Dentistry Personal Statement
Dentistry for me has a number of attractions, both as a subject to study and as a career. I love the pure science involved, but I also like the aspect of dentistry which calls for real manual dexterity and sensitivity, an ability which I have enjoyed developing in several of my other study areas, such as food technology, product design, which calls for the very precise use of fine instruments and tools, textile work and electronic systems and controls. Dentistry is a literally “hands-on” discipline, more so than the work of most doctors other than surgeons. At the same time I am drawn by the prospect that I might use my expertise and knowledge to improve people’s lives, to alleviate pain and to change their appearance in ways which enable them to gain new confidence and live full lives. In my work experience placements in dental surgeries it soon became clear to me that the rapport between dentist and patient was as important in many ways as the actual treatment. Dentistry has figured largely in my own life. Braces straightened my teeth and changed my life, both medically and socially. My mother underwent extensive implantology treatment so that dental treatment has often been a matter for family discussion. I have undertaken work placements at dental surgeries where I was able to observe a range of treatments and procedures of varying complexity, including extractions, root canal work, fillings, including glass ionomer, composite and amalgam, the making of impressions, crown preparations and fittings, and X-rays. At one surgery it was particularly interesting to see treatment being given under intravenous sedation. I even had the good fortune, such was my enthusiasm, to carry out small duties in the surgery myself, such as taking dental photographs, checking the blood pressure and weight of patients who were about to be sedated, passing instruments during treatment and choosing colour shades for dentures. This is where I learnt about the importance of the human interaction between dentist and patient, as well as discovering that the most common dental problem is gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if untreated and which is evident in 80% of the population, a shocking statistic. I also learnt about the link between alcohol consumption and oral cancer.
I am very interested in the problem emerging with the use of amalgam fillings in the past, and the residue of toxic mercury which could affect the patient’s general health. Education seems to be increasingly important in making patients aware of the dangers to their wellbeing. A particular interest for me is the incidence of oral cancer connected with the Indian community’s habit of chewing paan, which contains tobacco, betel nut and ground limestone, all of them potentially carcinogenic.
Outside my dental interests I have many other pursuits. I am working towards a D of E Gold Award, and I completed an Outward Bound Trust course, which was both physically and psychologically challenging. I am a keen cricketer, and I am a member of the school council. My love of science has led me to undertake voluntary community involvement in a chemistry lab, doing preliminary experiments for younger pupils, from which I have learnt much about communicating and adapting approaches to suit the audience. I have done this for nine months. I am also a part-time tutor, giving one-to-one tuition to children in science, maths and English.
I have three languages, English, Hindi and Gujarati, and I understand Punjabi, a considerable asset in an increasingly international world. I am academically able, and although I was disappointed by my AS scores, A grades a re predicted for all my A2 subjects, and I am confident that I shall make a very successful undergraduate and trainee dentist. I am spirited, energetic, sincere, reliable and full of intellectual curiosity. I hope you will consider my application.
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