Dental career guide

Greg Notestine DDS was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, graduating from Carroll High School. He earned a BS in Biological Sciences from Wright State University and his DDS degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. He completed a General Practice Residency at Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton Ohio right out of school and has remained on the Dental staff ever since.He has been practicing general dentistry in the Dayton area since 1978, and has placed a strong emphasis on Cosmetic Dentistry since the early ’80′s. He earned the prestigious distinction of Accredited Dentist from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) in 1994, one of only 4 in Ohio and 300 world wide.

He is the Dental Director at the Good Neighbor House, a medical/dental clinic for the working poor in Dayton, donating his time and talent to the less fortunate. He has served on the Alumni Board of Directors for his high school and University, is the team dentist at both institutions, devotes many volunteer hours and treasures to both. He feels we should all give back when we can

Health care is changing. More people will seek care in the coming years than ever before as Obamacare continues to be implemented and changed. So opportunities in health care will be plentiful. Dental care will still involve diagnosing and treating decay, gum disease (most people still don’t floss regularly!), oral cancer, crooked teeth. Dental school teaches you to be a “tooth mechanic”, you learn the basics and you graduate with very basic knowledge. But then the fun begins! There are so many aspects of dentistry that you can’t possibly master them all. So you can choose to practice the aspects of dentistry that you like the best, show the most competence, or find most rewarding. Many of my classmates were engineers in a former life and thrived on the technical aspects of the profession. We now have, for example, high-tech computer generated aids for placing implants and making crowns. It is awesome, and only getting better! Or working with children or senior adults. Or doing a little of all aspects of dentistry. I personally chose to focus on cosmetic dentistry, the artistic aspect of helping my patients look better and feel better about their smile. It requires the technical, engineering and appearance aspects of dentistry all wrapped into one.

No matter how you choose to perform this awesome profession, you WILL need exceptional people skills. From the first time you meet your patients, you will literally be “in their face”, invading their private space, sticking sharp tools in their mouths. They are afraid, anxious, some more than others. So you MUST be able to build rapport and relate to people or they won’t trust you and won’t return for their care. You must be a psychologist, a mind-reader, an empathetic listener, have a gentle touch yet still be able to provide quality care. I know dentists that have poor bedside manner and struggle running a practice. So plan on being a “people-person”.

Dentistry gives you the opportunity to be your own boss and work solo, work in a group practice, be an employee of a corporation, join the military, or work part-time. Part of your application process will be to document many hours of visiting dental practices. I encourage visiting a variety of practices to get a taste of what is available.

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