After speaking to the CSU Pre-Dental Club in Fort Collins on pediatric dentistry, I began mentoring pre-dental students through Big Grins. It’s great fun because those students are so eager to learn. One thing I learned is the staggering debt these students accumulate! Dental school now ranges in cost from $280,000 to over $400,000, and that is not including cost of living or undergraduate debt.
For patients, what that means is dentistry has changed rapidly over a few years because of that debt. No longer are a majority of new dentists associating in a practice they want to own and operate. A minority are specializing in hopes those jobs paying better, but a significant portion are going to work as employees in group practices or corporate dentistry. Why? Because they can make high salaries to service the debt. But, they also need to produce a lot of dentistry to earn that pay, right? What happens to the quality and learning curve of a new dentist working side by side with an older dentist? In other words, as a patient, you need to be very aware of what treatment plans mean and what the solid reasons are to get treatment.
Make sure the office you go to is very transparent, loves to communicate, and is not in a rush. Luckily for pediatric dentistry, the emphasis is still on prevention and education. Better treatment for children will mean less treatment as adults! Please email me on this or any dental topic of children’s dentistry. I love what I do, and I want to help you raise healthy, AWARE and happy kids!