Education. Get ready for many years of school. It’ll take at least 8 years (including 4 years of college) but it’s well worth it if you enjoy the outcome. And if you love being a student like I do, this can actually be a good thing.
Costs. Dental school is expensive. Expect to enter into the real world with several hundred thousand dollars of student loans.
High Responsibility. You are in charge of someone’s health. Administering anesthesia, prescribing drugs, and essentially performing surgery on teeth are all great responsibilities that are to be taken seriously. When things go wrong, which they do– even when you do everything properly– it’s your responsibility.
Stress. With the high responsibility comes high stress. Not only is someone’s health in your hands, but this is a customer service industry. You have to keep the customer happy.
Costs, again. High practice overhead. It’s expensive just to open the doors to your practice. \
Call. Being on call on the weekends.
Challenging Patients. No matter how great you want your work to be, you are not the only determining factor here. If a challenging patient makes it difficult for you to do your best work, chances are the results might not be up to your expectations.
Unpredictability. There’s never a dull moment. Whether it’s a kooky patient, an assistant who calls in sick, or an emergency root canal the day will fly by.
High Intensity. Expect intense, close contact with many people throughout the day.
The Yuck Factor. You might have to deal with bad breath, stinky people, and some really gross mouths.
Dental Insurance. Fortunately, we haven’t taken the same road that medicine has, but it is still a driving force in dental practice today. Insurance coverage is poor at best, and in the end, this leaves both the patients and the dentists unhappy. Dentists struggle to get paid for their work, and patients get pissed at the dentists when their insurance won’t cover a procedure.
Physical Stress and Risks. Dentistry can take a serious toll on your body. You are trying to see and work in a very small space and often have to contort your body for long periods of time.
The Haters. And let’s not forget… patients that hate the dentist but still come to you anyway. It is possible, but it takes work to let go of the negative and embrace the positive.
Hope this helps!