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    I've wanted to study dentistry for 4 years. However during exam season last month the reality of a dentistry career hit me and I have now given it up to do a chemistry degree.

    Have you thought about the position dentists are in during their work? Bending over for long periods of time really damages your back, hence why a large proportion of dentists retire early due to musculoskeletal disease. Chronic back pain is almost inevitable and a study published on BDJ showed that over 70% of dental students suffer from neck and back pain (don't remember exact figures).

    So I thought, I really want a career in dentistry.. but it will cost me my physical well-being. This isn't something I was openly aware of until a month ago. So my question is,
    1) dental applicants, is this something that has ever occurred to you?
    2) dental students, is this something you ever thought of when applying and do you currently have any back pain from clinical sessions?

    (If you disagree, just search dentists back pain and loads of supporting evidence will come up)
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    its true that it happens but don't let it put you off- yes, many do get shoulder and back problems but in the scheme of things, every trade has its ailments. at the end of the day dentistry is a great profession and if you have a passion for it then do pursue it.
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    Are dental students not given any advice on posture? Do you mean you've done 4 years as a dental student?
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    Keep fit, especially core strength (pilates and yoga are good)
    Practice good posture when sitting
    Treat standing up when possible
    MAGNIFICATION
    Good lighting
    Ensure good mirror habits when using indirect vision
    Stretch at the beginning and end of each clinic (sometimes in between patients if you need to)
    Don't work 5 days a week (most don't anyway)
    Use a saddle chair
    Get the patient to move to suit you, rather than the other way around
    Get a decent physiotherapist
    MAGNIFICATION AGAIN

    Back and neck pain can be an issue and I did experience it once or twice in dental school but it was usually as a direct result of poor posture which i could have corrected. I think if the fear of this is enough to completely put you off Dentistry that you weren't all that motivated in the first place, just my opinion. Every career has its downsides really, some physical, some mental, some both. However, I do agree with the poster, this is definitely something you should consider as part of the realities of dentistry if you're considering applying. If you think having to take care of your back will be a deal breaker, then don't do it. However, don't make the mistake of assuming that back pain is an inevitable direct result of being a practicing dentist, it isn't. These days there is much more knowledge and equipment available than there ever has been before.
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    (Original post by 20320452)
    I've wanted to study dentistry for 4 years. However during exam season last month the reality of a dentistry career hit me and I have now given it up to do a chemistry degree.

    Have you thought about the position dentists are in during their work? Bending over for long periods of time really damages your back, hence why a large proportion of dentists retire early due to musculoskeletal disease. Chronic back pain is almost inevitable and a study published on BDJ showed that over 70% of dental students suffer from neck and back pain (don't remember exact figures).

    So I thought, I really want a career in dentistry.. but it will cost me my physical well-being. This isn't something I was openly aware of until a month ago. So my question is,
    1) dental applicants, is this something that has ever occurred to you?
    2) dental students, is this something you ever thought of when applying and do you currently have any back pain from clinical sessions?

    (If you disagree, just search dentists back pain and loads of supporting evidence will come up)
    It is something which is preventable and correctable provided that good habits are adopted from the start. It is an important issue in Dentistry and one that I feel isn't discussed enough. Kartace's post pretty much sums it up. I don't think one issue could completely put you off Dentistry if you really wanted to do it in the first place. You sound like you've researched a lot of negative supporting information which has created a barrier rather than look at the practical solutions which could carry you through a successful dental career.
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    (Original post by Dento5)
    It is something which is preventable and correctable provided that good habits are adopted from the start. It is an important issue in Dentistry and one that I feel isn't discussed enough. Kartace's post pretty much sums it up. I don't think one issue could completely put you off Dentistry if you really wanted to do it in the first place. You sound like you've researched a lot of negative supporting information which has created a barrier rather than look at the practical solutions which could carry you through a successful dental career.
    Lol no.. it can completely put me off even though I wanted to do it. I already suffer from frequent back pain and stiffness so it would be unwise to pursue dentistry. It's not at all about my motivation to study dentistry. My main concern is my physical health.. yes other careers have downsides but with a chemical career there isn't the aspect of deteriorating physical health so me choosing not to study dentistry doesn't determine that I wasn't motivated enough.. it just means I am trying to prevent myself from horrendous pain in the future.
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    (Original post by 20320452)
    Lol no.. it can completely put me off even though I wanted to do it. I already suffer from frequent back pain and stiffness so it would be unwise to pursue dentistry. It's not at all about my motivation to study dentistry. My main concern is my physical health.. yes other careers have downsides but with a chemical career there isn't the aspect of deteriorating physical health so me choosing not to study dentistry doesn't determine that I wasn't motivated enough.. it just means I am trying to prevent myself from horrendous pain in the future.
    You might have back pain at the moment but like I and Kartace said there are ways of limiting the problem - "horrendous pain" is not guaranteed in the future. I'm not saying it isn't a big issue. But like I said you don't seem keen on looking at the solutions but just the nuclear option. Each to their own.
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    A very interesting and insightful post.

    Yes, it is an issue. A very big one!

    Unfortunately in Dental School, you are not taught very much, at all about posture well being. Its often something you have to pick up on, and I presume go on relevant courses or physiotherapists after your practice.

    Is it something that would perennially put me off Dentistry as a long term career? Probably not. Reason being, you can try your very best to avoid or minimise the back probolems. Also, there are many other medical and non medical careers that put an enamours amount of strain on ones physical body.
 
 
 
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