Did you know that, during the Middle Ages, it was a common custom in Germany to kiss a donkey in hopes of relieving a toothache? Dentistry has come a long way since then, and if you plan on going to dental school, you will find out about all the latest research and developments so that you are prepared to provide your patients with the best care possible. Not everyone knows what to expect from dental school and the work that occurs afterward, though, so here is your four point list of what to expect.
1. What is Dentistry?
When you study to become a dentist, you’re going to be doing more than just look at teeth. In fact, dentistry involves the entirety of the maxillofacial area and the oral cavities, as well as their impact on the rest of the body. Dentists study, prevent, diagnose, and treat many oral conditions, such as diseases. It involves everything from tooth cleaning to surgery to teeth whitening.
2. What to Expect from Dental School Life
There’s no reason to doubt that dental school can be tough. Expect at least twice the amount of work you experienced in undergrad. Your first two years are generally devoted to classwork and labs, while the second two years focus more on clinical experiences. Avoid falling behind in your classes, and anticipate having less free time during this period. It’s not all doom and gloom, though! Many students enjoy this period of their life and the opportunities available to them.
3. What Exactly is the Dentist Lifestyle?
Compared to a hospital doctor’s schedule, the dentist has an enviable set up. Dentists typically work from 35 to 40 hours a week, usually on a 9 to 5 schedule. The average income for a dentist is $130,000 a year. Not surprisingly, you will work more and earn less when you’re starting out. Dentists who own their practice tend to make about $50,000 more than those who don’t, according to the American Dental Association.
4. What are the Top Dental Schools?
There are several colleges that are consistently rated as some of the top dental schools, and they include the University of Michigan, Harvard, University of the Pacific, and the University of Toronto. Not every school is right for every person, however, so getting into one of the top 5, top 10, or even top 20 schools isn’t always the most important thing.