On the commonly asked subject of what is dentistry, often the dentist lifestyle question comes up more than the question of what a dentist actually does for a living. Most people know that dentists ensure optimal oral health through technologies and through procedures. Many, however, are unaware almost completely of what the lifestyle of a dentist entails. So what is part of it?
First, the dentist lifestyle is somewhat laid back for dentists who are in practice for themselves. They do not have bosses to answer to, nor do they have to report to anyone other than themselves. For some dental professionals, this can be a very high source of stress. But for others, it could lead to a stronger sense of freedom and a higher urgency to get more patients to keep things humming along.
Second, the dentist lifestyle is different for every dentist. There are dental professionals who join group practices and others who go solo. There are dentists who work for nonprofit agencies that hand out free dental services and others who charge an arm and a leg for high quality dental services in metropolitan areas. In short, the dentist lifestyle is an entirely unique experience for everyone who goes through it.
Third, the dentist lifestyle includes dental school life, which takes up several years of any dental student’s time. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it takes between six and eight years to complete an education at the top dental school and any schooling that must come before it, and this does not include any specialty services like orthodontics, nor does it involve any of the post graduate training and continuing education courses that all dentists must take and then submit with their state agencies to stay in practice. So even after a dental degree has been obtained, continuing education still plays quite a vital role and so remains a significant component of the dentist lifestyle.
Fourth, the dentist lifestyle does not involve a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job five days a week, according to dental ADA statistics. While some dentists set their own 9 to 5 hours from Monday through Friday, most are flexible enough to show up on weekends when necessary and to book surgeries and other important appointments with patients around their own schedules too. This makes for a much more flexible professional health care environment.