What makes dentistry such a popular career choice?

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The growing demand for dental professionals across all specialties is incentive enough for anyone to apply to dental school. But that’s only one of the many reasons why dentistry is such a popular choice; it’s one of those rare careers that combines creativity, aesthetics, flexibility and satisfaction in equal measure.

Take a look at some of the many reasons why dentistry is so popular and why dental schools have to turn away so many applicants every year, simply because they’ve reached maximum capacity.

Diversity in areas of practice

You are not forced to follow a narrow career path after you graduate from dental school. In fact, it’s just the opposite. There are several specialty areas you can choose from depending on your personal preferences, professional goals, lifestyle and how many years you are willing to spend studying before you are qualified to practice.

Some of the more common dental specialty options include dental assistant, dental hygienist, general dentist, orthodontist, prosthodontist, cosmetic dentist and dental lab technician. A career as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon offers the ultimate challenge; Oral and maxillofacial surgeons train in dentistry and surgery and go through one of the longest training periods in the healthcare field.

Diversity in workplace settings

You’d love to be a dentist but can’t see yourself being confined to a dental clinic all day? In addition to being able to choose from a broad range of specialties, dental graduates have a diverse choice of workplace settings. Options include hospitals, armed forces, dental schools, dental labs, dental product manufacturers and the community. A career in public dental health offers tremendous potential as you could influence dental policies.

Job satisfaction

Dentistry rates high on the list of careers that offer job satisfaction; this comes from knowing that you’re helping people lead a better quality of life. Good dental health is essential to being able to eat well so you can give your body all the nutrients it needs. A good set of teeth works wonders for boosting a person’s self-esteem and confidence. All dentists readily admit to finding it extremely rewarding knowing that they are instrumental in producing these results.

Plenty of flexibility

Only hospital dentistry requires you to be on call as a dentist. With all other options, you will have ample flexibility to set your own hours and take the weekends and holidays off. This allows you to work around your personal commitments so you do not have to sacrifice your family life.

You can be your own boss

Dentistry allows you plenty of opportunities to open a private clinic where you can be your own boss. In addition to setting your own hours, you can decide on the rates you want to charge and the number of patients you see in a day.

Job security

Dentists never have to worry about being called into the manager’s office to be told they are being laid off because of a downturn in the industry. There is an enormous demand for dentists, and that trend looks all set to continue for several more years.

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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.

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