Dentist

The dentists at Rosedale Family Dental Centre practice a higher level of dentistry. This can be explained by one of the first things I noticed about the dentist office, which was the quote on the wall: "I never saw a tooth walk into my office." This quote was said by a famous dentist, Dr. Lindsey Pankey, and is the philosophy of The Pankey Institute, which is a renowned institution that teaches dentists how to take dentistry to the next level. The dentists at Rosedale Family Dental Centre have taken courses at the Pankey Institute and have clearly mastered their professions. Everything in this office is calculated and carried out as a science. The architectural design, computer systems, sterilization techniques, the flow of human traffic, the cleanliness of the office, and the position of every single item in the office have all been given serious thought and planning. I was amazed.

Besides soaking in my surroundings, I did get to watch some of the dentistry itself. During the morning, a few patients came in with emergencies so the dentist had to diagnose each issue and solve it. One patient’s tooth was infected so it had to be pulled out. After a few needles, the dentist grabbed a tool that looked like pliers and—boom!—the tooth came out. It was cool seeing the composure of the dentist during this and how he calms the patient down during a procedure that could have been out of a hostage scene in a movie. 

After the exciting emergencies, the day moved on with a few fillings, lots of regular checkups and cleanings, and the occasional patient needing advice on orthodontics or other issues. All day, a dentist has a lot of problem-solving and has to communicate the problem and possible solutions in laymen’s terms to patients. I also learned that a dentist has to be able to shuffle between a bunch of patients at the same time while understanding all of their different dental issues. This must be mentally draining. 

Not all dentists are as successful as the ones here though, and not all are that busy. The patients really like this office because of its comfort and the trust they have in the dentists. The dentists here told me that sometimes they have first-time patients into the office just to talk with them. They understand that people can be sensitive with problems regarding mouths and smiles so they need to earn each patient’s trust, especially in the case of patients with habitual or psychiatric dental problems. 

I really enjoyed job-shadowing a dentist. Although it is a tough job since you’re on your feet all day performing procedures and examining lots of patients, it is truly rewarding. You get to make people smile and eat!  

A Typical Day

The dentist I visited starts off the day with some dental emergencies (someone’s mouth could be hurting). Checkups then run all day and a dentist has a bunch of procedures throughout the day.

Top 3 Perks

1) Salary/amount of hours worked is awesome 

2) Make friendships and relationships with hundreds of patients 

3) Get discounts on toothbrushes and other dental supplies  

Job Culture

Indoors, running around the office to give patient checkups, supervising dental hygienists, giving dental advice, performing procedures, looking at x-rays, using complex computer applications, using lasers and other sophisticated technology.

Requirements

1) A bachelor’s degree/pre-dental prerequisite courses 

2) Take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) 

3) Complete 4 years of dental school 

4) Receive provincial license by passing an exam 

TIP: To be able to use certain technologies (like lasers), you have to take courses during your career.  

Skills Needed

Dexterous, near vision, decision-making, thick skin, management, analytical, measurement, people skills, problem-solving, communication skills, being able to calm people down.

The Field

- Most dentists have huge egos and run their dental offices like businesses. 

- There are lots of dentists in urban areas so it is suggested to start in rural communities. 

 - Dental technology is always advancing so the field is too.