Why did you become a dentist? Was it something you wanted to be as a kid? Are you following a family tradition? Did your parents push you toward a health care profession? Was it a matter of tallying up pros and cons and making an objective decision?

I wrote recently about the difference between potential and possibilities, and I think when most people choose dentistry as a career they think in terms of potential. That's because they have no way of fully appreciating the possibilities until they are well into practice. I know many dentists – especially ones who are well-established – who say that the things they love most about dentistry are things they didn't think of when they were starting out. That's partly because they have seen their profession utterly transformed over the years, and partly because they just couldn't see the possibilities back then.

Back then they thought dentistry was about fixing people's teeth. They didn't know it would be about changing people's lives.

Back then they recognized that dentistry was a caring profession. They didn't know just how close they would become to their patients and their team.

Back then they knew there would be a lot of equipment to master. They didn't know how technology and new materials would change almost everything.

Back then they knew that a dental career was an economically sound choice. They didn't know how unlimited that success could be with the right focus on comprehensive care.

What about you? Are you glad you became a dentist? What is it about the profession that has turned out better than you expected, or that you had not foreseen when you started out? I welcome your comments.


Commenter's Profile Image Saynur Vardar-Sengul
March 7th, 2012
The best thing is the opportunity to help a person, to touch their lives, to learn from them and their experiences, to connect with them. Those are the things I love about being a human in service.
Commenter's Profile Image Mike Weisbrod
March 7th, 2012
I didn't expect to find so many dentists and specialists with such a commitment and passion for our profession. It's not that I didn't think people cared, I didn't know that there was this "higher level" of care that dentists were committed to providing for patients. I also didn't expect the power that being able to provide that care can bring to your self-confidence and well being. Being around all of these dentists and specialists through Spear education has been profound for me. It really feels like magic when I put to use the things that I learn (whether it is practical or philosophical) and it turns into a meaningful relationship with a patient. And when I see those things that I care about expressed back to me in some way by a patient, it is definitely better than I had ever imagined.