KM Snaps

Creative Pieces


Yesterday I celebrated my 24th birthday. Iíve been in dental school at UCLA for the past 3 years. My social life is suffering with about five hours of sleep every night, school five days a week, work three nights a weeks, and endless piles of homework. I canít wait to go to Tahoe for the summer to work as a water ski instructor and play softball every day.

Today was like any other, I woke up to the radio booming the song "Ready to Run" by my favorite band, Dixie Chicks. I woke up right on time at 6:23 a.m. I stumbled out of bed to join my roommates for a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese. I had to finish quickly because it was my time to get in the shower. I hopped out of the shower with my hair smelling like Herbal Essence shampoo and finished getting ready. Being in dental school Iím very obsessive about my dental hygiene. First, I flossed my teeth with Oral-B Satin Tape Floss. Next, I start brushed my teeth with my Soni-Care toothbrush and ADA approved Crest toothpaste. I then sloppily threw my hair up in a ponytail as I got dressed in my jean shorts, T-shirt, and Adidas running shoes. It was 6:57 and I ran out the door to my 7:30 microbiology class.

After microbiology, I ran to the other side of the campus to my physics class at 9:15. (Thatís why I wear running shoes to school.) My next class was Anatomy from 10:45 to 12:00. At 12:00, I went to the library to eat lunch and do my homework until 2:00. At 2:15, I went to my favorite class, tooth carving. In this class we have to carve a whole set of teeth out of wax. My last class of the day is Nutrition. The reason I have this class last is because we make food sometimes. So about three days of the week, thatís where I have dinner before work. Going to the dentist is necessary for a healthy mouth. Dentists clean teeth with a variety of instruments. If there is anything wrong with the mouth, dentists fix it. Dentists show patients how to properly care for teeth. To be specific, a dentist fills cavities, puts on caps, and does bridge work.

To be a dentist, there are skills that are very essential. To start with, itís good to be very friendly to patients, intelligent, and have steady hands. A dentist has to be very meticulous about his/her work. A dentist should also know how to diagnose and treat problems in the mouth. To be specific, a dentist fills cavities, puts on caps, and does bridge work.

Dentists are required to have four years of dental school after meeting the prerequisites in college. Some classes a dentist should take are Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, and Microbiology. Students in high school may take math, health, biology, chemistry, and physics. A dentist has to graduate from a dental school approved by the American Dental Associationís Commissions on Dental Accreditation. Students must pass both written tests and practical examinations.

Dentists make a high yearly salary. In 1994, a dentist in a general practice averaged about $97,450, while a dentist in a private practice earned about $100,000. The highest salary was a dentist in a specialty practice that averaged about $132,000.

There are very clean working conditions in a dental office. Dentists and their assistants wear latex gloves, glasses, and masks to keep from getting and spreading diseases. The average dentist works 4-5 days per week for 8-10 hours.

Quotes from Mary Jane Kingman:

"Dental work is very fun."

"There is lots of candy in a dental office usually."

"Dental offices are very clean."

Iím interested in being a dentist because I get to talk to people all day. I could earn a lot of money so that I could go on vacations. One last reason that Iím interested in the dental field is because I hate it when people have dirty teeth with plaque all over them and I would be able to clean them.

Being a dentist relates a lot to my values of having time off with family, a mellow atmosphere, and money to buy what I want. I want to be able to retire. I love to go on vacations too.

Most of the things I can start doing now to help me enter this field relate to school. I could start better study habit to help me through difficult schooling. I can take college prep classes in high school. I can also work hard to get good grades to get accepted into dental school.

After doing this report, Iím really looking forward to being a dentist. Iíll try to get into UCLA. That is where my uncle and my mom went too. Ten years from now I still see myself as I do in the introduction.

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