Dental career path

Dr. Robert Orenstein has been practicing Dentistry for the past 38 years. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974, went on to complete a Hospital Practice Residency program in the Navy and began practicing on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1976 where he continues to work and play. He has two children, one of whom is a dentist, the other is in fashion. Dr. Orenstein loves golf, sailing, boating, tennis, and gardening.

You like science, you like biology, you like being creative and working with your hands. Perhaps you like to work on car engines, or do needlepoint, or cook special recipes. In other words you’re a curious, ambitious person who someday would like to think of themselves as a professional person. You dream of having a good job, of having your own business, and of making a good living. Your dream of nice cars, clothes, providing for your family, having a nice home, having time for your interests and money to pay for them, and being a well-respected member of the community. If that’s so then the field of dentistry is something you should consider.

First of all you have to get into dental school. For that you need to do well in high school and college. Therefore your grades need to be excellent in high school and you need to get into a competitive college. I know what I’m suggesting is not an easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and focus. And hours of study and diligence. I also know that it’s much easier to play video games and hang out with friends. But the rewards are great! So buckle down and get to work.

You may find perhaps as I found that it was always very very difficult for me to learn. I just never was able to memorize, spit back information and do well in school. For me reading took a long time and learning was very difficult for me. Even though it wasn’t popular in those days I believe I had ADD! Imagine that and I still became a dentist! And if you think you have learning disabilities you can overcome them with hard work and proper guidance.
But when I got to dental school I realized that I was learning things that I would put to use in my career. And you know that I was able to learn them really easily and really well. It wasn’t algebra, trigonometry, geometry, chemistry, physics, it was how to fix teeth! And it was going to be my job for the rest of my life. And it enabled me to learn it well.

When you get to dental school you will embark on a career of learning which will include first learning about the human body and how it works and how it gets sick and how it heals. That typically comprises the first year or two of the four-year program. However as early as the first year in many schools you begin to also learn about the mouth and the teeth in the mouth and the gums which hold the teeth in the mouth and the way the teeth impact the rest of the body and vice a versa. As time goes on you will begin to learn about the shape of teeth, how to do fillings, how to do dentures,and how to help people with the health of their mouth and teeth. By the third year of dental school you will start to see real patients and work in their mouths. Having practiced on models and in the laboratory you will acquire the skills with which to help your patients health. And you will learn about the privilege of helping, and the gratitude with which people will have for you. You will graduate as a helper and a member of the community which provide service to others. There is no higher calling than that.

The very best of luck in your endeavors.

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