predict if your career of choice will be worthwhile once you get out of school, and even harder still to predict if you will make enough money to be able to pay off your school loan debts. No career is so secure that you can guarantee for yourself a comfortable lifestyle, but there are careers which are more worthwhile to pursue. Depending on your skills, talents, and drive, a career in dentistry could be very comfortable.
1. What is dentistry?
A branch of medicine, dentistry is the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area, and associated structures. This branch of medicine is concerned with treating diseases, disorders, and conditions which could affect those areas of the human body. Dentistry is about more than just teeth though, and extends its concern to how conditions in the mouth could affect the health of the rest of the body.
2. What is dental school life like?
Dental school life is as rigorous as that of any doctoral school life. Students must take a Dental Admission Test, or National Board Dental Examination. It can be difficult to prepare for a four year education both academically and financially. There are two to three parts to the National Board Dental Examinations which, if passed, will allow you display a National Board Dental Certificate, or a Dental Hygiene Certificate.
You can go to a top dental school, and the internet has several different listings for those. The American Dental Association notes that in the United States there are 64 accredited dental institutions. Among the most recent schools to become accredited in the past two years are the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and the University of New England in Portland, Maine.
3. What will life be like after I graduate?
According to the American Dental Association, a private general practitioner who owns their practice at least in part, made on average 192,680 dollars in 2009. For a specialist, the average was 305,820 annually. A dentist lifestyle can be very comfortable depending on the number of patients you have, whether or not you own your practice, and how much of your education has been paid off. Choosing a career in dentistry will not be ideal for everyone, but hopefully this article has clarified some of the realities of pursuing that kind of career.