5 questions to ask yourself before choosing your dental specialty
Finishing dental studies after years of hard work and dedication leaves graduates facing a number of important questions, and choosing a dental specialty is an essential part of a doctor’s career and one of the factors to be considered when thinking of the future. Pursuing a dental specialty further would allow the doctor to tackle more complex and specific issues, design new dental standards and practices, and of course, be more financially rewarded, as most of the time, dental professionals who have a specialty, typically earn more. But before making that choice, it is important to think about what motivates you and what are your future career goals. So, what are some of the questions you should ask yourself before choosing a dental specialty?
Do I take a big interest in the financial aspect?
One of the biggest decision factors could be the financial aspect and when choosing a dental specialty through this lens, it is important to keep in mind that some specialties provide higher income potential than others. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are recorded to have the biggest incomes, with endodontists, orthodontists, and pediatric dentists coming close after that.
Do I really love surgery?
If you wish to choose oral and maxillofacial surgery as your specialty, it is important to keep in mind that this will be a long-term commitment for the next years of your life, as residency can take up to 6 years to complete. It is also essential to consider that this branch of dentistry requires steadiness, patience, and a strong will because, in the actual work that you will perform and the complex issues that you will face, these skills will definitely come in handy.
Do I love working with children?
What differentiates a good pediatric dentist from the rest, is the ability to make children feel comfortable and put them at ease, and, of course, loads and loads of charisma and a positive overall presence. If you have all of these boxes checked, this might be just the right specialty to choose. From a career standpoint, this specialty can be very rewarding financially too, as good pediatricians are usually booked months in advance.
Do I want to impact the community?
If you take a special interest in impacting communities and generally making a change on a larger scale, you might take dental public health into consideration. In this type of service, you will focus more on taking care of patients from certain groups of people rather than individuals, you will study what general risks they face and develop dental policies to make a change in their community.
Do I even want a specialty?
There is, however, another option when it comes to dental specialties: not choosing one. In that case, your focus will be general dentistry. As a general dentist, you will be able to market your practice directly to the public and in case you will face more complex problems that require a different type of care, you can, of course, make a referral to a specialized dental professional.
No matter the decision you wish to take, it is important that you will love the path that you have chosen and that you do everything with seriousness and dedication.
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