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career advice pls :/

i’m y12 trying to decide between med or dentistry. always wanted to do surgery but realised if i do med i won’t have time or money for kids. so i was like ‘hm i can do dentistry instead and specialise in oral surgery which is super interesting’ and that’s great but all my life i’ve wanted to work with kids whether it’s in med or dent. okay so now the issue ig.

i realised that kids don’t need surgery that much. like their teeth simply are not as bad as adult teeth most of the time so complicated surgeries don’t need to even be done on them.

please let me know if there is something to do with oral surgery that would involve me working with kids (i wanna do nitty gritty surgeries not simple procedures). don’t wanna do maxfax btw.
hey! i’m in y13 looking to study Dental Hygiene and therapy (oral health sciences) and there is pediatric dentistry in that (chikdren’s dentistry). in one of the universities I visited you deal with children with mental health issues and disorders such as autism & managing their dental health so working with kids in Dentistry does cross over. I’m not too sure about medicine although it is quite broad in terms of what profession; whether you wanna do smth like child nursing or pediatric medicine? Hope this helps xx
Original post by sighhhhhhhh
i’m y12 trying to decide between med or dentistry. always wanted to do surgery but realised if i do med i won’t have time or money for kids. so i was like ‘hm i can do dentistry instead and specialise in oral surgery which is super interesting’ and that’s great but all my life i’ve wanted to work with kids whether it’s in med or dent. okay so now the issue ig.
i realised that kids don’t need surgery that much. like their teeth simply are not as bad as adult teeth most of the time so complicated surgeries don’t need to even be done on them.
please let me know if there is something to do with oral surgery that would involve me working with kids (i wanna do nitty gritty surgeries not simple procedures). don’t wanna do maxfax btw.

Yes you can do oral surgery involving kids.
If a child is very scared of the dentist and have a lot of decay in their teeth, it may be recommended for the child to go under general anesthesia to extract those teeth - only if the dentist cannot perform the procedure with the patient awake, and the patient is experiencing significant pain/discomfort. Its the most common procedure for children to go under general anesthesia for in the UK.

Here are some articles about this:
https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/conditions-and-treatments/procedures-and-treatments/dental-treatment-general-anaesthetic/
https://www.nth.nhs.uk/resources/childrens-dental-treatment-under-general-anaesthetic/
Reply 3
I suggest asking yourself, if I don't make it to OS, will I be happy being a general/ paediatric dentist?
If I don't make it to OMFS will I be happy being a doctor in a different area of Paeds?

Maybe this job exists, but it will be rare, and to get to that level of sub-specialisation will take at least 2 more years beyond 3 year OS specialty training, which is itself highly competitive (as is Paediatric Dentistry). So I advise you research exactly what Oral Surgeons (Dentistry plus 5-7+ yrs) and OMFS (need both Dent+ Med, plus core training, then 5+yrs) do. Certainly contact the BAOS. And check the Paediatric dentistry and Special Care Dentistry specialties.

By 'nitty gritty' do you mean things like Cleft cases (in my area the repair surgery is carried out by OMFS -'maxfax'- and simple cases sometimes assisted by staff grade OS - Oral Surgery- dentists ), facial tumours (can be OMFS/OS/ ENT/ combination) , Orthognathic surgery (OMFS)? Orthodontics, restorative and labs for prostheses are heavily involved in all these cases.
If you do, you are almost certainly looking at OMFS. Apart from in children's hospitals, you will see kids as part of your general caseload, or work as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Look at the GOSH site for example, and you will see that the surgeons are OMFS trained, working with dental specialists in paeds, orthodontics, restorative.

Edited to clarify that the Paeds GA lists mentioned above by Toothysmile do not usually necessitate Oral Surgery but are usually for simple multiple extractions of deciduous teeth or occasional first (less commonly second) molars. In England anyway, those lists are usually done by Community or Paediatric dentists with MaxFax called very rarely indeed, maybe for a fistula repair or very complex wisdom tooth.

Quite a few dual qualified aspiring OMFS people end up in a different medical specialty or stay in dentistry when they find the bit that they enjoy best.

Good luck with your decision.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Osterley
I suggest asking yourself, if I don't make it to OS, will I be happy being a general/ paediatric dentist?
If I don't make it to OMFS will I be happy being a doctor in a different area of Paeds?
Maybe this job exists, but it will be rare, and to get to that level of sub-specialisation will take at least 2 more years beyond 3 year OS specialty training, which is itself highly competitive (as is Paediatric Dentistry). So I advise you research exactly what Oral Surgeons (Dentistry plus 5-7+ yrs) and OMFS (need both Dent+ Med, plus core training, then 5+yrs) do. Certainly contact the BAOS. And check the Paediatric dentistry and Special Care Dentistry specialties.
By 'nitty gritty' do you mean things like Cleft cases (in my area the repair surgery is carried out by OMFS -'maxfax'- and simple cases sometimes assisted by staff grade OS - Oral Surgery- dentists ), facial tumours (can be OMFS/OS/ ENT/ combination) , Orthognathic surgery (OMFS)? Orthodontics, restorative and labs for prostheses are heavily involved in all these cases.
If you do, you are almost certainly looking at OMFS. Apart from in children's hospitals, you will see kids as part of your general caseload, or work as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Look at the GOSH site for example, and you will see that the surgeons are OMFS trained, working with dental specialists in paeds, orthodontics, restorative.
Edited to clarify that the Paeds GA lists mentioned above by Toothysmile do not usually necessitate Oral Surgery but are usually for simple multiple extractions of deciduous teeth or occasional first (less commonly second) molars. In England anyway, those lists are usually done by Community or Paediatric dentists with MaxFax called very rarely indeed, maybe for a fistula repair or very complex wisdom tooth.
Quite a few dual qualified aspiring OMFS people end up in a different medical specialty or stay in dentistry when they find the bit that they enjoy best.
Good luck with your decision.


thanks so much for the very detailed reply - will look into everything you said. have a nice day :-)

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