Students choose to become
dentists because they can…
Restore the oral health and
transform the lives of their patients.
Whether it is providing
preventative care, delivering dental restorative procedures, eliminating pain
or correcting dento-facial esthetics, often in a single visit the dentist can
experience the satisfaction, privilege and joy of positively transforming a
patient’s life by restoring oral health.
Be independent in their
Dentists have the
opportunity to own their own businesses right after dental school. This gives
them a lot of independence and allows them to set their own business and career
Earn a good salary.
In 2014, the average net
income for an independent private general practitioner who owned all or part of
his or her practice was $183,340 and $344,740 for dental specialists,
according to the ADA Health Policy Institute 2015 Survey of Dental
Practitioners. Incomes vary across the country and depend on the type of
Choose from a number of
While 80% of dental school
graduates go into private practice in general dentistry, the profession offers
a wide range of clinical, research and academic opportunities to both new
graduates and dentists at any stage of their careers.
Maintain a flexible
Because there are a number
of different career and practice options in dentistry, practitioners can choose
what kind of lifestyle they will lead and often what hours and days they will
Shape the future of oral
In addition to clinical practice,
the dentist can also contribute significantly to the future direction of oral
health care by engaging in dental education and research. Dental educators have
the ability to shape the dental school curriculum and the professional role of
the dentist by establishing themselves as faculty members in dental education.
As a dental researcher, the dentist uses the most advanced technological tools
and applies cutting edge scientific findings to advance the profession forward
by discovering new oral health phenomenon or seeking a resolution to a myriad
of oral health issues.
Be respected members of
Dentists are highly
regarded by the communities they serve for their contributions to the general
health of the public as well as their drive to improve the lives of those
Exercise creativity in
their daily work.
Dentistry is often referred
to as an art. It requires mastery and technique unique to the profession.
Dentistry is largely based on maintaining proper oral health, but is also an
aesthetically focused practice. A large part of dentistry involves restoring
teeth and making a smile beautiful, one that the patient is happy to show to
Work as part of a team.
Although the dentist is
often portrayed as the “lone practitioner,” in actuality, dentistry is a
team-oriented profession. Whether it is the dental team (dental hygienist,
assistant and lab technician) working together with the patient to ensure the
restoration and maintenance of oral health, or the dentist’s role on an
interprofessional team, working with other health professionals to improve
overall health, the dentist receives much satisfaction as a primary team
Provide benevolent care to
With an annual income well
above the national norm, combined with a flexible work schedule, the dentist is
allowed the privilege and ability to provide oral health care to those
communities and populations that desperately lack access and affordability.