My Day as a Dentist

By: Yaxani Romero

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8:00 AM: My morning was pretty normal got up, brushed my teeth, ate breakfast, brushed my teeth again, left a note on the table and walked to the dentist's office

8:53 AM: Dr. Chocolatl opened the door for me and the usual greetings happens.

I asked how her morning was so far and she said it was going good and that we have a few patients to attend today.

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Throughout the Day.

9:25 AM: We opened the office and we reviewed some files. She explained to me that it is very important to know why the patient is joining us today and she always sets up everything she needs for the first patient. She says the first patients comes in at 9:45 AM and that she is in for a check up, which means to just check if everything is looking good. You start off by grabbing these dental instruments called a probe and a mouth mirror and the handle for the mirror is angled for the doctors can see, that's where she gave me the opportunity to use those instrument on the patient, but with their permission obviously (Not gonna lie they were a bit nervous, it was all good though.) She told me that i have to grab the probe with my right hand and the mirror om the left. I then had to put the probe in the patients mouth and Dr. Chocolatl told me to be careful and gentle to the sulcus and make sure only 3 mm of the probe goes in. You're suppose measure the depth of the gingival pockets and check their gag reflex. We then had to dry their their teeth but actually have them like super dry so we had to apply some high pressured air to their teeth, lastly we brush their teeth with this gooey stuff that she says its like toothpaste, but more liquidized, its called abrasive paste. Dr. Chocolatl then flossed her teeth and she was on her way back home with a nice and clean mouth. After that she had me to write down some notes as she was explaining the function that each machine does.

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11:58 AM: We've already attended 5 people and one was pretty difficult because this kid had a hole in his molar from eating too much candy and the crown on one of his molar broke off which made that tooth rot. He had really bad breath because of the tooth decaying. He made it even worst because in that moment when Dr. Chocolatl was going to poke him gently to check the hole he literally almost punched her. This happened because the tooth is now very sensitive and is now a new target for more bacteria to get in and make it even more weaker and breaks it down. She told me that we have to be very careful if something like this ever happens because there are cases where someone can hurt you unintentionally.
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My Future.

12:07 PM: She said the next patients was going to arrive at 12:35 PM. So we took advantage of that time to sit down to talk about what I wanted to get my degree on and whether I wanted to actually attend the 7 years of a college/university. She explained to me that she had to first go to a dental school which is like 4 years then after that comes your college/university. I told her I am hoping to earn my DDS degree which stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery. But overall I want to become a general dentist and learn about everything there is to know. I explained to her some of the requirements that I researched about becoming a dentist and what licensing is needed before actually practicing on people.

We couldn't really use all of the time we had because the dental assistant was having trouble on the computer.

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How to Get Started Now.

Since I'm a sophomore in high school, but closely becoming a junior in a few months I can start preparing myself for college/ university. I should take as many math and science courses as I can, improve my reading skills, and work on my ACT/SAT score.
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Time to Graduate.

Once I graduate its time to find a dental school complete the four years of school and pass a written and practical exam and sometimes depending on how you did over the years you either earn a DDS or DDM degree. Sounds easy right? Well Dr. Chocolatl says yes it is easy, but it can be stressful at times. A lot of research and listening skills are required many parts of the mouth, teeth, head and neck you need to learn about. Many projects helped her out on what she does now. Once dental school is over you start school again with college/university and you have to look out to see if they offer any dental programs. In Dr. Chocolatl's experience she also had opportunities to spend time with other dentists and learn the same things as she was teaching me that day. I wanted to ask her how much she made a year and month it seemed wrong, but hey if I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life I need to know if I can at least maintain myself. She said every month it ranges about $35,000-40,000 pesos a month which is $1916-2190 dollars, but that's entry salary only she says. She gains $950,000 pesos a year which is $52,009 dollars. It sounds okay, but in Mexico that's a pretty huge deal and she told me that she doesn't work as much as before also, because of her family.

In the USA your entry salary you earn $40k and your median pay is $143,054, but can range from $127,744-$167,265.

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Thanks guys!

Overall I loved this experience and I'm positive, like 100% sure I want to go into this career. And I want to thank Joliet West High School for this experience and getting me ready for the real world. Also I thank Dr. Chocolatl for giving me a chance to join her through another day of work for her, but a life experience for me.