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How hard to be a dentist?

i'm a high school student, I'm about to graduate and I'm not sure what I want to be. I have 3 options and dentistry is one of my options.

Thank you comment icon I recommend that you make a list of what you could see doing in life. Find people doing that work and ask if they’ll chat with you about their jobs. Ask what they enjoy, what bugs them about the work and what they wise they had known at your age. It may feel daunting, but you have time to explore options through internships, networking and by just taking classes in different disciplines if you go to college. You’ve got this! Jerome Dees Jr.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Shannon’s Answer

I'm guessing that you mean "How hard is it to be a dentist." This is completely up to you. Some people have a difficult time just getting through school in the first place, let alone undergraduate and then graduate, doctoral degree and internship. Many people thrive in academia, and for others, not so much.

I second Mr. Jerome Dees Jr's. response about "mak[ing] a list of what you could see doing in life." You may want to do a kind of work-study program and see if you can work with individuals in your three-choice list. Also, just because you may start in one direction, you can end up completely in another direction. I know one person who was an engineer for decades and when he retired from that field he went to medical school and became one of the foremost researchers in centenarian biochemistry. Another person I know also started as an engineer and then went to school to become an OBGYN. I know another person who was an English major in college, and then went to teach English for a little while and then went to dental school and then also got a master's degree after that in nutrition. There is nothing in this world that states you're stuck.

Explore and enjoy the process!
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Khushi’s Answer

Hi! Its great to hear that you are interested in a career in dentistry! My main advice when deciding which degree you would like to study is to get as much shadowing/ work experience as possible!

Dentistry is a very hands on career and can be very fulfilling with endless opportunities on offer to clincians; I am a third year dental student now and I am loving the work we can do for patients! As with any career, it has its challenges and with dentistry you need to be able to adapt to every situation. To find out more about the career you should try and get some shadowing experience to understand what the career is really like and what the day to day looks like and if this is something that interests you but also have a look at different universities and what they can offer you!
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Krystal’s Answer

My advice is shadow, shadow, shadow! Whatever field you are interested in call/email and ask to shadow the people that work there. For example with dentistry go into your dentists' office and ask if you can watch what he does for a few days a month. This will allow you to see what you like/ don't like about the field because I truly feel that it can be 'harder' to enter a field you have no interest in. So if out of the three you are choosing between you like one more go with that one! While schooling for it may be hard you will push through because it is something you are more interested in.

Hope this helps, good luck!
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Dino’s Answer

Hi Maryuri! Thank you so much for reaching out to us with your question. Your curiosity about dentistry as a career is terrific, and it really brought back fond memories of my two cousins who are practicing dentists. They absolutely love their profession, having the freedom and autonomy to shape their own careers without answering to bosses or working for others.

As you mentioned, the perception of dentistry as a career can be subjective – meaning, it depends on your own personal views and aspirations. The journey to becoming a dentist might take a bit more time, usually over 5 years, with additional time needed for specialized education. Since, this degree is regulated after you finished your degree and specialization you will be taking your licensure examination to be a dentist. But let me assure you, the dedication and hard work pay off!

Certain schools do have strict requirements and expect their dentistry students to maintain high GPAs throughout their degree programs. This, however, should not discourage you, because it means that they are committed to shaping the best dental professionals in the field.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a dentist is the opportunity to establish your own clinic and serve your community, offering personalized care and making a real difference in people's lives. Pursuing a career in dentistry can open the door to countless possibilities and allow you to make a lasting impact in your chosen field.

I hope this encourages you to explore dentistry further as a potential career path. All the best on your journey, and remember - the sky's the limit!

Dino recommends the following next steps:

Conduct an interview with practicing dentist and know about their personal experience and challenges as a dentist. If possible with different specialties so that you can have a good perspective on your chosen career,
Do some researches about different schools offering Dentistry and know their GPA requirements.
Know your resources and talk to your parents and share with them your plans to gauge if they can support you 100% tuition fee or you need some scholarship grants.
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Mrinalini’s Answer

Hi Maryuri,

It's truly inspiring to see your enthusiasm and determination to achieve success in your chosen career path! Choosing to become a dentist is a fantastic decision, as this field offers endless opportunities for growth and development. You'll be able to make a positive impact on people's lives, and with persistence and dedication, you can join prestigious hospitals or even establish your own well-renowned dental clinic.

A great starting point would be to enroll in a reputable dental school, like the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry (https://dentistry.ucsf.edu/). This esteemed institution offers a perfect blend of top-notch clinical training, cutting-edge research opportunities, and meaningful community service experiences. At UCSF, you'll gain valuable exposure and insights that will help you build a successful and fulfilling career in dentistry.

Remember, the sky is the limit, and with your passion and drive, there's no doubt that you will excel in the dental field. Best of luck on your journey, Maryuri - you're going to do great things!
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Jaspreet’s Answer

Hey there! It's great to know that you're thinking about a career in dentistry! Dentistry is a truly fulfilling profession. As a second-year dental student in Missouri, I'm more than happy to help you with your question. Your success in becoming a dentist depends on your determination, effort, and never-give-up attitude. If you're ready to put in the hard work, nothing can hold you back. Commitment is key!

Dentistry involves four years of college, followed by another four years of dental school, and even more if you want to specialize. The application process can be tough, including the DAT and ADEA ADSAS applications. To stand out, you'll need to have job shadowing and community service experience, participate in extracurricular activities, and maintain strong grades. If you're invited for an interview, your communication skills and ability to handle pressure will also be assessed.

This is just a brief summary, and there's a lot more to the whole process. But remember, the sky's the limit! If dentistry is your dream career, your hard work will help you overcome any obstacles that come your way!
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