Although often dentists are often portrayed in the cinema as happy buffoons, dentistry is a challenging profession. Performing dentistry on a daily basis requires discipline, concentration and it helps if a dentist develops a skill in managing people.
Every day , dentists are presented with patients suffering from a variety of dental problems, many of whom have fears or anxieties that need addressing as well.
It is not a coincidence that the dental profession pioneered the use of Nitrous Oxide and Ether anaesthesia as well as the use of local anesthetics. Management of fearful patients has always been a big part of the job.
Dentists use a variety of techniques to lessen the apprehension of their patients, including painless injection technique, music, and often make use of conversation to aid in making their patients more comfortable.
Aside from dealing with nervous patients, dentists must be able to perform exacting procedures on teeth that involve a high degree of hand eye coordination and the ability to sculpt dental restorations that will be not only durable but look and function like the natural tooth structures that they replace.
Most dentists function under time constraints since most work with multiple scheduled appointments for patients who do not like to be kept waiting. Keeping an eye on the clock is certainly part of their job. To complicate matters on many days some of their patients present with dental emergencies and we often must find a way to shoe horn their treatment into an already crowded schedule.
As a practicing dentist for over thirty years I have found dentistry to be a rewarding and ever challenging profession. At the end of most days I am tired but can look back on what I have accomplished and leave my office with the feeling that I have been engaged in a worthwhile endeavor. Nothing accomplished easily is challenging or ultimately interesting and any profession that is mastered in a year or two is most likely ultimately boring.