Is dentistry as good as it seems? Watch

dakofsta
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I want to do dentistry in university and hope to go to Birmingham or Manchester. Some of the reasons I want to do dentistry include:
- Running my own business
- Get to help people
- Salary (of course)
- Relatively low hours

However, I was reading a review of somebody who is currently a dentist and it has really brought down my passion. He said many negatives of being a dentist, such as:
- Won't realistically get salary above 50K
- Private jobs are nearly impossible to find, especially in London
- You'd end up working in NHS for the majority of your life

Are these actually true? Or is he just a generally pessimistic person? I would like reviews from all types of people, especially current dentists!
Thank you
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preetg97
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(Original post by dakofsta)
I want to do dentistry in university and hope to go to Birmingham or Manchester. Some of the reasons I want to do dentistry include:
- Running my own business
- Get to help people
- Salary (of course)
- Relatively low hours

However, I was reading a review of somebody who is currently a dentist and it has really brought down my passion. He said many negatives of being a dentist, such as:
- Won't realistically get salary above 50K
- Private jobs are nearly impossible to find, especially in London
- You'd end up working in NHS for the majority of your life

Are these actually true? Or is he just a generally pessimistic person? I would like reviews from all types of people, especially current dentists!
Thank you
I'm going to take a guess and say you read this post: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2018235 ?

If looking for routine and regular working hours, diversity, and wanting to help people are the main things you look for in a profession then dentistry would be for you (amongst other professions like optometry etc.). But if the main reason why dentistry is appealing is the salary, then you're in for a surprise. As of last year what you would be actually keeping of your gross salary is lower also, as you pay back 9% to SFE to repay your student loan, but it was much lower in prior years. I think it's a common misconception among student dentists that after earning an average of £30k on your VT year you're going to jump to £75k or something. This comes with experience, so as the post said, the more experience you hold then the more quickly you work and the more desirable you are.

As for the 'working in NHS for the majority of your life', it's not all that bad you know! Grab some work experience in a GDP and a private practice and you'll be able to see the positives and negatives of them both. For me, the fact you see more patients in NHS practices in a typical day is a positive!

Anyway, just do whatever you think is best for you. If you're more drawn more to the salary then like was said, there are easier ways to be earning £50k. Carry out some WEX and you'll really know whether you can see yourself in the profession
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Kartace
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(Original post by dakofsta)
I want to do dentistry in university and hope to go to Birmingham or Manchester. Some of the reasons I want to do dentistry include:
- Running my own business
- Get to help people
- Salary (of course)
- Relatively low hours

However, I was reading a review of somebody who is currently a dentist and it has really brought down my passion. He said many negatives of being a dentist, such as:
- Won't realistically get salary above 50K
- Private jobs are nearly impossible to find, especially in London
- You'd end up working in NHS for the majority of your life

Are these actually true? Or is he just a generally pessimistic person? I would like reviews from all types of people, especially current dentists!
Thank you
Sounds like you were really passionate in the first place...

Especially given than all the negatives you mentioned were financial-minded, I would suggest that you forget about dentistry and try finance. Better money and you don't need to commit to nearly as much continuing professional development. The reality is, if you're passionate and work hard then you'll be fine. There are plenty of dentists earning lots of money and enjoying complex private dentistry. True London is more or less saturated, but newsflash. London is not the centre of the universe, there are load more places to live and nearly all of them pay better than london anyway. The average UDA in London is something like £8 compared to 12 in some parts of wales. As for private dentistry, it's tricky to get a job anywhere doing purely private, very few dentists do this. Without experience no one will come anywhere near you anyway, why would they? Just worry about getting in, and then through dental school. (No two easy feats).

Despite all the negative parts of this career I can't imagine doing anything else, you need to ask yourself the same question.

If you do decide dentistry is for you, i wish you the best of luck. Please make sure it's for the right reasons though. I've met plenty of people who made the wrong choice, they regret it and 5 years is a long time to do something so intensely if you don't enjoy it. It also takes the opportunity away from others. If you like working with your hands, have a bit of creative flair and have a passion for helping people and developing relationships, I think you'll be ok
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dakofsta
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(Original post by Kartace)
Sounds like you were really passionate in the first place...

Especially given than all the negatives you mentioned were financial-minded, I would suggest that you forget about dentistry and try finance. Better money and you don't need to commit to nearly as much continuing professional development. The reality is, if you're passionate and work hard then you'll be fine. There are plenty of dentists earning lots of money and enjoying complex private dentistry. True London is more or less saturated, but newsflash. London is not the centre of the universe, there are load more places to live and nearly all of them pay better than london anyway. The average UDA in London is something like £8 compared to 12 in some parts of wales. As for private dentistry, it's tricky to get a job anywhere doing purely private, very few dentists do this. Without experience no one will come anywhere near you anyway, why would they? Just worry about getting in, and then through dental school. (No two easy feats).

Despite all the negative parts of this career I can't imagine doing anything else, you need to ask yourself the same question.

If you do decide dentistry is for you, i wish you the best of luck. Please make sure it's for the right reasons though. I've met plenty of people who made the wrong choice, they regret it and 5 years is a long time to do something so intensely if you don't enjoy it. It also takes the opportunity away from others. If you like working with your hands, have a bit of creative flair and have a passion for helping people and developing relationships, I think you'll be ok
I have absolutely no issue with the training and education which I'd have to undergo to become a dentist; in fact it would make me enjoy the profession even more once I make it, however I definitely want to live and work in London. I love the city to pieces and would only ever want to live somewhere else whilst I am in uni. The salary only means a lot to me in the long run; 30-40K a year is fine by me but I would like it to be a bit higher by the time I am in my early thirties.
Also, what kind of jobs does finance entail? I would like the job to have around the same/less hours than dentistry
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Kartace
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(Original post by dakofsta)
I have absolutely no issue with the training and education which I'd have to undergo to become a dentist; in fact it would make me enjoy the profession even more once I make it, however I definitely want to live and work in London. I love the city to pieces and would only ever want to live somewhere else whilst I am in uni. The salary only means a lot to me in the long run; 30-40K a year is fine by me but I would like it to be a bit higher by the time I am in my early thirties.
Also, what kind of jobs does finance entail? I would like the job to have around the same/less hours than dentistry
It's very easy to say you'd enjoy it before you've started. Make sure you have a really good idea what the training involves and more importantly what the career involves. They'll expect you to have a pretty good appreciation of this during your interviews.

If you want to stay in London you have to take the rough with the smooth I'm afraid. Living in Whitechapel I don't quite see the attraction myself! But there are admittedly much nicer areas. However, I would expect most associates to be earning around 60,000 a year, so it depends whether that is acceptable to you? Bearing in mind that you have to pay for insurance, indemnity, registration, CPD and a whole load of other things on top of that.

Finance could be things like banking, investment banking, stock-brokering etc. Boring **** in my opinion. Well paid though.
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dakofsta
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(Original post by Kartace)
It's very easy to say you'd enjoy it before you've started. Make sure you have a really good idea what the training involves and more importantly what the career involves. They'll expect you to have a pretty good appreciation of this during your interviews.

If you want to stay in London you have to take the rough with the smooth I'm afraid. Living in Whitechapel I don't quite see the attraction myself! But there are admittedly much nicer areas. However, I would expect most associates to be earning around 60,000 a year, so it depends whether that is acceptable to you? Bearing in mind that you have to pay for insurance, indemnity, registration, CPD and a whole load of other things on top of that.

Finance could be things like banking, investment banking, stock-brokering etc. Boring **** in my opinion. Well paid though.
Do you have any links to articles and/or videos for reviews of dentists in the UK? And yes that is a great salary. I just want to live a good life and have my kids and wife enjoying themselves, so enough money for a 3-4 bedroom house and fancy car (e.g. Mercedes E class or Audi A8) is the kind of salary bracket I am looking at (assuming my wife has a decent job, 60K is more than enough right?)
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ToolsOfTheTrade
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(Original post by dakofsta)
Do you have any links to articles and/or videos for reviews of dentists in the UK? And yes that is a great salary. I just want to live a good life and have my kids and wife enjoying themselves, so enough money for a 3-4 bedroom house and fancy car (e.g. Mercedes E class or Audi A8) is the kind of salary bracket I am looking at (assuming my wife has a decent job, 60K is more than enough right?)
You can definitely earn a lot of money being a dentist, that being said many graduates end up just working for the NHS for the rest of their career with some private work here and there. You need to understand that the salary in Dentistry varies, from 30k when you graduate (which may change in the future who knows) to well over 100k. You can look around on job websites and see the average dentist salary. It's quite hard to gage how much you'll be earning afterwards as it depends on where you work and what you're doing at the time (i.e. are you a generic dentist or have you specialised).

But please don't go into it just for the money, I have just finished my first year exams as a dental student and while I'm confident it was the right choice, the stress and work load was unreal. I without a doubt found first year harder than actually getting in!

To answer your question, you will have a comfortable salary being a dentist, career progression is wide in the profession (you can go on to be a surgeon if you wanted to) and yes it is way more interesting than being stuck in an office all day long staring at a spreadsheet
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dakofsta
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(Original post by ToolsOfTheTrade)
You can definitely earn a lot of money being a dentist, that being said many graduates end up just working for the NHS for the rest of their career with some private work here and there. You need to understand that the salary in Dentistry varies, from 30k when you graduate (which may change in the future who knows) to well over 100k. You can look around on job websites and see the average dentist salary. It's quite hard to gage how much you'll be earning afterwards as it depends on where you work and what you're doing at the time (i.e. are you a generic dentist or have you specialised).

But please don't go into it just for the money, I have just finished my first year exams as a dental student and while I'm confident it was the right choice, the stress and work load was unreal. I without a doubt found first year harder than actually getting in!

To answer your question, you will have a comfortable salary being a dentist, career progression is wide in the profession (you can go on to be a surgeon if you wanted to) and yes it is way more interesting than being stuck in an office all day long staring at a spreadsheet
The salary isn't the main factor of me wanting to become a dentist. The job security, decent hours with no weekend hours and the fact that I'd aid people definitely appeal to me more, but the money is still important. I want enough to afford a nice car (Mercedes, audi, BMW) and a nice house, worth around 400,000 for my children and wife to really enjoy. I really have no idea what salary gives me that lifestyle but I would like to know please. Also, what does the first year consist of? Is it mainly hands on or more written/theory?
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TooFocused
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(Original post by dakofsta)
Do you have any links to articles and/or videos for reviews of dentists in the UK? And yes that is a great salary. I just want to live a good life and have my kids and wife enjoying themselves, so enough money for a 3-4 bedroom house and fancy car (e.g. Mercedes E class or Audi A8) is the kind of salary bracket I am looking at (assuming my wife has a decent job, 60K is more than enough right?)
Kartace's answer pretty much nailed it. I think you should really consider a different course. You seem awfully bothered by the money involved in Dentistry. It is completely blown out of proportion as it seems everyone but Dentists get this impression of untold riches if you choose to study Dentistry. Truth is unless you're extremely talented or have an absolute passion for the subject you won't be one of those high earners. If you chase money, you'll never be happy. As it has been said, studying for 5 years on a course you don't really have a genuine interest in will bore you to death. Trust me, I also know people who have studied Dentistry for financial reasons and have performed very mediocore since they do not find the content interesting.

tl;dr the mindset for studying Dentistry should never be:

"Low working hours"
"Running my own business"
"High Salary"

It's a healthcare profession and therefore patient interests will always come first.
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dakofsta
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(Original post by TooFocused)
Kartace's answer pretty much nailed it. I think you should really consider a different course. You seem awfully bothered by the money involved in Dentistry. It is completely blown out of proportion as it seems everyone but Dentists get this impression of untold riches if you choose to study Dentistry. Truth is unless you're extremely talented or have an absolute passion for the subject you won't be one of those high earners. If you chase money, you'll never be happy. As it has been said, studying for 5 years on a course you don't really have a genuine interest in will bore you to death. Trust me, I also know people who have studied Dentistry for financial reasons and have performed very mediocore since they do not find the content interesting.

tl;dr the mindset for studying Dentistry should never be:

"Low working hours"
"Running my own business"
"High Salary"

It's a healthcare profession and therefore patient interests will always come first.
As I said, the fact that I help people is a huge incentive. I do care a lot for hygiene and aesthetically pleasing teeth, and putting a smile on somebody's face is something I'd love to do for a living. The fact that I want the money doesn't mean I don't care about dentistry; it is just a bonus of doing something I want. I definitely wouldn't find dentistry boring and the pleasure and satisfaction of my patients would be the main factor in my positivity
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dental01
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Im not really sure that you know much about dentistry but the following information may be useful:
- Realistically, you can forget about running your own business/ clinic.....corporates have taken over Dentistry and it is impossible for a single clinic to compete with the giants...both in terms of cost management, staff retention, maintaining a loyal patient base as well as making any sort of profit.
-You do not get to choose your own hours-the clinic has to be open for certain hours as per NHS guidelines.
- For sure you do get to help people but this also comes with the added burden of complains / negligence issues. It is a high pressure, performance and efficiency oriented job and one mistake could destroy your career.
- The good old days of Dentists earning a bucket load are gone. You get paid according to UDA's / targets. Realistically an average dentist will make around 50 K whilst the more efficient and skilled dentist may push this to 70 or 80 K. This comes with the added stress, lack of holidays and poor work-life balance.
- Yes, private jobs are impossible to find unless you hold a masters qualification and some experience. Most will end up working for the NHS and do some private work on the side.
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dentalparent
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The more corners you cut the more you gross (NHS). So the more you want to "help people" the less you earn. If you philantropy like that you will get pressure or sack from your principal.
Private =more studies + financial risks+extremely long hours and lots of headache having your own business.
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Withengar
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You attend to people's teeth.

So, no, no it isn't.
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AJR92
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Hi guys, I've come into this discussion slightly off topic but was just wanting some advice/comfort really.

I'm currently a biomedical scientist but I've applied for dentistry this year. The job is ok but the hours are terrible, I probably work 3 out of every 4 weekends, the pay isn't great and the scope for progression is poor. Basically I can't see myself doing this forever, I don't want to.

So I have applied to dentistry because I want to work in a healthcare setting on the more clinical side of things instead of the laboratory side and I couldn't imagine myself sitting behind a desk for a living. I've always been very interested in the clinical side. I had an interview at Newcastle the other week and I have one at Leeds next week but lately I've been really stressed and filled with a lot of doubt, negative thoughts and worry. Mostly because I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing and the uncertainty of the whole thing, going from a steady job back to university again for another 5 years is daunting. I know that I could be worried about absolutely nothing as I may not even get in but it's just the stress of the unknown that is getting to me I suppose. Has anyone else, post-grad dentist or straight from college felt the same? It'd be nice to feel like I'm not the only one and that it's just irrational thought processes taking over because of the stress of the application process.

Thanks 😊
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