Dentistry: A Truly Special Niche in Health Care
You may be a new dental graduate or a seasoned dentist with years of experience, but there are always challenges associated with the profession. Many professionals chose the career because it offers a comfortable lifestyle and the opportunity to help others. However, with changes in health-care laws, insurance reimbursement difficulties, and a more demanding population, it can seem difficult to have a positive attitude. General and pediatric dentists who are in private practice need to remember the original reasons they entered the dental field to keep a healthy state of mind and successful long-term career.
Dentists are often questioned why they entered the dental field because it truly is a special niche in health care. Some reasons why people choose to become one include the following.
1. Be Your Own Boss
Nearly every dentist enjoys the freedom of being an independent dental practice owner. The autonomy allows you to control your own schedule and set personal and professional goals. Many of them feel comfortable working for themselves so they can provide high-quality patient care without anyone dictating their treatment.
2. Restore the Oral Health of Patients
Dentists provide a variety of procedures ranging from preventive to restorative to orthodontic care for their patients. The dental industry can transform a patient’s life by restoring their oral health. They can help eliminate pain and infection, but they can also improve someone’s confidence through braces.
3. Earn a Stable Living
There is a history of long-term financial success for dentists. According to the ADA Health Policy Institute 2018 Survey of Dental Practice, the net income for an owner of an independent practice was $190,440 and $330,180 for dental specialists. Many professionals will implement additional services to increase production and income such as orthodontics, dental implants, and teeth whitening.
4. Keep a Flexible Lifestyle
The dental industry is a great career path for people looking to design their own schedule. Dentists can work as little as one to two days a week and others choose to work five to six days a week. It is a profession that allows you to make your own schedule and work around family events, vacations, etc.
5. Be a Respected Member of the Community
Dentists are highly regarded health professionals. Many people look to professionals to improve the oral health of themselves and their families. Dental professionals typically get involved with local schools and communities to provide service and education where needed.
6. Implement Creativity
It is no secret that the dental industry is a blended form of art and science. It is an aesthetically focused practice that allows dentists to use their minds and hand skills to fabricate prosthetics to help people function and smile better. Many people who choose the dental industry report they had an interest or hobby in art, painting, jewelry making, or other form of creativity.
7. Work as Part of a Team
It takes a well-rounded team to make dentistry successful. There is a misconception that the dental industry is a “lone sole practitioner” type of field. On the contrary, a dentist needs motivated hygienists, assistants, and administrative staff to run a successful office. Some dental professionals enjoy the camaraderie with their dental team, as they can become like a work family. Also, there are always opportunities to network with others through local and national meetings.
8. Have a Wide Range of Career Opportunities
Dentistry is not limited to clinical practice. Many general dentists and specialists work in fields outside of private practice including dental public health, dental research, and insurance. Some prefer to do consulting and work in an academic environment. The good news is that a DDS or DMD is a valuable degree that allows you to choose your career path.
9. Educate Others
In addition to a dental practice, a dentist contributes greatly to the future direction of oral health care. Many pediatric dentists will educate children and adolescents during February’s Children’s Oral Health Month. Others will volunteer their time in community centers or predoctoral programs to teach about dental education. With advanced technology, professionals can get involved with organizations like the ADA and smaller dental chapters to give lectures and webinars. Social media is a major contributor nowadays to educating patients because they have constant access to videos and photos.
10. Continuous Learning Process
Dentistry is a constantly evolving profession with new technology and advanced patient treatment. There are always new continuing education courses that can help advance a dentist’s knowledge, improve their production, and offer patients better care. Continuing education courses such as the Basic Straight Wire Orthodontics course offers general and pediatric professionals the opportunity to incorporate orthodontics into their practice. There is no greater service to your patients than continuous learning and dedication to the field.
Each person chooses a career in dentistry for personal and professional reasons. Like all careers, there are times when patients and administrative responsibilities can seem daunting in a dental practice. When we remember the reasons why we chose dentistry, it can help us sustain and even grow our practices.