Quite some time ago we took a look at who was “behind the mask” at Brinkley Dental and then, in a separate blog, we talked about Dentophobia – the fear that some people have of Dentists. Today, we thought it might be fun to explore the world of Dentistry and what’s involved in being behind the mask in a bit more detail. Specifically, today we’ll look at what goes into becoming a Dentist or a Dental Hygienist. So – if you’ve always wanted to know what was required before a member of the Brinkley Dental team donned their masks here at our Brampton office for the first time – read on!
Apart from the character named Hermey from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer fame, I actually don’t recall too many kids growing up who said they wanted to be a Dentist. Thankfully though, there are enough of us who have been (or are now) willing to undergo the rigorous training required. If you have a little one who has expressed an interest in growing up to be a Dentist, or a young adult currently studying the sciences in University but unsure which direction to take for post graduate studies, here’s what you most need to know about becoming a Dentist.
Typically, students who go on to study Dentistry will come from a Science program. While it isn’t unheard of to come from another discipline, sciences make up the majority of dental school applicants. Applicants must complete a DAT test, the Dental Aptitude Test, as part of their application. Potential dental students should consider strongly their aptitude and willingness to work with people closely (both literally and figuratively!) Dentists are now, more than ever before, considered an integral part of a patients health care team and good oral health is a key component of overall health. It is imperative that strongly committed and well-educated persons are needed to fill these positions. Typically, it takes an additional four years of graduate dental schooling (after a four year undergraduate degree) in order to become a licensed DDS or DMD. Other specialties in the field require even further training and of course, there is a residency component.
As a potential student of Dentistry you should ask yourself these questions as posed by the CDA-ADC.
- Do you enjoy interacting with and helping people?
- Would you like a career that offers challenge and variety?
- Would you enjoy being self-employed?
- Are you interested in helping people maintain and improve their oral health?
- Do you have good manual dexterity and spatial judgement?
- Do you have keen memory and a strong interest and ability in the sciences?
Dentists engage in prevention and education, early detection of problems, aesthetics for patients who want to improve their appearance, restorative work, cosmetic work and even reconstructive and surgical work. It is a demanding, varied and interesting field that also allows you to potentially manage your own business should you wish to open a personal practice. There is certainly much to consider when considering becoming a Dentist and as a patient, you should relax in the chair, knowing you are in the hands of a well-schooled professional Doctor.
There are many dental schools across Canada and while we are partial to our own alma mater, far be it for us to recommend one over another. If you would like to know more, contact the Canadian Dental Association as a good starting point and do your homework online. Brinkley Dental would be happy to have a chat with the potential Dental student in your house on what we like best about Dentistry. In the meantime, stay tuned for our next blog where we’ll discuss becoming a hygienist and all that is involved in becoming successful in that career! In the meantime, as our family friendly dental team always likes to remind you: ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”