How to Meet and Date a Dentist

Dentists are among the most visited healthcare professionals in today’s society – fortunately a surgeon or orthopedic is not usually needed once every month nor a shrink is covered by all medical plans. An appointment with the dentist on the other hand usually figures at least once on everyone’s monthly planner. However if you are considering accelerating the frequency of your meetings with a dentist and that too on the dating scene, it may be worth your while to keep the following tips in mind.

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How you stand to gain

Dentists are highly sought after in the dating scene as partners. For one dating them carries the prestige and success that is associated with dating a doctor minus the crazy hours and the annoying beeper. Most dentists have calm professional lives, with the occasional root canal the height of professional excitement – it is highly unlikely that your dentist partner would be leaping out of bed to perform emergency surgery on the weekend or on a holiday. Then again since most people are petrified of the dentistry tools, many dentists by virtue of their professional interests have to acquire soothing, patient personalities which in effect is good news for your dating life too.

Do your homework

The chief attraction of dating a dentist lies in the fact that they are among the best paid in the healthcare sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the the median annual wage of dentists was $146,920 in May 20101. The earning power of dentists varies on a number of variables like experience, location, the amount of hours worked and their specialization. The self-employed orthodontists who are doing private practice have a tendency to earn much higher than the salaried ones. However the salaried dentists often receive other forms of benefits and compensation by their employer. For instance, the health insurance and malpractice insurance and that is why paying for these services and other benefits like life insurance and the retirement plans detract them from the earnings of the self-employed dentists.

Then again the paycheck of a dentist also depends on his/her field of specialization. On the whole specialists such as orthodontists and maxi-facial surgeons earn more than general dentists. For instance the median pay for these specialists was $166,400 per year while for general dentists it was $141,040 per year.



On the flipside though, dentists must complete the tedious and long academic programs and moreover have to pass the national exams before they can start practicing. In fact specialists may take even longer to complete their studies and finish their internship before they can strike out on their own. Even when a dentists has started his/her practice, he/she may be paying off education loans and hardly have any disposable income. And till that happens you may find yourself footing the date bills and may be even some of your partner’s tuition costs. So before you go ahead and chat up the hot student of dental school, make sure that you know what you are looking for.

Where can you meet them

In order to find potential dates from the dental profession, you have to know where dentists tend to hang out during after-hours. Rather than parking yourself at bars and nightclubs every Saturday night and hoping to chance upon a man or woman in scrubs, you would stand a greater chance of meeting dentists if you frequent the places they do like professional associations or high-end clubs. The American Dental Association is an umbrella organization which includes dentists across the country and whose main aim is to work on important professional and public health issues. However ADA has a chapter in each state which keeps organizing meets, dinners and semi-social events. Other than these find about conferences and seminars involving dental professionals in your city. While it may be difficult for non-medicos to gain access to most of these dos, you can try to come as someone else’s guest or manage an entry as a volunteer. Charity events such as free dental camps or oral health awareness camps are venues which are easier to gain access to, even though the number of dentists here may be few and eligible ones a matter of supreme luck. Again if you don’t mind a bit of hard work, volunteer at your local hospital and mingle with the staff to discover the dentists in need of a more active social life. Besides professional events, look for lifestyle venues like exclusive resorts or golf clubs where the most successful of dentists are likely to relax over a drink or with a round at the links.  Here too, gaining entry will be a test of your resourcefulness but once in, you are more likely to come upon a dentist in a sociable mood and hence willing to chat you up over a martini. Also don’t discount diners and cafes near hospitals since they can have single dentists grabbing a bite or a latte before going back their shifts. You can even look through online dating and social networking agencies like dentistdate.com or stu-dentdiaries.com which can match you up with single dentists or dentistry students. Finally make an effort to learn a little about dentistry. Your date will be impressed if you know the difference between enamel and dentin or the rudiments of root canal work and flattered that you have gone to the trouble of learning about his/her profession.

Take precautions

While dentists score over doctors in having an easier social life, like their medical counterparts, even dentists need to maintain professional boundaries with patients. So if you are considering asking out your own dentist, keep in mind that Sexual contact between doctors and patients is termed unethical, legally perilous and cause for professional discipline, according to Center for Ethics in Health Care1. This is because like doctors, dentists too stand in a position of power vis-à-vis their patients. The latter place enormous trust and respect in their health care providers besides revealing sensitive, confidential information to doctors and dentists with the expectation that it will be used only for their best interests. Thus the Center for Ethics has strong guidelines for dental professionals according to which dentists who find themselves romantically attracted to patients must either avoid initiating a more intimate relationship or refer the patient to another provider. Even dentists who are merely the recipients of romantic inquiries by patients should establish clear boundaries. If at all the dentist is interested in the patient, dating may occur only after the patient has been reassigned to another dentist and a suitable time period has elapsed.  

While all this sounds incredibly foreboding, truth is that dating a dentist can be incredibly fulfilling both in social and personal terms. just ensure that there are no professional ethics being fiddled with – and once you are officially your hot dentist’s partner and no longer a paying patient, no one can object to him/her doing nice things to your mouth.

References:

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook
     
  2. PubMed.gov - Sexual boundaries in dental practice: Part 1.