Studying and Practicing Dentistry: General Discussion

medlad12

Member
You can work three days a week as a doctor and live comfortably. Heck, you can work three days a week as a plumber and live comfortably.
But to get to the stage of working 3 days as a doctor it takes a lot more time and study. Also, plumbers most likely wouldnt be able to work 3 days a week and their work is much more labour intensive compared to dent which can affect lifestyle. Also Dentists get paid more than plumbers i think. How much could a dentist make like 5 years out of uni if he/she worked 3 days a week? cause like tbh i dont really want to work id rather focus on other hobbies like youtube, gaming, sports and friends cause there fun lol. Would working 3 days a week after 5 years of graduating give a good income to have like nice stuff as well? serious question but i feel like the financial and lifestlye can be a big contributor to someones decision to pursie dentistry? what are your thoughts on this?
 

laerla

Member
Is is problematic to go into dentistry for the lifestyle due to the money? (work 3 days a week and live comfortably?) or is this destined to fail?
I don't think it is problematic in general. Obviously when you choose to study something in uni, you look at the possible career pathway and what it's likely to be once you graduate. Destined to fail? depends how good you are...some dentists can gross 15k a day, so if you can do that, then you can prob work just one day a week and you will be alright

now this is what i want to hear. A true king.
Well to be honest, a lot of times i hear people say "money doesn't matter", and i roll my eyes..and I think this is why sometimes new grads get ripped off by employer, by taking up some ridiculously low salary/wage
 

chinaski

Regular Member
But to get to the stage of working 3 days as a doctor it takes a lot more time and study. Also, plumbers most likely wouldnt be able to work 3 days a week and their work is much more labour intensive compared to dent which can affect lifestyle. Also Dentists get paid more than plumbers i think. How much could a dentist make like 5 years out of uni if he/she worked 3 days a week? cause like tbh i dont really want to work id rather focus on other hobbies like youtube, gaming, sports and friends cause there fun lol. Would working 3 days a week after 5 years of graduating give a good income to have like nice stuff as well? serious question but i feel like the financial and lifestlye can be a big contributor to someones decision to pursie dentistry? what are your thoughts on this?
You can work three days a week as a junior doctor and still live comfortably.
Plumbers (and tradies in general) can work as much or as little as they wish - not sure why you think they "wouldn't be able to work 3 days a week". Trades can be incredibly lucrative, financially speaking - they just lack the perception of prestige attached to "professional" jobs.
 

medlad12

Member
Well to be honest, a lot of times i hear people say "money doesn't matter", and i roll my eyes..and I think this is why sometimes new grads get ripped off by employer, by taking up some ridiculously low salary/wage
yea exactly, money does matter to a considerable extent but people dont like talking about it as they believe that because its patient orientated, money shouldnt be the main contributor to motivation. But the same would go for engineering where your still impacting people through design and different ways. But people dont argue against going into engineering for the money.

You can work three days a week as a junior doctor and still live comfortably.
Plumbers (and tradies in general) can work as much or as little as they wish - not sure why you think they "wouldn't be able to work 3 days a week". Trades can be incredibly lucrative, financially speaking - they just lack the perception of prestige attached to "professional" jobs.
Yea but the work in a trade is very intense and working in a very hot environment wouldnt be ideal. Working as a junior doctor would be good but wouldnt dentistry be better as its less study and less restriction on working hours? or can you choose how long to work straight away as you graduate med as well?
 

chinaski

Regular Member
Not really sure why you think tradespeople work "in a very hot environment"? If you are set on finding a pathway that involves less study, by that logic, a trade would be right up there, as it doesn't even involve tertiary study. You can opt to work part-time as a doctor, right from the point of graduation.

Dentistry can encounter a lot of OH&S issues that can potentially truncate a career (or impact on one's quality of life) due to the physicality of the job. Just because you're not hauling bricks from one end of a worksite to the other doesn't mean dentistry isn't a physical role.
 

garmonbozia

Membered Value
Valued Member
Yea but the work in a trade is very intense and working in a very hot environment wouldnt be ideal. Working as a junior doctor would be good but wouldnt dentistry be better as its less study and less restriction on working hours? or can you choose how long to work straight away as you graduate med as well?
I think you are missing the point a little bit. You seem to be weighing very different careers against each other without really considering what each one actually involves in a practical sense, which is not at all captured by the superficial metrics of duration of study, earnings, and working hours. Would you be happy working for the rest of your life as a dentist? As a doctor? As a tradesperson? These considerations are far more important in the long run.
 

medlad12

Member
Not really sure why you think tradespeople work "in a very hot environment"? If you are set on finding a pathway that involves less study, by that logic, a trade would be right up there, as it doesn't even involve tertiary study. You can opt to work part-time as a doctor, right from the point of graduation.

Dentistry can encounter a lot of OH&S issues that can potentially truncate a career (or impact on one's quality of life) due to the physicality of the job. Just because you're not hauling bricks from one end of a worksite to the other doesn't mean dentistry isn't a physical role.
When i mean hot environment i mean temperature wise, tradies have to work in very hot environments in roofs carrying heavy gear all day. I didnt say Dentistry isnt a physical role, as i understand the effects it can have on the back over a long period of time. However, compared to a Trade, the environment you work in is more comfortable IMO.

I think you are missing the point a little bit. You seem to be weighing very different careers against each other without really considering what each one actually involves in a practical sense, which is not at all captured by the superficial metrics of duration of study, earnings, and working hours. Would you be happy working for the rest of your life as a dentist? As a doctor? As a tradesperson? These considerations are far more important in the long run.
Yea im just tossing up the idea of going into dentistry soley for the money and lifestyle. Im assuming there would be people going into Dentistry soley for these factors right? or am i assuming incorrectly?
 

chinaski

Regular Member
I think you are missing the point a little bit. You seem to be weighing very different careers against each other without really considering what each one actually involves in a practical sense, which is not at all captured by the superficial metrics of duration of study, earnings, and working hours. Would you be happy working for the rest of your life as a dentist? As a doctor? As a tradesperson? These considerations are far more important in the long run.
This. Unless you've a purely mercenary nature, to stick it out in any career, you need more than a monetary reward to sustain you over the years.
 

garmonbozia

Membered Value
Valued Member
Yea im just tossing up the idea of going into dentistry soley for the money and lifestyle. Im assuming there would be people going into Dentistry soley for these factors right? or am i assuming incorrectly?
I'm sure there are plenty of people choosing all sorts of careers motivated entirely by a desire for status and wealth. But I am also sure that many of those people would have been far happier and more fulfilled in life had they done something that they genuinely liked instead. What's the point of a good 'lifestyle' if your day job drains the life out of you? Can you even have a good lifestyle under those circumstances? Or if money really is the only concern... why go into dentistry instead of investment banking?
 

medlad12

Member
I'm sure there are plenty of people choosing all sorts of careers motivated entirely by a desire for status and wealth. But I am also sure that many of those people would have been far happier and more fulfilled in life had they done something that they genuinely liked instead. What's the point of a good 'lifestyle' if your day job drains the life out of you? Can you even have a good lifestyle under those circumstances? Or if money really is the only concern... why go into dentistry instead of investment banking?
I understand what your saying, but if your only working 3 days a week thats 24 hours of the 168 hours in a week, i dont feel i could get that affected if it was only that amount of time. And if im working 12 hours for 2 days thats even better, it means one could direct their time to their family and other stuff they enjoy such as sport and volunteering and friends. I would never consider investment banking as the lifestyle is horrendous and thats the other reason why id pursue dentistry as it allows the lifestyle/money. However, with that said i definitely agree with your statement of people being far more happier if they pursued something they enjoyed rather than soley for the money. But again if one pursed painting for example however did not make a living and did not have a lifestyle or the ability to bring up a family would it be worth it?
 

LMG!

MBBS IV
Administrator
I just moved these posts here because they were off topic elsewhere and they are fast becoming so here, too.

Please keep this to discussing the study and practice of dentistry.
 

Unluckydude

Regular Member
Is is problematic to go into dentistry for the lifestyle due to the money? (work 3 days a week and live comfortably?) or is this destined to fail?
It depends on your definition of “living comfortably”. Some people want to live in expansive houses which cost millions of dollars. As Laerla said, what you will make 5 years after graduation really depends on how good you’re and a range of factors:
-rural vs urban
-clinical skills
-communication/interpersonal skills
-business skills
-private vs public
-your contract terms (Your commission will most likely be around 40% after 5 years even though I heard that some new graduates are only getting 35%)
-competitors near you
-qualifications (there are courses you can do broaden your skills)

There are different procedures a dentist can do and the costs vary significantly. If you get to do a lot of the expensive procedures, you’ll make a lot of money. If you only get to do the cheap ones, you’ll make less money. Here are just some examples of the most common procedures:

- scale and cleaning + cleaning above the gym line =$200-300
-extractions = 150-500 for normal teeth
- fillings: $100-350
- root canal +crown = $3000-5000
-braces =$4000-8000
-implants = $3000-7000
-teeth whitening = up to 200-300 a tooth

Btw, Laerla is a practising dentist so she/he can probably provide some first hand info on this topic.
 

medlad12

Member
It depends on your definition of “living comfortably”. Some people want to live in expansive houses which cost millions of dollars. As Laerla said, what you will make 5 years after graduation really depends on how good you’re and a range of factors:
-rural vs urban
-clinical skills
-communication/interpersonal skills
-business skills
-private vs public
-your contract terms (Your commission will most likely be around 40% after 5 years even though I heard that some new graduates are only getting 35%)
-competitors near you
-qualifications (there are courses you can do broaden your skills)

There are different procedures a dentist can do and the costs vary significantly. If you get to do a lot of the expensive procedures, you’ll make a lot of money. If you only get to do the cheap ones, you’ll make less money. Here are just some examples of the most common procedures:

- scale and cleaning + cleaning above the gym line =$200-300
-extractions = 150-500 for normal teeth
- fillings: $100-350
- root canal +crown = $3000-5000
-braces =$4000-8000
-implants = $3000-7000
-teeth whitening = up to 200-300 a tooth

Btw, Laerla is a practising dentist so she/he can probably provide some first hand info on this topic.
wooww thanks for the info, are those values the amount that the dentist gets? im not sure how the system works so apologies if that was a dumb question.
 

Unluckydude

Regular Member
wow the potential to earn a lot of money is there. Would there be a base salary or does it depend on the contract?
You won’t get a base salary if you get a commission. Also you need to be aware that some procedures take several appointments to complete. Furthermore, if you become a general dentist, other dentists are unlikely to refer the complex (also lucrative) procedures to you unless you have done additional courses. Therefore, there is limit to the number of the expensive procedures you’ll get and as I said, it’s better to not have unrealistic expectations about dentistry.
 

dotwingz

Google Enthusiast
Moderator
Lots of better ways to make money than dentistry. Know a number of people who did a 3 year Computer Science degree and are making 150k/year only 2 or so years past graduation. Dentistry is hardly the best way to go about it, with a physically taxing work life and a long (largely non transferable) degree.
 

laerla

Member
wooww thanks for the info, are those values the amount that the dentist gets? im not sure how the system works so apologies if that was a dumb question.

I think at the end of the day, don't do dentistry JUST for the money, I mean you see those really wealthy people in the world, none of them are dentists lol. But it is a stable career, less likely to be affected by anything (COVID included). And you could make a decent income, and still having a good work-life balance.
Dental specialists make a lot of money too. I used to refer my patients to a periodontist. The treatment that he performs for all patients that see him, costs them $7k, and it only takes one hour to do...crazy eh
 

Appleton

Dental Student
I understand what your saying, but if your only working 3 days a week thats 24 hours of the 168 hours in a week, i dont feel i could get that affected if it was only that amount of time. And if im working 12 hours for 2 days thats even better, it means one could direct their time to their family and other stuff they enjoy such as sport and volunteering and friends.
Hey medlad12, I think dentistry is an extremely difficult field to be in if you don't have the passion for it. You will be dealing with a lot of oral diseases (many of which people find disgusting; and don't even get me started on the smell) in difficult patients with no reprieve. Are you able to deal with extremely bad breath - smoking and perio, blood, bone, pus and whatnot? Sure, you do get time to relax with a part time schedule but I guarantee that you will begin to resent work very soon. Dentistry isn't something you can leave easily as well given its highly specialised nature.

There are some people who are able to live with not loving dentistry, but I don't think it's an easy path. If money is your only concern, you will have to undertake a lot of CPD/specialise before you get there - you won't be placing implants or performing orthodontic treatment fresh out of school. This means doing very well in dental school, and having a level of passion for it. Alternatively, you could always run a private clinic - but this will take a huge investment in the seven-digits, not an easy step either.

Despite what others have said in this thread, newly minted dentists do make the most fresh out of University (look at the 2020 graduate outcomes survey) but the ceiling may be considerably lower on average when compared to medical practitioners for example.

Ultimately I think it's a fool's errand to undertake that many years of study if it's something you have to live with until the weekend.
 

medlad12

Member
Hey medlad12, I think dentistry is an extremely difficult field to be in if you don't have the passion for it. You will be dealing with a lot of oral diseases (many of which people find disgusting; and don't even get me started on the smell) in difficult patients with no reprieve. Are you able to deal with extremely bad breath - smoking and perio, blood, bone, pus and whatnot? Sure, you do get time to relax with a part time schedule but I guarantee that you will begin to resent work very soon. Dentistry isn't something you can leave easily as well given its highly specialised nature.

There are some people who are able to live with not loving dentistry, but I don't think it's an easy path. If money is your only concern, you will have to undertake a lot of CPD/specialise before you get there - you won't be placing implants or performing orthodontic treatment fresh out of school. This means doing very well in dental school, and having a level of passion for it. Alternatively, you could always run a private clinic - but this will take a huge investment in the seven-digits, not an easy step either.

Despite what others have said in this thread, newly minted dentists do make the most fresh out of University (look at the 2020 graduate outcomes survey) but the ceiling may be considerably lower on average when compared to medical practitioners for example.

Ultimately I think it's a fool's errand to undertake that many years of study if it's something you have to live with until the weekend.
Yea fair enough, I will definitely keep all this in mind before i make a decision. Thanks for the insightful info.
I think at the end of the day, don't do dentistry JUST for the money, I mean you see those really wealthy people in the world, none of them are dentists lol. But it is a stable career, less likely to be affected by anything (COVID included). And you could make a decent income, and still having a good work-life balance.
Dental specialists make a lot of money too. I used to refer my patients to a periodontist. The treatment that he performs for all patients that see him, costs them $7k, and it only takes one hour to do...crazy eh
Yea I do like the aspect of the work-life balance as well as dentistry is complex and is a challenge which i like. But again im not sure if i could see myself doing it for the rest of my life sadly.
 
Top