Understanding your own value

You really need to understand how great you are and what an amazing job you do for your patients. It’s not always easy to remember but you have to know that you are brill. Let me tell you why.

Child genius

To get into dentistry, you had to get the grades in the first place. To get those grades, you had to do brilliantly at school. This takes years upon years of achievement, building on what you learnt at each stage. You also needed more than just good grades. You had to do sports, work experience, music and all that extra stuff that shows universities that you are a promising human.

Thousands of hours training

Most degrees in dental surgery take around five years. If you spend 40 weeks a year at uni, that’s around 1,000 days of study. Thousands and thousands of hours learning about teeth and the diseases that affect them.

And that’s just the start of it. Then you leave university and go out to do the job every day. Every day you’re learning, improving and developing your skills.

Mad skills

You got mad skills. And I don’t just mean when you do the fancy stuff. We get so good that we start to take our skills for granted and some of the stuff we do starts to feel basic. Consider a subgingival clean. Most dentists will come to view this as a simple treatment. We forget about our knowledge of anatomy that allows us to numb the relevant areas. We take for granted our ability to identify and treat the areas of active disease. Every treatment that we consider basic requires the mastery of complex techniques.

Knowledge is power

You have so much knowledge in your noggin. You understand anatomy, biology, pharmacology. You know far more than you really want to know about dental materials and when they are most appropriate. You understand complex diseases; the list goes on and on. All of this knowledge gives you the power to help people.

Do not forget this

Do not forget that all of the points above allow you to make a real difference to people’s lives. Don’t belittle yourself and think that it’s just teeth. Dentistry is about people. You help people to laugh and smile and chew with confidence. That’s your value. Don’t you forget it.

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