Are you starting your career in dentistry? Here at Dentaltix we want to welcome you to the dental sector!
Ahead you will find exciting years of learning and hard work but also the discovery of new specialties, partners, techniques and tricks and although you probably already have many colleagues or relatives in this world, we also want to help you start and resolve your first doubts.
Next, we have compiled the 10 questions generally asked by students who want to develop professionally as dentists and their respective answers. Each of you has different interests and concerns, and we hope it can help you!
1. WHY STUDY DENTISTRY?
Studying dentistry is increasingly prestigious and rewarding. The number of students each year is increasing. But why choose this career?
Surely the good reputation of the profession is a great advantage. High salaries, professional gratification, low unemployment and great growth potential: all these characteristics make the profession of dentist one of the best and most advantageous to undertake. It is important to bear in mind that in recent years the dental sector, like many other sectors, has undergone major changes and the old figure of the dentist with a full agenda without worrying about recruiting patients or competition is becoming ever more distant.
What should drive you now is undoubtedly passion : Passion for patients, clinical cases, material, manual skill, precision, dental care, technology and evolution. Although it is still too early to know exactly which dental specialty you think will be your strong point, passion will lead you on the right path.
Another aspect of great importance is the personal satisfaction , because you will do a job in which you will help many people, and there is nothing better and more satisfying than the feeling of helping others. However, we also want to warn you that, as in all jobs where you deal directly with people, there will be times when working with patients is not easy for you. Have courage, it's worth it!
Although in the dental sector we rely more and more on technology, it is true that dentistry is a profession that can never be fully replaced by robotization. Human professionals will always be needed to evaluate cases and carry out treatments, so another great advantage is that if you know how to keep up to date and rely on the most advanced technology of the moment, you will always have reliable work in the future.
2. IS IT DIFFICULT TO STUDY DENTISTRY?
This is a question that almost all students ask themselves when they are in the career choice process.
The answer is quite obvious, since progressing and evolving in any university will not be an easy task. Dentistry can become a very demanding career with the combination of a lot of theoretical content with long hours of clinical practice. It is quite a personal matter, the important thing is the spirit, motivation and personal determination.
You must take into account the fact that each university has its own method of study, so it is essential to choose the institution also depending on the model and curriculum that best suits your preferences, although oral medicine is usually at first quite theoretical, there are institutions where the curriculum was designed to practice sometimes parallel to the theory or subsequent to it. Choose the program and institute that best suits your learning abilities and skills.
Remember, you also have the support of your peers and friends who are going through what you're going through. That always makes everything so much easier!
3. IS IT AN EXPENSIVE CAREER?
In general, it is not an expensive option. The first years, certainly not, the intermediate years start to be a little more, while the cost starts to increase in the last years, when you start having patients and then you have to adapt by buying the right material. However, it is certain that the investment will be fully recouped in a short time.
Let's take as an example the Complutense University of Madrid, which has an annual cost of 1.560€, that is, a total of 7.840€. That is, with respect to registration.
To consider, however, that here we speak of the public university, however, a private university will be worth much more money.
If we consider one of the most sought-after private universities, such as the European University of Madrid, the cost is considerably higher: around €18,000 per year for a total of more than €90,000.
It should not be an excessive concern or definitely eliminate the option of studying dentistry simply because you think it is an expensive career, although in due course you will have to buy instruments and materials, there are institutions with programs, grants or scholarships in which you always have the possibility to participate or apply if that is the case. You will always be able to program and plan the purchase of your instruments and materials gradually.
4. WHAT DOES A DENTIST DO?
The main tasks of the dentist refer to dental care: after a preliminary examination to know the patient's medical history and check the state of health of the oral cavity, the dentist prepares a plan of interventions to be carried out and proposes the necessary care in each case. If appropriate, X-rays will be used during the diagnostic phase to detect disorders.
The most common operations performed by the dentist are general cleaning, restorations such as treatment of dental caries, reconstruction of chipped or broken teeth, extraction, root canal treatment and placement of dental prostheses. If necessary for treatment, you can prescribe medications and antibiotics.
Another very important function of the dentist is that of education : during consultation visits, you will inform the patient about good oral hygiene practices, the use of toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, the opportunity of a session with the dental hygienist, maintenance of dental appliances and implants.
The functions of the dentist also include carrying out various bureaucratic and administrative activities related to the compilation, updating and storage of medical or dental records and the management of patients' health data, with the assistance of the dental office secretary.
If you want to work in a specific area of dentistry, there is the possibility to specialize in different branches, if you like pediatric dentistry for example, you could specialize in pediatric dentistry. In the same way, you can become an expert dental surgeon, specialize in orthodontics, or carry out a postgraduate or master in periodontics, endodontics or implantology. This will allow you to take a more detailed and comprehensive approach to the patient in each of the areas.
5. WHAT IS THE TYPICAL PLACE OF WORK?
In Spain the dentist usually works as a freelance professional or as a salaried employee in private dental clinics, franchised or chain dental clinics, private or public health centres or hospitals.
The workplace of the dentist in the dental clinic is a clean and hygienic environment, whose central element is the cabinet with the dental chair where it receives the patient. Then there are all the necessary tools for different dental treatments such as turbine, handpieces, lamps or various materials for impressions, cements, sealants, whiteners, disinfectants and anesthetics.
As in other health professions, it is essential that the dentist adhere to health and hygiene standards (e.g. sterilization procedures of instruments and disinfection of the dental office environment), as well as the use of appropriate clothing for dentists (mask, disposable gloves, protective eyewear, etc.)
6. WHAT IS THE EXPECTED SALARY?
The positive aspects of this career are the possibility of an almost secure job and the economic benefit.
In concrete terms, the salary expectation for recent graduates in dentistry is between €18,000 and €30,000. Obviously, if you are self-employed and open a clinic, the expectations can increase enormously, but without a doubt, it is recommended that you work for a few years as an employee in order to gain as much professional experience as possible before opening your own clinic. Keep in mind that a clinic is not only clinical work, it will be necessary to devote many resources to management, administration and marketing.
7. HOW LONG IS YOUR CAREER? IS IT NECESSARY TO COMPLETE A MASTER'S DEGREE?
The Degree in Dentistry (in Spain) has a duration of 5 years with a total of 300 credits. In general, it is a very practical programme based on professional experience in specialised clinics.
Dentistry is a very extensive science, so the graduates of this subject, decide to choose one of the many specialties that allows them to focus their knowledge in a more specific field.
Although being a general dentist is immensely useful, for some years now, having a specialty in this area adds an incredible plus and patients in general are in constant search of specialists in specific subjects with a much deeper knowledge, therefore, as dentistry is a profession in continuous evolution, it is highly recommended to stay updated, which results in a wide range of knowledge and a curriculum in constant progress.
If you are one of those who knows from now on what kind of specialty you want to develop, congratulations! If you are not one of these, calm, during the development of the career, little by little you will know in which area you would like to specialize taking into account your abilities and interests.
8. IS IT POSSIBLE TO STUDY AND WORK AT THE SAME TIME?
While it is true that nothing is impossible for the one who wants, you could work and study at the same time. A career in dentistry requires effort, discipline and dedication. If you feel the obligation to work and develop your career at the same time, you could adjust your studies over longer periods of time and choose a smaller workload. It will take you longer to graduate, but it is always an option.
9. WHAT INSTRUMENTS OR MATERIALS WILL I NEED THROUGHOUT MY STUDIES?
Although it may vary depending on the University and the program of study of each of them, in this blog article we try to select in a global way, the one that best suits the academic needs. Take a look at the post called instruments and materials that I will need throughout the career of dentistry where we tell you in detail the material that is usually needed course by course - hopefully it will help you!
10. WHERE CAN I FIND THE TOOLS AND MATERIALS?
Normally you have two options to buy the material you need throughout the course of your studies: you can buy in a physical store or buy in an online store. Generally, with the traditional method, there are stores affiliated with universities, which are often in the vicinity. Prices are not the cheapest but can be very helpful in an emergency.
The other option is buy online , which is the easiest and most common for new generations because it is cheaper and the products are easy to find. The delivery time for products is usually 24/48 hours and you have a wide range of products at your disposal.
We at Dentaltix certainly recommend that you explore all options and compare prices before making your purchases, especially before major purchases such as the rotary instrument kit where there may be major price differences. Please note that, for example at Dentaltix, there are special offers for student groups.
We believe in future generations and students, we know that you will be the dentist of tomorrow and we want you to feel as comfortable with us as possible from the beginning. We want to make your life easier and that's why we have a dedicated email. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope these 10 basic questions from students starting dentistry helped you. We also want to accompany you from the beginning of your profession, follow us on our social networks to keep you updated on the best news and developments in the dental sector and share with us your initial experiences in the world of dentistry.