So You Want To Be A Dentist?

Written by Dan Abril.


You’re fresh HS grad and you are flipping through colleges, universities, and college courses. However, you are dead set on pursuing a career as a dentist. Congratulations, dental health care is a rewarding profession. While it may not be as glamorous as Liberal Arts or as popular as nursing, dentistry has its own “pogi” points.

Dentists are somewhat unique. Dental professionals get to appreciate the world of both science and art. Aside from treating patients from caries and other oral health dilemma, dentists should be creative and display enough understanding of symmetry.

Veering away from the traditional

Popular culture has portrayed dentists in a humorous but somewhat bad light (recall that dentist in Little Shop of Horrors?). Fortunately, those stereotypical roles are being left behind and these days; dentistry has proven to be quite flexible and has made strides in other areas concerning oral health.

For example, dentists are involved in the diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the gums and teeth. There are dentists whose expertise includes restoration, surgery, and other aspects related to the aesthetic side of dentistry. Finally, there are dentists associated with public education and the prevention of diseases.

The area you are willing to explore depends entirely on your interest and your life goals. 

Are you prepared?

Dentists are basically, people-oriented. Having to deal with different personalities - with different demands, different social backgrounds, and different problems – dentists would have to demonstrate extreme patience and composure at all times.

As a science, dentistry thrives on research and new methods and tools are always introduced. As such, dentists must also be prepared and equipped to a lifetime of learning.

The Schools

If you’ve answered yes and yes, then it’s time to consider the schools. Dentistry is offered in about 30 colleges and universities in the country. Tuition fees range from PhP 8,000.00 to PhP 50,000.00 per semester.

It truly is an investment and for many folks, the large amount of cash needed to finish 6 years of dental school (pre-dentistry courses, included) is the deal breaker. However, committing to a course in dentistry and eventually getting a degree and professional license are rewarding enough.

Next, we’ll discuss how future dentists and dental schools can help put health issues at the forefront of  public health awareness.