Should I persue a career in Dental Hygiene and work under a dentist or study Pre-dental and become the dentist

Should I persue a career in Dental Hygiene and work under a dentist or study Pre-dental and become the dentist

Should I persue a career in Dental Hygiene and work under a dentist or study Pre-dental and become the dentist


It all depends on *your* reasons for becoming vs not becoming a dentist. Pick up a sheet of paper, divide it in two parts (left and right). On the left, put why becoming a dentist would be great for you, and on the right put why becoming a dentist would be bad for you. That will help you discover your fears, understand whether they are reasonable or not, and even give you a hint on how to overcome them. Btw I vote for you becoming a dentist. Be the best that you can (not dissing at hygienists here!), challenge yourself, become a better person. You'll be more tired, but happier -)


Good question. There are a lot of things to consider. First of all, what type of lifestyle do you want to have? I'm not talking about financially, I'm talking about how you want to live your life. You say you don't have children but you love them. Are you planning on having kids of your own? Are you married? In becoming a dentist, yes, you will make more money in the long run. However, you will pay a lot in tuition and start-up costs for running a practice. Malpractice insurance is at an all-time high, as is overhead costs of running a practice. When talking about lifestyle choices....if you become a dentist, you must be prepared to be on call and not have much of an outside life....not to mention working tons of hours as you become established. As a hygienist, you work as much or as little as you want, and there are no after hours emergencies, so that wouldn't interfere with your life outside of normal work hours. Every hygiene school I know of is 2 years (actually 5 semesters), so it shouldn't even take you 3-4 years (unless you have to get all your pre-req's out of the way first). I guess my best advice would be to go talk to some dentists and some hygienists....ask them what the pro's and cons are....they will usually be up front and honest with you. Good luck in whatever you choose!!


I am a dental hygienist and I was sort of faced with making a decision on whether to go on to dental school or go to dental hygiene school. My decision was based on a couple of things, I hate school so I didn't want to spend the next 8yrs in school. I wanted to have children and to be able to be involved in my kids and a dental hygiene schedule is VERY flexible. I didn't want the responsibility of the business aspect. They really don't teach you much on business in dental school, so you have to kind of learn on your own and lots of trial and error. Lots of people say that hygiene is the same thing over and over, well it really isn't. You see a different person a different mouth every patient. Don't get me wrong it is still work but I love it. Best of luck, which ever way you choose it will be tons of fun, lots of work and very rewarding!



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