Prepare yourself to become a dentist
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that dentists are not respected as much as doctors. For reasons still unknown to many, dentists have always been playing second fiddle to their other medical counterparts. However, if you, beating against all odds, decide to become a dentist by profession and aspire for the same, you should be prepared to face the following facts. When you brace yourselves to accept these facts, you will become more determined in your goals and become a successful dentist.
1. People are a bundle of nerves about their dental problems
Dentists are dreaded by many because dental problems have always scared them. If you aspire to become a dentist, you should be prepared to deal with nervous patients, encourage them to speak up, reassure them about the treatment and ensure that they feel comfortable around you. This is the biggest challenge of being a dentist. Once you succeed in this, your career is sure to take off nicely.
2. Dental equipment need extremely careful handling
It may sound scary but dental equipment is far more dangerous than equipment used in other medical departments. The screws, clips, saline injectors, needles, measurement apparatus and other related instruments are very delicate and dangerous at the same time. Therefore, it needs to be handled with extreme care. If you are nervous when you handle these, you can hurt your patients in a big way. This mars your reputation and goodwill to a great extent.
3. Very stressful profession
All professionals in the medical field have to be prepared to face long and stressful days at work almost every day. In case of dentists, they face the additional burden of having to deal with nervous and cranky patients as well, which adds to the stress. Needless to say, if you dream of becoming a successful dentist, you should be ready to fight through these stressful phases in your life.
4. Raising awareness about dental care
If dentistry is your passion, you should know that not many people take their dental issues seriously. So one of the first stages of preparing yourself to become a good dentist is to improve awareness about the importance of dental care among your friends and family, teach them why it is important to catch clues early on and when they need to seek medical intervention quickly. You should propagate the importance of dental care to as many people as you see, so that people start taking you more seriously than they ever did.
Common mistakes to be avoided by dentists
Lot of people are quite apprehensive about visiting dentists because they are scared about the treatment that they would receive. As a dentist, your first job would be to keep their fears at bay and to make them feel comfortable in your presence. It is more important to know what you shouldn’t do than what you should do, so that you become successful in your career. Here is a list of common mistakes that you should never commit as a dentist:
1. Waiting for your patients to open up
As a young dentist, it is understandable that you might feel nervous and may wait for your patients to open up about their teeth-related problems. However, this is a big mistake as you need to be aware about the nervousness that your patients would be already undergoing in your presence. At least 30% of patients visit dentists only because they are compelled by their family members or because their pain becomes unbearable. As a dentist, you should first make them comfortable and then encourage them to open up about their pain, symptoms and other problems, so that you are able to diagnose properly.
2. Being very curt and direct
Being straightforward and direct is a virtue for other human beings, not for doctors and especially a big no for dentists. It is so surprising that patients who have undergone serious cardiac surgeries confidently in the past are petrified about a root canal procedure! Dental issues have the uncanny knack of scaring people away; therefore, you need to be very polite with your patients. You should reassure them about the simplicity of the treatment, how better they are going to be post treatment, what they can enjoy that they have missed out all this time and similar topics. During your process, you should never be too strict or nervous, as it frightens your patients away. Try to divert them by asking them about their passion, career or other interesting stories so that they feel at ease.
3. Not knowing where to draw the line
If you are a dentist who is just starting out his career, you need to admit that there might be several factors that are beyond your understanding mainly because you are inexperienced. If a particular patient’s ailment requires specialised care, you should immediately refer him/her to a specialist. Engaging in trial and error medication is a serious crime and you should know where to draw the line when it is about skill and experience.