News Category: Technology
By Lucie, News Team Contributor
Many people have a fear of the dentist or are afraid of the pain that dentists can bring. However, 85% of Americans believe that oral health is critical to their overall health. Dentists have one of the most important jobs in society, as we all have a mouth that we need to take care of. I had the privilege to interview my dentist, Dr. Lin Lin Chen D.D.S. of Premier Dental Care. Since many of us in high school are starting to explore different career options, I wondered how Dr. Chen had come to realize her career path, and what kind of training it took to get where she is. By the end of the interview, I could see how rewarding the job could be, but also how much work it takes.
1. How did you know you wanted to be a dentist?
I first knew I wanted to be a dentist when I was in high school. I worked for a dentist, and I thought that what he did was really fun. People would walk in unhappy, and walk out the door happy. He would fix people’s pain and make them feel better.
2. What advice would you give to students who want to follow this career path?
First of all, explore different options. Read more about the subject you’re interested in, talk to more people, participate in hands-on experiences, and try to get internships. Dentistry is fun, but it is a lot of work. You have to really love what you do. I have over 20 years of experience, and it’s still fun, but there can also still be challenges.
3. What type of education do you need to become a dentist?
So obviously you need to graduate high school, and then you have to get your undergraduate degree. After that, you must complete dental school and pass your national boards, which certify you to become a dentist. If you want to specialize in something like Orthodontics, or Oral surgery, you must complete additional schooling of 2-5 years.
4. How difficult is it to start your own practice?
Well, to start a successful practice, you have to build up your patient base. You also have to be confident, and do good work to make people happy. It’s definitely not easy.
5. What exactly does a dentist do?
So I am a D.D.S., which means Doctor of Dental Surgery. I do cleanings, I pull teeth, fill cavities, do root canals, and other procedures. Filling cavities is considered minor surgery, as well as pulling teeth. So I do a lot of surgery.
6. Were you ever afraid to do surgery?
From the beginning, I wasn’t really afraid. I was fascinated by surgery and found if very interesting. Surgery takes learning and practice, and I feel like they prepare you very well in school, and that takes away the fear.
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