Menu

Is dentistry worth it?

Home General/Welcome Is dentistry worth it?

  • Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 1443
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    “Maybe ortho, its pretty awesome.”

    The commitment to training in residency is basically total. The hard part is once you start working, your life skills are a little rusty. If your patient has a problem, you want that call. Otherwise you have your schedule and a semblance of life again. You may hate it. If you are neutral don’t do it.

    You need to find your niche. The actual job fit makes up for everything else. Money and lifestyle go with the turf.

    #196325 Reply
    Avatar WCInovice 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 36
    Joined: 12/17/2017

    Caveat – I’m not a dentist but I have a few very good friends that are and we talk investments/practice etc.

     

    For general dentistry I’ve had friends with mixed reviews.  The high income specialists (endo, ortho, oral surg) I know do very well and don’t work a ton…or if they work a ton they make at or near over a million a year (I know an endo in Chicago suburbs that did 5.5 days/week (did AM saturday root canals) and he was taking home seven figures.  They out earn probably 90% of the physicians I know.  It’s a big up front business loan (and some did unpaid residencies) but when the economy is good and general dentists are referring out more cases because they’re busy too…then from what I hear and see is that it’s definitely “worth it.”

     

    For “fun” I compared the professional fees I bill on a Gamma Knife case for trigeminal neuralgia and it was less than the cash the patient(s) pay to have their root canals done before someone figures out it was actually trigeminal neuralgia…not the teeth causing the pain.  whoops.

    #196331 Reply
    abds abds 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 160
    Joined: 01/16/2017

    I’d be very careful with making assumptions about lifestyle:income ratios. Depending on your specialty and your practice, and if you’re flexible with location, you can make your practice whatever you want it. As a surgical subspecialist, my training was long (and busy), but my current lifestyle:income ratio is really tough to beat.

    Don’t let your (possibly incorrect) assumptions lead you into dentistry unless you want to be a dentist.

    #196341 Reply
    Avatar adventure 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 1035
    Joined: 10/24/2016
    I’d be very careful with making assumptions about lifestyle:income ratios.

    Click to expand…

    Yeah, I think this is wise too:

    “Money often costs too much.”

    Click to expand…

     

    #196595 Reply
    Avatar FluorideFreeVaccines 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 16
    Joined: 01/31/2019

    It won’t be worth it if you hate dentistry. Are there any other cheaper options for dental school?

    Click to expand…

    300k is a cheap dental school lol

    #196744 Reply
    Avatar FluorideFreeVaccines 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 16
    Joined: 01/31/2019

    From a strict financial perspective (not whether you actually like dentistry) if dental school will cost you north of 300k and you want to be a general dentist and live in a desirable city then it is not worth it, run the numbers on the debt.  If you want to be a general dentist and dont care where you live and have good business sense and tolerance for risk then it will be worth it.  If you think you can be a specialist and are flexible on where you live it will be worth it.

    Dont take this personally and I know I am putting words in your mouth that may or may not be true but maybe this will be read by others to whom it applies.

    Take this for what it is worth but you are setting yourself up for being unhappy.  Trying to figure out what makes the most money for the least amount of time/stress is a recipe for disaster.  I am a dentist and still keep in touch with a lot of my classmates and med school friends.  The ones who pursued what they liked doing, have a great spouse and have low key lifestyles are the most happy. It is too easy to look at others and be jealous because no matter what you do there will ALWAYS be a fellow dentist/doc who makes way more than you and seemingly works less doing it. If you are lucky enough to get accepted to dental school or medical school you will have a profession where you help people all while being compensated at a level higher than 99.99% of the humans that have ever walked the planet.

    I know a dentist who started 8 practices and own huge shopping centers where they are built and he makes 4-5mill per year at age 36 and will retire from practice at 40. I know an orthodontist and oral surgeon from my hometown who both make over 1mill but they work very hard.

    #196768 Reply
    Liked by Hank, q-school
    Avatar Grizzle 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 6
    Joined: 12/24/2016

    I’m a surgeon.  Spouse is a dentist.  Be a dentist.

    #197214 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 1443
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    @fluoridefreevaccines,
    “I know a dentist who started 8 practices and own huge shopping centers where they are built and he makes 4-5mill per year at age 36 and will retire from practice at 40. ”

    Fantastic businessman. How much does he pay the dentists? Less than his leasing agent?

    #197229 Reply
    Avatar FluorideFreeVaccines 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 16
    Joined: 01/31/2019

    I don’t know the specifics of his situation but I know his associate dentists and specialists are compensated fairly.

    #197232 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 1443
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    @fluoridefreevaccines,
    No offense intended. The fair compensation of his employed dentists I would suggest be used as the basis for “worth it”. From a business perspective, your friend is on a roll!

    #197237 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5400
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    “Maybe ortho, its pretty awesome.”

    The commitment to training in residency is basically total. The hard part is once you start working, your life skills are a little rusty. If your patient has a problem, you want that call. Otherwise you have your schedule and a semblance of life again. You may hate it. If you are neutral don’t do it.

    You need to find your niche. The actual job fit makes up for everything else. Money and lifestyle go with the turf.

    Click to expand…

    Lol, not the OP.

    Im a plastic surgeon and have my niche, surgical residencies suck in general. I meant orthodontics though.

    #197374 Reply
    Liked by hatton1, Tim
    Avatar OSman 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Dentist
    Posts: 22
    Joined: 12/20/2018

    To OP,

    I agree with job shadowing. Keep in mind, shadowing dentists (generally required for admission to dental school) is INCREDIBLY boring. Its exciting for the first 15 minutes or so but then just becomes awkward and tiring to your feet, legs, and mind as you think of a million questions to ask your hosting dentist. You don’t exactly get to see what is going on. Also please consider Oral Surgery (my personal bias). The boring factor likely also plays a role here as well but at least gives you a look into the world. This is particularly true if you shadow at a hospital/academic setting. Oral surgery Combines both worlds and allows for both degrees. Wouldn’t trade my training for anything in the world. Dental school, Oral surgery intern, medical school, 5 months anesthesia, 16 months general surgery, more oral surgery training… come out very well rounded and you get to enjoy the benefits of each side of things. Truly know medicine to treat and care for very ill patients. You know the dental lingo and are still connected to that world as that is your primary setting when practicing. Downside is you end up paying for 6 years of school (4 dental + 2 medical, the actual residency years are paid). My lifestyle is now great. Well compensated and work in general from 8-5 M-F. I take 1 week of call out of 5. Call is situation specific but I can count the times I’ve had to come in on the weekends on one hand. Regardless, have to stay in town and sober so there is that. I wear loupes on a regular basis but the procedures are far from “microsurgical”. Plenty of blood to make an observer faint on a weekly basis. Your dental school costs projections are a little high. No need to go to USC like Dr. Meru. Find a state school and pay in state tuition and you can be closer to 200-225. I think I covered all your points.

    OSman

    #198228 Reply
    Avatar toothshucker 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 2
    Joined: 12/20/2018

    I just simply do not know how to advise someone on what to do. Of course you try and shadow and research the professions and try and pick the one that you feel you will like best all things considered. This is much easier said than done. I wanted to be a dentist since I was a kid and spent a good amount of time learning about it growing up. It took that, dental school and working for a few years to realize this is not something I enjoy doing. I have worked hard to build my business and have been successful at it, but even that only brings temporary enjoyment of the profession to me.

    That is NOT helpful advise I know. It is simply a nudge to do your best to figure out which profession you feel would be the best fit, and know it is only a guess. I still have a great life, even if work is not one of my favorite things to do. Good luck.

    #198429 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 1443
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    “even if work is not one of my favorite things to do. Good luck.”

    They don’t call it work for no reason. One could say I’ll never retire and some people neglect a social life and have workaholic tendencies. Please note, some forms of work are more distasteful than others.

    #198498 Reply
    Avatar TheDentist2021 
    Participant
    Status: Student
    Posts: 4
    Joined: 07/19/2018

    I am currently a second year dental students. My students loans should be around 140k (being instate, living with my parents, saved about 15k the year before getting accepted and put it toward student loans). You can definitely live on the cheaper side, have roommates, and take out less loans to reduce the amount of loans.

    I personally think dentistry is worth it depending on your loan amount. 300k is on the border of that amount. Being a dental owner is what appeals to me. I know dentists making well over 300k a year working 4-5 days a week, but like other stated before, it came with a 600k investment into a practice. Its about what your passionate about. You definitely have to enjoy doing things with your hands and have steady hands. Ortho and ends you have to be top 10% of your class.

    #198617 Reply
    Liked by OSman

Reply To: Is dentistry worth it?

In case of a glitch or error, please save your text elsewhere, clear browser cache, close browser, open browser and refresh the page.

you're currently offline

Notifications Mark all as read  |  Clear