You want to become a dentist. You like working with kids. Why not become a pediatric dentist? A pediatric dentist works with patients 0 – 21 years of age. They’re like the pediatricians of the dental world. They specialize in the unique circumstances problems surrounding the teeth of children. They even go to school for an additional 2 years after dental school to learn all about kids and their teeth. Let’s take a look at both the good and the bad aspects of this unique field of study.
- Kids are cuter than adults. In general, mouths are not very pretty to examine. However, the tiny mouth of a 5-year-old is probably nicer to look at than the mouth of a 60-year-old.
- You can dress up as a super hero at the office and your patients will adore you. If you did that in a dentist office for adults, you may lose a few patients for fear they think you’ve gone mad.
- You get to paint your walls fun colors.
- You can call your patients “dude.”
- If you get bored on a slow day, there will be toys in the waiting room to play with.
- If your patient freaks out and lunges at you before the banana-flavored laughing gas take effect, you could probably take him down. Maybe not so with an adult patient.
- You can bribe your patient with a toy at the end of the exam.
- Telling your patient “I am going to tell your mom on you” just might work.
- In general, kids are kinder and sweeter than adults.
- Kids are loud. That might get old after 8 hours.
- Kids have smaller mouths than adults. Trying to fit your fat hand holding an instrument into a tiny mouth might take some practice/stretching.
- You will probably get bitten. Multiple times.
- You must attend an additional 2 years of school – on top of 4 years of dental school, on top of 4 years of undergrad work. I hope you like school.
- You need to act happy all the time, even if you aren’t. Kids don’t understand / want to know why you are not happy.
- Kids seem to have more germs than adults, and you will be sticking your fingers right into their “germy” area.
- You have to deal with both kids and their parents. Some parents are great and bring their awesome kids with them. Some parents are crazy and bring their crazy kids with them.
- Instead of listening to classical music or watching the news on your overhead televisions, you will be listening to Justin Bieber and watching Disney Movies. Then when you go home, you will catch yourself singing Justin Bieber in the shower the next day.
As this comprehensive list shows, there is a lot to consider if you want to go into pediatric dentistry. A pediatric dentist must be patient, kind, understanding and willing to learn. You must also consider that pediatric dentists go to school for an addition 2 years. Is this something you are willing to do? Becoming a pediatric dentist is hard work but can be worth every penny of it.
A career in pediatric dentistry can be fulfilling and rewarding if you enjoy working with children and want to be a part of the dentistry field. The good and the bad can be found in every job. If one of the good things about your job is that you get to dress up as a superhero every once in a while for your patients, how bad can the rest be?
Jamie enjoys writing about a number of topics including health, family and fitness. She is especially interested in writing about pediatric dentistry. She understands the importance of a pediatric dentist for her children and is glad that her children love to visit Burg Pediatric Dentistry.