Most of us have been to a dentist. You may have anxiety about having your teeth drilled. Or you may, unlike Tom Hanks’s FedEx executive character Chuck Noland in the movie Cast Away, be ever thankful you have a dentist readily accessible to keep your pearly whites, well, pearly.
There are five interesting commonalities and peculiarities among our “oral bio-mechanical structural engineer” friends.
- Being a dentist can be very physically demanding. Many dentists suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic neck and back pain. Dentist have higher rates of high blood pressure.
- Performing dentistry can be emotionally draining. Few patients are happy, calm and welcome having a whirring drill or “Mr. Bumpy” work on their tender teeth.
- Despite the two points above, dentistry still ranks on the Top 10 careers for life-work balance, unemployment and income according to a report in the ADA news citing a U.S. News & World Report’s January 2019 ranking.
- Dentists tend to be perfectionists.
- The test required to get into a dental school is called the DAT: Dental Admission Test. Applicants have 4 hours and 15 minutes to finish this test. Applicants can only take the test three times, after that a re-take must be authorized by the ADA. The test was started in 1950.
It’s also interesting to note that dentists can often recognize oral cancer, gum disease, sinus infections, heart disease and diabetes by our oral health. So it’s important to keep up those annual check-ups, especially as we get older or as our health changes.
By the way, October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Just in time for Halloween.