It’s certainly a rarity for a patient to be ecstatic about visiting a dental practice. Even if they’re not coming in for something uncomfortable like a filling or root canal, it can be an inconvenience.

So, it isn’t surprising that we catch our fair share of attitude from our patients. And when we’re constantly feeling like a burden, it can put us down. The vast majority of us got into this profession to make money while making a difference. It can hurt our feelings when our patients act like we just want their money.

That’s why it’s important for us to take a step back every now and then and reevaluate our “why.” We need to acknowledge that we do what we do for a reason, and we should be proud of our impact on this world. So, if you’re looking for the reasons that define your why, then here are three of the many, inspired by this talk by Gary Kadi about being bigger than even our toughest circumstances.

1. You’re constantly changing and improving the lives of your patients.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a dental assistant, hygienist, or a dentist. If you’re a dental professional, then your job revolves around helping patients get their smiles back, chew again, maintain good oral hygiene, and more. That means we’re not only changing and improving the lives of our patients on interpersonal levels but on physical and psychological levels too.

For example, helping a patient to get an implant or a tooth whitening means you’re helping them get their smile back. Getting their smile back means they’re more presentable for job interviews, which can help them land the vocation they’ve dreamed of. Being more confident with their smile means they can be the ham they want to be when interacting with their family and friends. The list goes on.

2. You’re providing for you, yourself, and I (and everyone in between).

Whether that means making sure your family is taken care of or buying a plane ticket for a solo excursion to Machu Pichu, you’re in an honorable profession and making a living.

You should always be your priority. If you’re a mom or dad, however, then being the priority isn’t so easy. 

You can’t ensure your kids have the lifestyle you want for them without providing for them, however. And being a dental professional is a great way to not only provide for your family but also set a good example for them. That takes us to the next reason to take pride in what you do.

3. You’re a role model for others.

In this day and age, people can be real sleazeballs. Whether they’re selling you a faulty product or service or scamming the living daylights out of you in some other way, you wonder how they sleep at night. 

In dentistry, however, you needn’t concern yourself over questions of morality. You’re a hero on the front lines. So, feel like it!

Are you feeling burnt out?

When we take pride in our work, we have a much better chance of falling into burnout. No matter what profession you’re in, feeling burnt out—at some point or another—is inevitable. There are tons of measures you can take to avoid feeling stuck on a dead-end street, though. That’s why we’re here, and that’s why support groups for dentists exist.

If you’re interested in a support group for dentists, join the Trapped in an OP and Dental Hub 360 Facebook groups today where dental professionals from around the world encourage, support, and advise each other!