How Many Ways Can You Be a Dentist Anyways?

Most people think Dentist and they think "Ok, I'll work 4 days a week, charge out the nose, and retire young. I can do that."

However, being a Dentist isn't all about working 4 days a week, charging out the nose and retiring young...far from it. Here I want to explore all the different ways you can do this Dentistry thing (and all the ways you can do this without working only 4 days a week, charging out the nose and retiring early.) That kind of thing isn't for anyone, so we want to make sure there are options out there for everyone (including those of us who think retiring is a bad idea.) Let's have a look see...

It's true, most Dentists don't work but about 4 days a week, they're expensive, it hurts, and they retire young and sell their practice to someone else. However, you can be a Dentist and not have to follow that path if you feel like it's not for you.

The most obvious way you can do the "Dentistry thing" without retiring young and working in your same office every day for 20 or 30 years is to work in public health. Pretty much every school system in America has medical and dental requirements placed on its students in the interest of general public health and safety. This means there's a public health Dentist who works in every county in the country going out to schools and doing check-ups for kids who may not be able to afford it. This is but one way you can be a Dentist and get to travel around and meet lots of new people. This sort of career path wouldn't just put you in public health but it would line you up to climb the "Corporate Ladder" in the public sector. One day you could be "The Dentist" in Whatever County and the next day you could be the Public Health Director for the whole county. (There is a ladder to be climbed after Dental School you know.)

Another place that doesn't usually draw much attention when it comes to Dentistry because most people think M.D. and not D.M.D. when they think "hospital". The hospital is a place where most every medical you have can be tended to and it's all in one spot. Well, most Hospitals employ a Dentist full time to work with patients or they have Dentists come in and work certain shifts so that everyone can be taken care of. Being "The Dentist" at a couple hospitals would definitely be a full time job and then some!

What research and consulting. So many companies in pharmaceuticals needs consultants and researchers to develop need products and test new products and the people typically best suited are the Doctors themselves. Well, being a Doctor of Dentistry you could work in the private sector for a pharmaceutical company, Dental Equipment Company, or Dental Laboratory and ply your Dental skills in a lab or in the office working on new products, product design, and sales. If you were "The Dentist" one would think that you'd know what sells and what people need. That's what these companies need to know and that's why they'd hire you.

It doesn't matter how you look at your Dental School education, you can use it to do so many things with your career that the possibilities are endless. We could turn my words around and say "You can work 4 days a week, charge out the nose, retire early, and THEN work in the public or private sector." What a great second career for you...maybe when your kids are out the house or just to do something different as you get older? Not a bad deal if you asked me.

Take a look at the possibilities before you settle on something you don't REALLY want and you'll find all sorts of ways to use an advanced education to your advantage.

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  • Dentists, General
    Salary: $142,870
    Job Prospects: B
    Education After HS: 8 years
    # Employed: 85,910
    Part Time: 17%

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