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Dentistry Personal Statement

Dentistry Personal Statement

I was encouraged from a young age by my family to be a practical person and to believe that the best way to face a problem is to work towards solving it. It was therefore perhaps unsurprising that from a relatively young age I realised that I wanted to have a problem-solving job as an adult. Exactly what I wanted to do as a problem-solving career did not become clear to me, however, until my mother began to suffer from some severe dental problems. Her pain made me realise that there are few greater problems in life than ill health, and that working to combat them would be the ideal career choice to me. This was confirmed to me by the enormous difference that receiving friendly, efficient dental treatment made to her life.

Experiencing day-to-day life in a dental clinic through a summer work placement brought with it a whole range of interesting lessons about not just the technical but also the personal sides of dentistry. For example, one patient I saw the dentist treat was a seven-year-old boy who needed to have a lateral baby incisor extracted. The little boy was somewhat highly strung and very vocal in his discomfort, but through adapting her language and tone the dentist was able to pacify the child and adopted the strategy of reassuring the little boy about how brave he was being throughout the operation. Learning more about areas of dental anatomy such as the different types of tooth surface through being taught by the practice’s dentists was also very helpful, as was the opportunity to make alginate dental moulds; these two opportunities also made it clearer to me the high levels of specialist knowledge and the ability to work under pressure expected of dentists.

Some of the aspects of how the dentists handled patients had parallels with my own experiences of the eighteen months I spent working in a pharmacy at weekends, where I learnt that talking to people about their medical problems requires a lot of sensitivity and tact. The need to handle unexpected situation and be able to work quickly but without making mistakes is also something that I experience on a regular basis in my current part-time job as a sales assistant at a building supplies company.Here I regularly process often complex orders for collection and am required to suggest solutions when certain items are out of stock. I’ve also learnt some of the communication skills required in dentistry through both volunteering at a local children’s library, where I enjoyed interacting with both kids and parents, and through having volunteered as an English teacher in Ghana.

Two aspects of dentistry that particularly suit my talents are the high levels of its theoretical and practical complexity and precision. Through attending dentistry open days and taster sessions at three different universities I was introduced to the ways that dentists make use of their considerable knowledge of anatomy and dental conditions to make diagnoses and then deciding on the best treatment for the patient. Putting textbook knowledge and the latest research to use in this way seems both very challenging and extremely satisfying. I feel prepared for dentistry’s physical challenges that I have learnt about through the courses I am currently taking in healthcare. In addition to completing a first-aid certificate, I am also completing a certificate in phlebotomy.Taking blood from patients is a very delicate procedure that I am pleased to say I have found I am adept at.

In addition to seeing myself as a problem-solver, I also enjoy being a leader. I was a prefect and a junior sports leader at school, and through both of these positions I enjoyed success in motivating younger children and ensuring codes of discipline were followed.I also enjoy being set challenges and targets, and have put this trait to use in raising money for charity, for which I was awarded a prize by my Methodist church, and in the Young Enterprise scheme, which taught me a lot about how to manage an organization.

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