Ive always wondered as a child what my purpose in life would be. Would it be an astronaut? Or perhaps even a violinist? One thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to help my community in the best way I can. To keep me occupied, my parents involved me in various community service activities. Every Saturday, along with my community at church, we would help feed the homeless. We would also make visits to the hospital to visit children and give them presents.
However, community service wasnt the only thing that kept me busy. I voluntarily signed up to learn how to play the violin when I was seven years old and continued playing ever since. The importance of playing the violin helped strengthen my manual dexterity. I know that with my experience in playing the violin, it can help fine-tune my motor skills. I knew I wanted to do more with my hands, other than performing.
The first time I ever considered dentistry as a career was my sophomore year of high school. I was just starting the process of orthodontic treatment. I remember how excited I was to start this new journey of transforming my smile. I used to be extremely self-conscious with my smile. So the idea of having a perfect smile gave me a major boost in my self-esteem. I’d like to say I had the most amazing orthodontist. She always explained what each procedure would consist of and what should be the expected result. I enjoyed every moment throughout this journey. Needless to say the whole process was truly inspiring. Not only did I become more confident in myself, but I was also more than sure what my purpose would be, and that was to become a dentist.
I began shadowing a general dentist and started to learn more about dentistry. Afterward, I began my career as a dental assistant. I was able to take a radiology course and become certified to take x-rays. I noticed that the majority of patients lacked proper education in health care. The patients I encountered daily were already in pain or suffering from a severe dental disease that leads to the extraction of the tooth. I kept thinking to myself how easily this could have been avoided had the patients know about proper oral hygiene care. From that point, I knew that it was really important that I take my time and explain to the patients on how to take better care of their teeth, as well as going to their regular check-ups.
I’ve been asked numerous times by friends and family why I want to pursue a career in dentistry, and my answer has always been the same. It’s the impact dentists have on patients. As a dentist, you are restoring the oral health of the people in your community. It’s truly rewarding to be with a patient from start to finish in transforming their smile. It’s life-changing. Dentists do improve the quality of life with their patients. Throughout my experience of seeing these patients smile and just overall happy after their appointment, it made me feel like this is something I want to be apart of. The more I emerge myself in dentistry and talked more about it to dentists, the more it felt right.
Ultimately, there are some main points as to why I chose dentistry. One of which is you get to be your own boss. You get to work with your hands, after all dentistry is art; youre transforming smiles and making sure each patient leaves the office feeling happy. Lastly is building relationships with patients. Thats important to me because since dentistry is multigenerational, patients are more inclined to remain loyal to a doctor they know and respect. The work/life balance is something I truly admire about this field. Every single dentist I shadowed raved about how much they love their job. I want to be able to travel the world going to places that don’t have access to dental care. It makes a huge difference and so special that dentists can do that. If I can play one small part in helping educate people about oral health care as well as treating them and boost their confidence, then Ive added something to this world we live in.