1) Their description of a job role
2) Their perception of career future (promotions, advances in pay, etc)
3) What aspects of this job do they like the most? the least?
4) What suggestions could they offer for someone entering into this career
DR. VALERI WOO:
What a great project for school!! Here are my answers.
1) Job description of a pediatric dentist: Pediatric dentistry is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of young people. After completing a four-year dental school curriculum, two to three additional years of rigorous training are required to become a pediatric dentist. This specialized program of study and hands-on experience prepares pediatric dentists to meet the needs of infants, children and adolescents, including persons with special health care needs. We are concerned about children’s total health care. Good oral health is an important part of total health. We implement preventive dental health habits that keep a child free from dental/oral disease. We focus on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental diseases, and keep current on the latest advances in dentistry for children. A pediatric dentist’s job includes tasks such as oral examinations, examining x-rays, placing sealants, filling cavities, extracting teeth, and educating patients on how to care for their teeth and gums. If a pediatric dentist practices privately, they are responsible for all office duties and often employ receptionists, financial coordinators, dental assistants, and dental hygienists.
2) Perception of career future: The need for dental care for children increases every year. There are currently over 4800 active pediatric dentists who are members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The outlook for pediatric dentistry is very bright – especially as older pediatric dentists retire.
3) Aspects of the job that I like the most? I absolutely love the children and watching them grow! I love going to work everyday and seeing the smiles of all my patients. It is a very rewarding career.
4) Suggestions for someone entering into this career? I suggest shadowing a pediatric dentist for a period of time to see if this is a career you are interested in. You can start as early as high school and train as a dental assistant for a pediatric dentist. I currently have a high school student who works in my practice who is interested in becoming a pediatric dentist. She is also a patient of mine and I was honored to become her mentor (one of the aspects of my job that I love!) This is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience early and to observe all aspects of pediatric dentistry and ask questions.