Have you or your child ever thought about becoming a dentist or orthodontist? Throughout my years of practicing as both a general dentist and an orthodontist, many patients have expressed an interest in knowing more about my profession. I thought that I’d write a blog letting readers know more about this fantastic career.
My first bit of advice that I would offer is that if your child expresses interest in dentistry to get them into a dental office as soon as possible. They could be an intern or shadow a dental professional. Don’t be afraid to ask a dentist that you know! I love having young people around our orthodontic office in Castle Rock, especially when they are really interested in orthodontics. If there is an opportunity to work in the mouth at all, take it. People often asked me when I knew that I could work in mouths all day. Well, before dental school I worked as a dental assistant in Connecticut to make sure that I could work in the mouth. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. I remember several classmates in dental school who realized after school began that dentistry was not the career for them.
* Take as many science classes as you can in high school and undergrad. Math helps, too.
* Dental School is a four year program and you must have a four-year undergraduate degree prior to applying to a Dental School.
* In order to get into dental school you must have some basic sciences and you must take the DAT, or Dental Admission Test. If you purchase a guide to getting into dental school/the DAT, the book will give you a list of all of the dental schools and their contact information so that you can find out what they require for prerequisite classes.
* Once you are in dental school, you might decide to specialize. Specializing can take another several years AFTER dental school, depending on what route you take. Some specialties include orthodontics (moving teeth, usually using braces and Invisalign), Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontal (gums), Endodontics (root canal specialist) or oral surgery.
All of this education sounds like a lot, but they were some of the best years of my and my family’s life. My friends in dental and orthodontic school worked hard but had a lot of fun together and our families all became really close.
Don’t underestimate the importance of loving to work with people. I love working with kids so orthodontics is great for me. I also have to ease the fears of adults, not to mention educate them about what treatment is needed for their children. Being good with people is really important in this profession.
Finally, choose to work in a place that you love. The rest will come. I love living and working in Castle Rock and going to work each day is a pleasure. You should really love what you do so just be sure to pick a location that you enjoy, too.
I can’t imagine being anything else besides an orthodontist and I’m so glad that I chose this profession.
Dr. Rejman, Meadows Orthodontics, Castle Rock, CO 80109 (303) 660-0112 www.meadowsorthodontics.com
Dr. Rejman is a Board Certified Orthodontist who graduated from The University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry in 2003. His practice, Meadows Orthodontics, is located in The Meadows in Castle Rock, Colorado.