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In our most recent survey, two out of three dentists reported that they would recommend a career in dentistry to their children or grandchildren. Specialists were significantly more likely to recommend dentistry, while female practitioners were far less likely to do so.
“It is one of the most gratifying and rewarding professions," said one dentist, while another commented, “It's better than digging ditches!"
Read the dentists’ comments for further insight.
Female dentists were far less likely to recommend a dental career than were their male counterparts.
It’s a well-known fact that there are significantly more male dentists than female.
In previous Wealthy Dentist surveys, women have complained of unfair treatment in dental school. It may be that gender challenges continue even after graduation.
General dentists were five times more likely to not recommend dentistry as a profession than were specialists.
Specialists, on average, earn more money than general practitioners. In some situations, specialists may also have more control over the types of patients they see and treatments they offer.
Today, dentists also have to know business
- “Business is easier." (Georgia periodontist)
- “I like the profession but dislike the business of dentistry." (New York dentist)
- "I find it sad that most dentists don't know how to run a practice, let alone share the wealth that the staff around them. I have had many of my friends leave the profession; most didn't even stay for more than 5 years! You would think that dentists would realize the value of keeping and paying their staff well." (Canada dentist)
- “Dentistry is very demanding in ways not known by the novice. I'm glad I didn't know what I had to go through to get where I'm at. You need a lot of help, both clinical and business. I believe new dentists would do well to enter established practices and be mentored before launching on their own first." (Georgia dentist)
Business is too slow
- “I love what I do, but over the past 8 years, I don't do enough of it. I
don't know who is earning all that money that I read about in various surveys,
but it sure isn't in my neck of the woods. Even the specialists are slow.
Not good." (Illinois dentist)
- “People are not interested in maintaining their oral health if it means
giving up part of their lifestyle or other ‘optional’ expenses that they find
more important." (Ohio dentist)
- “I see dentists exhausting
themselves to provide elaborate treatment plans that patients often refuse,
especially in this economy." (Indiana
Dentistry can lead to disability
- "I thinks the physical strain is too much. Your eyes, neck, shoulder, arm, hand, back all hurt when you are a little established during what hould be your best years. Disability comes fast." (California dentist)
So much stress
- "I wouldn’t want my children to have to experience the stress that I had to go though. My children are young, and 25 years from now dentistry will go the way of pharmacy, controlled by corporations such as Wal-mart and CVS." (Massachusetts dentist)
Dental insurance makes it worse
- “It has been corrupted by the influence of dental insurance." (Pennsylvania dentist)
- “The insurance companies are trying to degrade the profession when they continue to decrease benefits. The reimbursement levels have stayed
the same for 40 years. I see dentists producing twice as much as myself, but netting the same as I do." (Indiana dentist)
- “Too much third party interference. Cannot do comprehensive quality care; patients are just concerned about what their insurance covers." (California dentist)
Dentists love helping people
- “Dentistry has allowed me to do research with dental materials and use my artistic skills. Helping other people with their health (physical and psychological) is extremely rewarding."(North Carolina dentist)
- "The ability to change peoples’ lives to make them happy and free of pain is
my mission and purpose in life." (Georgia dentist)
- “I enjoy helping mentally challenged patients that other dentists are unable to treat because of my training in IV Sedation." (Florida dentist)
It's a comfortable lifestyle
- “After 37 years of practice, it is still relaxing and fun to be at the office. Dentistry has provided me with a good opportunity to work my own hours and run my own business and still make a decent living. I didn't get wealthy, but life has been comfortable." (Florida dentist)
Dentists have it better than physicians
- “Ask any physician. They'll all admit we've picked the right profession. No weekend hours, vacations as desired, minimal to no dealings with the managed care nightmare. Not many professions you can do what you want, when you want to, and have still the lifestyle dentists have." (North Carolina dentist)
- “I did an emergency visit on a cardiovascular surgeon. He used to get $10K
for heart surgery; Medicare has cut it to $2K. He pays $80K in malpractice insurance. We do have the better deal." (Arizona dentist)
What about your kids?
- “Dentistry has been a very rewarding career for me. I have a daughter in college who hopes to follow in my footsteps." (North Carolina dentist)
- "I feel so lucky to have picked dentistry. I have two children interested in pursuing dentistry, and they will get my full support." (Virginia dentist)
- “I love the practice of dentistry, and my son is starting dental school this fall." (Kentucky dentist)
- “Children should enter the profession only with a lot of family help to eliminate school debt before going into practice. To start out with that
handicap–high debt—before the hundreds of thousands of practice debt is foolish. Go to an in state dental school. Get mentoring by a practicing dentist in the real world. Study business before to understand the ROI of each decision. Only then would I say go for it." (Indiana dentist)
I just love dentistry
- “It is one of the most gratifying and rewarding professions." (Illinois dentist)
- “It is a part of me." (South Carolina periodontist)
- “It has turned out to be the best thing I could have done both personally and professionally." (New York dentist)
- “It's a great career. It allows you to help people, strategize, and solve problems. There is unlimited opportunity to develop personally and professionally. It can also be very rewarding financially." (Illinois dentist)
- “I retired 4 years ago. Used to joke that I couldn't wait for Monday to come so I could go back to the office & help people. I do miss that great sense of satisfaction that dentistry gave me. Haven't yet found it in retirement." (West Virginia dentist)
- “It is a wonderful career where you can truly be the boss. You can plan your own work schedule and still get to spend quality time with your family! What could be better?" (Ohio prosthodontist)
- “It's better than digging ditches!!!" (Nevada dentist)
- “To a degree, but it's a tough line of work." (Minnesota dentist)
- “The downside is dealing with the many personalities of staff. They can bring you up and bring you down." (California dentist)
Note: Survey sample included 99 respondents.