How does a day look like for a dentist?
I am a junior in high school and I want to be a dentist, so I want to know how my day will look like if I really do become a dentist. #dentistry #dentist #dental-hygienist #family-dentistry #pediatric-dentistry
This seems like a pretty straightforward question to answer. The answer is not so simple though.
You are probably familiar with the most common model--private practice dentistry in an office, either solo or with one or a few other dentists--either general dentists or specialists. Some dentists also work as employees in offices owned by other dentists.
This model is becoming more and more difficult to achieve for recent graduates. Most graduates labor under heavy debt burdens. For those not independently wealthy, it's hard to come out of dental school and buy or build your own office. For this reason other practice modes not requiring a large cash outlay or taking on even more debt are becoming more popular--mostly not by choice but of necessity.
For that matter, not all dentists are engaged in clinical dentistry. Some work in academia (teaching and/or research), some in industry, some in governmental agencies.
There is a lot of hysteria among dentists (and physicians !) about the fate of private practice. Some will blame the Affordable Care act ("Obamacare"), but most of the trends and financial pressures on private practice were in place before passage of the ACA.
I don't say any of this to scare you--scaring prospective health care professionals is an old, old story. When I was in college (over 40 years ago) the terror du jour was the prospect of a vaccine against tooth decay, which was being tested on monkeys in the UK and was going to end DENTISTRY AS WE KNOW IT.
40 years on there is still no vaccine, and the current scare shall pass too.
I am a new dentist and I work part - time right now for a private practice. It is open from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and 9 am to 4 pm on Saturdays. I get up, drive to work, and am greeted there by 3 wonderful staff members (one front desk and two assistants). Then we see some patients! Sometimes I get to do treatment - which could be a filling or two, a cleaning, an extraction, a crown, or the occasional root canal. The patients are well taken care of. Then at the end of the day I go home. I hope this helps!