San Francisco, CA (PressExposure) July 09, 2008 -- Two out of three dentists reported that they would recommend a career in dentistry to their children or grandchildren, according to a recent survey by dental continuing education resource The Wealthy Dentist. Though many complained about the business knowledge needed today, most dentists seem happy with their profession.
Specialists were significantly more likely to recommend dentistry, while female practitioners were far less likely to do so. Female dentists were far less likely to recommend a dental career than were their male counterparts. While only 28% of male respondents said they would not recommend dentistry, fully 55% of female respondents did. While 36% of general dentists said they would advise against a dental career, only 7% of specialists felt the same way. This suggests specialists may be happier with their careers than general practitioners.
These days, dentists need to know a fair amount about the business side of things if they want their dental practices to stay afloat. "I like the profession but dislike the business of dentistry," sighed a New York dentist. "Dentistry is very demanding in ways not known by the novice," agreed a Georgia dentist. "I'm glad I didn't know what I had to go through to get where I'm at. You need a lot of help, both clinical and business. I believe new dentists would do well to enter established practices and be mentored before launching on their own first."
Many dentists are in the industry to help people. "The ability to change peoples' lives to make them happy and free of pain is my mission and purpose in life," said a Georgia dentist proudly. "I enjoy helping mentally challenged patients that other dentists are unable to treat because of my training in IV sedation dentistry," commented a Florida dentist.
Dental insurance is a major thorn in the side of dentists today. "The profession has been corrupted by the influence of dental insurance," declared a Pennsylvania dentist. "The insurance companies are trying to degrade the profession," said a California dentist, adding, "I see dentists producing twice as much as myself, but netting the same as I do."
At the same time, most dentists agree that they have it better than physicians. "Ask any physician. They'll all admit we've picked the right profession," said a North Carolina dentist. "No weekend hours, vacations as desired, minimal to no dealings with the managed care nightmare. Not many professions you can do what you want, when you want to, and have still the lifestyle dentists have."
The current economy isn't making it any easier to practice dentistry. "I love what I do, but over the past 8 years, I don't do enough of it," complained an Illinois dentist. "I don't know who is earning all that money that I read about, but it sure isn't in my neck of the woods. Even the specialists are slow. Not good." An Indiana dentist agreed, saying, "I see dentists exhausting themselves to provide elaborate treatment plans that patients often refuse, especially in this economy."
Some dentists were enthusiastic to have their children follow in their professional footsteps. "I love the practice of dentistry, and my son is starting dental school this fall," boasted a Kentucky dentist. "I feel so lucky to have picked dentistry. I have two children interested in pursuing dentistry, and they will get my full support," said a Virginia dentist.
"It's heartwarming to see how many dentists enjoy practicing dentistry," said Jim Du Molin, dental practice marketing consultant and founder of The Wealthy Dentist. "But I'm very much struck by the fact that female dentists don't seem as enthusiastic about their profession as their male colleagues. Perhaps we haven't come as far as I thought we had..."