I have recently attended careers events for local schools and have met some lovely young people who are thinking about a career in dentistry. Some are reasonably well informed, having looked into the requirements and even done a few weeks of work experience. Many of the teenagers I did meet though seemed unsure what to do with their lives and were searching for some inspiration. This is why events such as this are so important, especially considering children no longer have access to careers advisors in our schools.
Dentists instil many emotions in the general public depending on past experiences. And people’s perceptions are interesting; I was often asked “it must be horrible looking in people’s mouths all day!?” I can honestly say that it doesn’t bother me – even if the patient has terrible teeth or gums! Imagine being able to help that person build their confidence in dentists and getting their mouth healthy again. What about getting someone out of pain so they can enjoy their weekend? Or how great would it be to straighten someone’s teeth and give them the confidence to smile for the first time in their lives? The sense of fulfilment you can get from doing a good job is priceless.
Most of my job is people orientated, and the skills I have learnt are essential to do my job, but the relationships I build with my patients are just as important. We see people who can feel scared or vulnerable, unhappy or in discomfort, and part of our remit is to turn that around for them, so that their future experiences of dentistry are happy, comfortable and pleasant.
So if you are looking for a career that; fulfils, needs skill and a bit of artistic flair, and a healthy dose of personality, you can’t go far wrong with being a Dentist.