Advanced search

Talk to me about dentistry?

(11 Posts)
potatointhesoil Wed 21-Nov-12 21:51:38

Hi all smile

I was thinking studying dentistry at university, and was wondering if any of you who are dentists, or if any of your children are currently at uni studying dentistry could just tell me a bit more about it? The workload, how hard it is etc?

Most appreciated, thanks smile

SophiesMummySaid Thu 22-Nov-12 21:28:46

Hi potato,
I'm a dentist, started my training nearly 20 years ago though...yikes that makes me feel old!
It was the best 5 years of my life, I loved it.
It is hard work and in the latter 3 years the workload is tough. It's like having a full time job and a full time course, plus trying to fit in being a student and having fun.
Definately worth it, though. I made some excellent friends with coursemates as you spend so much time together, and often live together as friends on other courses finish after three years, and dentistry terms are longer than standard terms.
I love my job. It's very flexible and well paid. I have good control over my own workload. It's one of the few careers where women and men have equal pay.
It is very hard to get on the course these days, harder than in my day. What stage are you at? Have you done any work experience?

potatointhesoil Fri 23-Nov-12 17:41:46

Thanks sophie smile

I'm currently in year 11 and have not done any work experience but am trying to find a placement - would I need a CRB check to do this?

mycatunderstandsme Fri 23-Nov-12 20:04:24

Hi Potato,

I am also a dentist-I have been qualified 20 years and worked in NHS general practice for the majority of the time and am about to change career! It is a good job for the reasons Sophie has mentioned above but I am finding it increasingly stressful.

The job itself isn't difficult but dealing with 20+ patients a day can be! I had no idea when starting out just what dealing with the public was going to be like so I think that is something you should consider.

As far as work experience goes I believe it is getting harder to find. I would start by asking your family dentist and trying the local oral surgery department or community clinic.

I know I picked dentistry because I was getting good grades and had recently been treated in a large teaching hospital and liked the look of what the students were doing. I didn't have much idea of the reality of the job day to day. I had done quite a bit of work experience. None of my friends who did dentistry are happy in their jobs I'm sorry to say.

Just make sure you look at other job options too. My husband earns a lot more than me-he works in nuclear physics. His job is also a lot more flexible on a day to day basis.

Hope you don't think I'm trying to put you off. Just make sure it is what you really want to do because it is not very easy to use the degree doing anything else!

potatointhesoil Fri 23-Nov-12 21:24:09

thanks mycat smile

I'm going to do more research into other careers as well - branches of medicine etc smile thanks for the honest reply, I'd rather know the negatives as well so I know what I'm getting into!

Much appreciated smile

figroll Mon 26-Nov-12 17:36:07

Hi - I have to agree with the comments made above. Dentistry is not a one way street paved with gold, which many students believe it to be. It's a hard slog to train, it can be very repetitive and the stress of getting NHS patients through to door to ensure that you earn enough to make a living can be very hard.

SophiesMummySaid Mon 26-Nov-12 18:22:24

I should add that I don't work in general dental practice (high street dentistry). In my branch of dentistry I am paid a salary and have pretty regular hours, with no evenings/weekends.
It takes many of the stresses away, but I get paid less than colleagues in general practice smile
You don't needs a CRB check for work experience. You wouldn't be unsupervised.

SophiesMummySaid Mon 26-Nov-12 18:28:20

mycat what are you going to do? I often day dream about what I'd do, if not dentistry. After watching 999: What's your emergency? I reckon I'd like a bash at being an emergency telephone operator. Other potential careers are glassblower or bookshop owner.
The thing about dentistry is, you train 5 years, what if you don't like it? The course doesn't equip you for much else. Suppose it's the same as any of the vocational courses. I have friends who have never liked it too, but many who do enjoy it, OP.

mycatunderstandsme Mon 26-Nov-12 19:28:01

Hi Sophie,

I'm going to do some dento-legal work. All office based and no patient contact. I was lucky to find it really as that kind of work isn't easy to come by but it is a lot less money.

I had come to realise that I wasn't going to be able to stick it out in practice for 10+ more years and was looking at other things I could do when this came up. I was also looking into things like becoming a school science lab technician[even less money!] but I hope this job works out as it is nice to think I can use my existing skills.

I know a few people who gave it up very early on and they are doing totally different things-one is an acupuncturist-but most of my dentist friends now are going to stick it out and retire as early as possible!

SophiesMummySaid Mon 26-Nov-12 21:46:19

Good luck with it all mycat - and you potato sorry for the hijack blush
Lucky for your friends, mycat, that they'll be able to retire early. That, I am envious of! smile

potatointhesoil Mon 26-Nov-12 22:01:18

Thanks mycat, figroll and sophiesmummy smile

all very helpful answers smile

good luck mycat in your dento-legal work, hope all goes well.x

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: