“I hate dentists!” is a comment we’ve all heard a thousand times. So why would anyone want to do dentistry?
This was a thought that had crossed my mind several times during work experience at a dental practice to help support my application to dental school. However, ultimately, several reasons overrode those negative aspects for me, and this is why I chose to be a dentist.
The BDS undergraduate dentistry degree in the UK is a 5-year programme that presents various challenges and rewards along the way. The most compelling reason why I continue to enjoy dentistry every single day is the privilege of helping another person, in often a life-changing way. Preventative dentistry encompasses a large part of the role of a dentist and involves educating patients to motivate and inspire them to look after their oral health. If you enjoy immersing yourself in a vibrant and diverse community of people, then dentistry will put you at the heart of that.
Oral health combines the unique aspects of function, health, and aesthetics; teeth are often what we notice first in another individual. This makes dentistry an incredibly interesting subject with several components to always consider when treating a patient. It really does show what you can do with a dental degree! The vast range of treatments that a dentist can carry out on a day-to-day basis still amazes me: from simple fillings to more complex root canal treatments and even placing implants. In this way, to me, a dentist is also a surgeon.
A lot of people compare a dentistry course and medicine, and they do possess many similarities, but dentists pave the way in combining healthcare, business, art, manual dexterity and continuity of patient care. These are all reasons that excited me to step into a profession that is ever-evolving, and patient-centred. As well as this, dentists apply sound knowledge in science to every decision made, making sure to utilise evidence-based research and guidelines to dictate treatment planning. As someone that always enjoyed sciences at school, I knew I wanted to combine this in my future career.
Some may see dentistry as a narrow field; however, this could not be further from the truth. Thirteen specialist lists exist on the GDC website including areas such as oral surgery, periodontics, endodontics, and restorative dentistry. Career progression and choices are plentiful, allowing you to be the type of dentist that you want.
At dental school studying for a dental degree, you will not only progress in your practical skills to treat patients but also cover the supporting theory in many different subject areas. A dentistry course is designed to make you a confident and compassionate clinician, aligning with the General Dental Council (GDC) values. If you are someone that thrives in a leadership position but also works well as a team, dentistry is a great option for you.
Being a dental student itself is also incredibly rewarding as you get given a huge amount of responsibility. You will have patients directly under your care with supervision from tutors and provide numerous treatments such as crowns, restorations, and dentures. Although it can be frustrating in the beginning when faced with a large amount of content to learn and difficult practical sessions, there is plenty of time to improve over the five years. Dentistry really does provide a stimulating, challenging and scientifically advancing career with the opportunity to work with people, learn for life, and maintain a good work-life balance. This is why I chose to be a dentist.
For further reasons to choose dentistry as a career, check out RainaOnTheCusp‘s YouTube channel.
The Mouth Cancer Foundation is a charity dedicated to raising awareness and support for those suffering from or at risk of mouth cancer, throat cancer and other head and neck cancers, as well as providing assistance and information on living with mouth cancer for families, friends and carers. As part of our commitment to support our Dental Community, we believe that it is essential to create awareness about the importance of the promotion, protection and education of good health and this partnership will give us better tools to do so.
About Mouth Cancer:
Mouth Cancer is the general term given to the variety of malignant tumours that develop in the mouth, (oral cavity). The Mouth Cancer Foundation promotes awareness of all head and neck cancers i.e. throat, (pharynx), voice box (larynx), salivary glands, nose, paranasal, sinuses, lips and skin.
- 1 person every 3 hours is lost to mouth cancer.
- Over 8300 new cases in the UK each year.
- Each year over 2700 lives are lost to mouth cancer.
- Worldwide mouth cancer affects 6,500,000 per year.
- Mouth cancer is twice as common in men as women.
- 75% of cases occur in the over 55 age group.
Detected early there is an excellent chance of complete cure!
Oral cancers are often painless so in addition it is important to be aware of the general signs and symptoms of mouth cancer which include:
- An ulcer or white or red patch anywhere in the mouth that does not heal within 3 weeks.
- A lump or swelling anywhere in the mouth, jaw or neck that persists for more than 3 weeks.
- Difficulty in swallowing, chewing or moving the jaw or tongue.
- Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
- A feeling that something is caught in the throat.
- A chronic sore throat or hoarseness that persists more than 6 weeks.
- An unexplained loosening of teeth with no dental cause.
Risk Factors include:
- Tobacco use is considered the main cause of mouth cancer.
- Drinking alcohol regularly, especially spirits, increases the risk four-fold.
- Drinkers and smokers are 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.
- Poor diet and social deprivation are linked to a third of all cancer cases.
- The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), transmitted through oral sex, could overtake tobacco and alcohol as the main risk factor within the next decade. It is already accounting for many new cases in women and the young who traditionally were unlikely to get the disease.
- Exposure to the sun is a cause of skin cancer which can affect the lips and face.
More information about Mouth Cancer is available at the Mouth Cancer Foundation web site www.mouthcancerfoundation.org
Immersify Dental is an application that is built with the dental community in mind: therefore, everything Immersify Education does is dental student and dental professional lead. Our Community Programme was designed to support all the different dentistry qualifications including BDS students, Dental hygiene and therapy, Dental nurses and qualified dental professionals to build a network where they can contribute to developing better resources for their education and training, and connect with fellow colleagues and renowned academics to build a strong network that supports their dental journey. To achieve this, the Immersify Dental Community program is structured as follows:
Members: This role is ideal for anyone who wishes to know more about what Immersify Education does. Members will receive bi-monthly newsletters with information about the Immersify Dental app and some dentistry-related content. Members will also get early access to online and offline events. To become a member, please fill the Immersify Dental Members form.
Advocates: These are individuals who use Immersify Dental regularly, are enthusiastic about the app and are keen in working to spread the word about the benefits of this application for dentistry students. They will actively support the community by providing innovative ideas and propositions and giving their feedback on new topics released on the app. Advocates will have Free admittance to Immersify’s Dental Student Events and will also be supported by sharing their relevant posts on Immersify Education social media. They will also be given the opportunity to become an Ambassador or Innovator when the next phase of applications is open. Please fill in the Immersify Dental Advocate form to apply for this position and join the Immersify team.
Ambassadors and Innovators: University BDS or BSc students, dental nurses or recently qualified dentists or hygienists who actively use Immersify Dental and who positively represent Immersify Education’s values and culture on social and public channels, both online and offline. Both of them support Immersify Education by promoting connections between the organisation and their university and by providing feedback and suggestions on the Immersify Education app. Each Ambassador and Innovator has remunerated consultancy hours and will be given the opportunity to participate in events and meetings that will allow them to expand their dental network.
- Ambassadors: They have strong communication skills, and ideally, have an active social media channel dedicated to dentistry related issues. Ambassadors will have the opportunity to contribute with social media content and can create blog posts, YouTube videos and different material to communicate the benefits of the Immersify Dental app as a tool to support dental students and professionals.
- Innovators: They have the ability to share their views in a distinctive way. Innovators support the development of the Immersify Dental App in relation to the technological aspects of it by participating in testing, focus groups and ideation sessions.
Champions: This position is set for outstanding Innovators and Ambassadors, committed to supporting the Immersify Dental Community in the long term. They should have demonstrated professionalism, commitment, and dedication as Dental Ambassadors and Innovators and drive to go the extra mile. Each Champion will represent a region in the UK; they will be entitled to more consultancy hours, extra PR opportunities within the community and they will have a dedicated section in the Immersify Education website. Additionally, the organisation will contribute to one online training course that helps Champions to gain a deep understanding of a specific issue they are interested in, this can be related to dentistry or technology.
We believe in the power of achieving things together; for us, the Immersify Dental Community is one of the most important elements of our organisation and we are always looking forward to welcoming more people to the team. What are you waiting for?
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