In this survey from The Wealthy Dentist, we asked: “What do you think is the biggest challenge facing new dentists today?
The number one problem our surveyed dentists cited is paying off their student loans from dental school— it got 19% of the vote.
“[It’s a] whole new landscape out there. I had my problems at startup, (recession, 21%interest rates on my loans) but dentists starting today have even more pressures on them,” said a general dentist.
Tied for second and third place, and each receiving 12.5% of the responses, were the cost of setting up a private practice and finding new patients.
In fourth place, at 6%, is the belief that there are too many unknowns in the future of healthcare regulations..
In addition, half of our respondents believe it’s the combination of all of the items just mentioned — with the added difficulty of finding and training qualified support staff — that challenges new dentists today.
“I think the cost of higher education needs to be controlled. It is a huge burden for new dentists and not good for the long term health of our profession. New dentists are not able to buy a private practice and invest in new technology with the student loans they are accumulating,” said a Wisconsin dentist.
Despite all of these obstacles to starting a new practice, 69% of the dentists responding to our survey would encourage college students today to become dentists. Only 31% would advise them to choose a different profession.
A Texas general dentist adds this caveat: “It’s a wonderful profession if you love it for the work not the money.”
What advice would you give to college students considering careers in dentistry?