I have always said that dentists are a rare breed. They live in a sort of parallel world because they studied a peculiar career. They deal with technology, medicine, investigation and use all kinds of tools. Like I say they are a strange and different breed. They are doctors who are focused on an unclean and intimate area of the body, which is the mouth. I think that both gynecologists and odontologists are strange people, but today I want to talk about odontologists.
The dentist has an important function in taking care of the mouth. The mouth is the first contact for food going into the body, also it’s used for communications and it’s the first thing people notice when they see us, our smile. So you see the responsibility that a dentist has? Besides the fact that if a patient goes in with pain they expect to live the dentist office without that pain. It’s like the dentist has to figure out what to do. A dentist cannot be a pencil pusher, that is to say they cannot sit behind a desk and write prescriptions all day, they have to come up with real on the spot solutions. The patient comes in with a problem and has to leave with the solution. This is one cause for stress with dentists by the way.
To be a good dentist you of course have to go through specialized medical training and need to lose any discomfort as far as being close to another human being, People are not always all clean and beautiful, sometimes their mouths are horrible and they stink. You may have to be right in there drilling on some rotten tooth that smells like rotten bone or decay, besides dealing with blood and saliva, or you can cut or puncture yourself with one of the instruments. You have to be careful in what you do! Your back may hurt from the strange positions you work in as you adjust to each person be they big or small. Your hands may tremble, there are many factors involved and I repeat a dentist is someone special, they are different than most people, and their career is a different kind. It’s not like they sit in front of a computer or machine of any sort all day long, they are right there in front of people with their mouths open who need answers on the spot. Yes, that person is paying but they demand solutions.
A dentist works often in a small space which becomes their world, like a second home of sorts. They may be on their feet working for 8 to 10 hours often without eating. They are always looking for answers, each patient is different, each mouth is different, and each individual is a new challenge. We also work a lot with esthetics and when you work with esthetics you have to be very observant. When we see anyone in the street the first thing we look at is their mouth, their teeth, and their smile. We are checking out the design of their smile and the shape of their face. When you study dentistry you learn about the perfect anatomy of each tooth. You have to reconstruct a wax model of teeth… You have to be very analytical, it’s not just about the shape of teeth, but also color. You have to have a keen eye for colors and tones. Blue is not just blue, or green, green or white, white you have to be able to distinguish shades and tones in each color…
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