Motivating the Next Generation to Choose Dentistry as a Professional Career

by Jennifer Hawley

Dentistry as a career choice has often been overlooked by younger generations. On the other hand, however, dentistry is one of the top 10 career options in the US, according to the 2021 US News and World Report. From financial independence, to job satisfaction, and the ability to have a balanced life, becoming a dentist can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs the next generation can get into. But, if your child, niece, or you know someone who’s still undecided in choosing the healthcare field they want to get into, then maybe talking to them about the benefits of dentistry will change their mind. Here are some benefits of dentistry to help motivate the next generation into choosing the field as a professional career.

There Is A Huge Demand For Dentists

In a survey conducted by employment site Monster, they revealed that 45% of 2020’s college graduates are still looking for a job. Unemployment will not be a problem for those who finish their studies in dentistry. According to Statistics Canada, during the periods of 2019 to 2028, a total of 12,200 job openings in the field of dentistry are expected, with only 7000 new job seekers to fill them. This data shows the huge demand for dental practitioners, and the problem is not unemployment, but in supplying the need.

In the United States, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that dental occupations are projected to offer good prospects in employment throughout 2028. The industry is also seen to grow faster or much faster than the average occupation since the demand for dental services is seen to rise in the next few years. This may be due to the fact that more people are realizing the link between overall health and oral health.

Competitive Salary

The average income of dentists is in the highest 8% of US family income. In 2018, the average net income for a general practitioner was $190,440 and even went as far as $330,180 for specialists, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute 2019 Survey of Dental Practice. In Canada, the average income is $168, 623 per year.

When it comes to education, it usually takes 8 years of studies from graduating high school before one becomes a dentist, and if you want to specialize in a specific field, you also need to add a residency program. For parents, getting children engaged in sciences at an early age is key to developing their love for the medical field.

Career Independence

About 80% of dental school graduates go into private practice but there are also other career options. Some work in research, clinical, and academic opportunities, so you’re not limited to opening your own dental clinic once you graduate. There’s also the freedom to work as much or as little as you can since you’ll be the one to set up your clinic schedule if you opt for the private practice route. You can also choose where you want to work, such as where you want to set up your clinic, and you can even take career breaks if you wish. There’s a lot of freedom when you go into private practice as you are not employed by a company or institution.

Become a Respected Member of the Community

Dentists are highly regarded by communities due to their contributions to society. Dentists are front liners in healthcare and are the authorities on preventative care, treatment of oral diseases, and even correcting dentofacial aesthetics. They can transform a patient’s life by a single visit, helping to alleviate pain and improve a person’s confidence, as well as improve its overall quality of life.

Though there are a lot of challenges on the road to becoming a dentist, and there will be more challenges once one goes into practice, the benefits and rewards of being one far outweigh its drawbacks. Financial freedom, employment security, and being a productive member of society are just some of the motivational factors of choosing a career in dentistry.

If you are in a position to inspire and motivate the next generation in choosing their career path, and if you see that they are eyeing a career in healthcare, then maybe helping to nudge them in the direction of dentistry can give them a good future; not just for themselves, or for their families, but also for the communities at large.

About the Author

Jennifer Hawley is an occupational health therapist turned freelance writer. She has a passion for digital and health related topics and loves exploring and commenting upon the latest research. When not working, she loves to visit family in Europe, enjoys horse riding with her children and reading as much as possible.

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