The field of dentistry offers a variety of options for those interested in the career. Being a dentist doesn't just mean dealing with teeth -- it also can include focusing on the gums, disease or surgery, or even oral care for animals. Several traits help you succeed as a dentist such as creativity, patience and good attention to detail. When you know you want to be a dentist, there are jobs you can pursue that help you learn about the field.
Different focuses make up dentistry and orthodontics is one of them. The field of orthodontics involves using devices like braces and retainers to correct bites and jaw positioning. If you're ready for this area of dentistry, you could apply for a job in an orthodontist's office to better understand all of the nuances connected to this career. Special training is required for some positions but if you don't have any additional education, working in an orthodontist's front office, records room or developing X-ray films could be options.
Some dentists decide to focus solely on young patients and go into a field of dentistry called pedodontistry. Working with children presents a unique challenge to the practitioner because of fears small children can have about getting fillings and other dental procedures. You must be patient and understand how to communicate on their level. Being a good educator also is key because you'll be teaching them how to get a good start taking care of their teeth long term. Jobs working with children, such as a preschool teacher or museum educator, help learn how to communicate in a way they understand.
Nearly any job you can acquire in the field of biology helps you get ready to become a dentist. Both doctors and dentists focus heavily on studying biology while in school to obtain their degrees. Working with animals is a great way to learn more about taking care of human patients too. You could get a job at a zoo or animal shelter and get involved with the animals' dental care, as much as you're allowed.
Dental work is not only about gums, teeth and enamel. Work in dentistry involves artistry as well. Teeth have a symmetry and when a dentist has an eye for beauty and balance, he is more likely to have pleased patients after a procedure. Any job in an artistic field like an art gallery tour guide helps develop this tendency. A summer job working with a brick mason also would help learn about symmetry.
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