The Motivation Behind My Desire to Pursue Dentistry

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When asked, “Why do you want to be a dentist?”, one common answer is “they make so much money, and they get to make their own schedules.” Although those are perks that dentists receive, that was not what drew me to dentistry. I have a history of being drawn to teeth everywhere I go. I have been interested in teeth since I was a young child, and my passion has only gotten stronger as I grew and matured. I do not have my mind set 100 percent on being a dentist, however. I am still debating the option of going into orthodontics because I love the idea of making teeth aesthetically pleasing. I also like the idea of giving people the perfectly straight, white smile they’ve always wanted. Regardless of what I end up choosing, the reasons why I want to be either a dentist or orthodontist are the same. I want to be a dentist or an orthodontist because I want to help my patients with their self-esteem and confidence, improve their oral health, and teach them preventative measures to ensure lifelong oral health.

Ever since I was little, I have loved teeth. You could even say that I am obsessed with teeth. I lost all of my baby teeth at a very young age because I was eager to get the teeth out of my mouth for some reason. I think I just liked having my fingers in my mouth so I could feel my teeth, which turned into playing with my teeth. The playing turned to wiggling, and suddenly, my baby teeth were all gone. I was never afraid of pulling out my friends’ teeth, either. I was the go-to when one of my peers had a loose tooth they were too afraid to pull out, and I loved being the brave girl who got to yank some loose teeth.

As soon as all my adult teeth were grown in, I became insecure about my teeth. I wanted nice, straight teeth, but I was stuck with gapped, crooked teeth. My parents and dentist saw my want and need, so they referred me to an orthodontist. The transformation of my smile was achieved, of course, with orthodontia. After years of braces and oral appliances, I finally had a smile I was proud of. Now that my teeth are nice, I do whatever I can to maintain what I have, as well as making them better. I am extremely thankful that my parents have the means to put me through two sets of braces, so I want to keep my mouth perfect.

One thing I noticed, as I got older is that I am very attracted to people’s teeth. When I meet new people, one of the first things I see is their teeth. When I see someone with dental problems, I always think to myself, “I wish there was something I could do to help them.” Because of this, I feel I would be a great dentist. My compassionate nature makes me feel for people who have dental problems, my curious personality makes me great at doing investigative work and problem solving, and my obsession with teeth makes me think the position of dentist or orthodontist is perfect for me.

First and foremost, I want to be a dentist or orthodontist because I want to help people improve their self-esteem and confidence. I have always been a compassionate person, and I always want to help anyone in need. Although dental problems are not necessarily life threatening, they can damage a person’s self image. A negative self-image can relate to poor confidence and low self-esteem. It is well known that a beautiful smile can make anyone feel better about him or herself, and that is what I would like to achieve as a dentist or orthodontist. For those who have problems with their teeth, they may feel uncomfortable smiling or even speaking to people. There are multiple possible solutions to this problem, and I would enjoy being the person who could repair and improve those damaged self-images. Whether it is teeth whitening, orthodontic work, or porcelain veneers, these simple fixes can give my patients a newfound confidence. Hopefully this confidence will increase the self-esteem, as well as the aesthetics of the community in which I work, even if it is just on a small scale.

Next, I want to improve the oral health of as many people as I can. Oral health is pertinent in maintaining lifelong health. From pediatric patients to geriatric patients, healthy teeth and gums are important. I will promote good tooth brushing and flossing habits, as well as professional dental check-ups every six months. I will also do whatever is necessary to make sure the people around me have healthy teeth and gums that will provide a foundation for their lifelong health.

I will be very conservative in my work. This means I will not rush into treatments on patients unless they are absolutely necessary. For example, if I have a patient who has small gaps in their teeth, I will not recommend braces right away. I will recommend a retainer to close the gaps instead. If the retainer does not fix the problem with time, I will then put braces on my patient. On the other hand, if I have a patient with gingivitis, I will do whatever necessary to take care of this problem. It may seem as though my two previous statements are contradictory, but the first deals with an aesthetic fix and the second deals with restoring oral health. This will not only improve my patient’s oral health, it will also save them money. I do not want to be the dentist or orthodontist known for taking people’s money left and right.

The final reason I want to be a dentist is because I want to use what I have learned through my years of education and experience to spread knowledge. I want to use what I’ve acquired over the years to teach lifelong oral health and full-bodied wellbeing. I would like to implement educational programs through my practice, with the emphasis being eating right, exercising, and maintaining good full-body health. These three things all relate to good oral health; especially eating right.

It is always said that dentists love Halloween because of kids who eat too much candy and end up with decayed teeth. Personally, I think it is sad when parents let their kids eat as much candy as they want for two reasons. First and foremost, the kids can virtually ruin their teeth by the overconsumption of candy. If their teeth are not cared for, it can be detrimental to their lifelong health as teeth are necessary until death. Secondly, candy is the furthest thing from a healthy snack. A piece or two of candy on occasion will not cause harm, but overconsumption of candy on a daily basis is unacceptable.

I want to educate as many people as possible about healthy living. I am a huge proponent of a healthy lifestyle, and I want to share that with everyone I can. I feel as if people can hear about the amazing benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but they will not truly understand until they live it for themselves. I hope to not only improve the oral health of my dental or orthodontic patients, but I want to improve their entire wellbeing.

Although I said I was not interested in dentistry and orthodontics because of the money or the flexible schedule, they would be major perks. Having a good-paying job and a flexible schedule would give me the ability to try to achieve one of my other life goals. This is to volunteer for Doctors Without Borders. Initially, one would not think a dentist as an important part of a Doctors Without Borders team, but I think differently. I want to be able to help the people in underdeveloped countries that need the help. I could possibly take away the pain by performing simple procedures on people with teeth that are rotting away. I have always wanted to use the skills I acquire for a greater good. I feel this is possible if I became a dentist on the team of Doctors Without Borders. I would feel good about myself for taking part in something bigger than me. The worldly experience I gain will make me a better-rounded and even more compassionate person.

In conclusion, I feel as I would make a great dentist or orthodontist because of my curious personality, my compassionate nature, and my obsession with all things related to teeth. I want to be a dentist or orthodontist because I want to improve the confidence and self-esteem of as many people as possible, I want to improve the oral health of the people around me, and I want to teach lifelong oral health and overall wellbeing to my patients. With my training, I would hopefully be able to get involved with a program like Doctors Without Borders.