The Compare And Contrast: Physical Therapy vs. Dentistry

When choosing an occupation, it is hard to decide between two jobs of interest. While both physical therapy and dentistry are two occupations that take much time and effort, each has unique characteristics that make that time worth it. Physical therapy and dentistry are medical professions that help the human body.

Physical therapy fixes muscles and joints that may be injured and dentistry fixes and treats the oral cavity. Becoming a physical therapist or a dentist can be very difficult considering the workplace, schooling required and finding a job after college. While physical therapy and dentistry are two professions in the medical field, they each have a very unique job description.

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Physical therapy is a specialty that provides treatment using various devices or the hands to strengthen muscles and supply flexibility to parts of the body that may be subnormal due to a genetic condition, disease, surgery, or trauma. Physical therapy is not to restore normality but to allow patients to return to a comfortable and productive life. Physical therapists, or PTs, usually work in private offices, hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes.

PTs usually work in a team alongside physical therapy assistants, aides, physicians, and surgeons. Dentistry is a specialty that provides treatment to the teeth, gums, and oral cavity. Dentists perform tasks like treating teeth that have been damaged due to an accident, filling teeth damaged by tooth decay, and replacing damaged or injured teeth with replacements. Dentists usually open a private practice or work with a team of dental professionals.

Another factor to consider when deciding an occupation is the amount of schooling required. The first step in becoming a physical therapist is completing a bachelor’s degree with a heavy dose of anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics. After completing a bachelor’s degree, an individual must be accepted into one of the 228 PT programs accredited by the CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education).

It usually takes up to three years for someone to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Finally, an individual must become licensed in the state they choose to practice in. All license require someone to pass the National Physical Therapy Examination, a computerized multiple choice exam. An applicant may only have three attempts of the test in a twelve month period. The first step in becoming a dentist is completing a full degree with a decent GPA.

This occupation does not require any particular degree, but a pre-dental or science-related major is advised. A major factor in applying to dental school is the score one may receive on the Dental Acceptance Test. This five hour, 280 question test is scored out of a possible 30 points. There are now 66 dental programs to choose from.

Dental schools in America offer two types of programs including the Doctor of Dental Surgery and the Doctor of Dental Medicine. To become a licensed dentist students must pass two exams covering biomedical sciences, dental anatomy, and ethics to clinical dental subjects and patient management. After completing school, a student may choose to go into the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that employment opportunities for physical therapists will grow thirty-six percent from 2012 to 2022.

As technology advances and survival rates for trauma victims and newborns with birth defects increases, there is a higher demand for physical therapists. In 2014, the annual wage for physical therapists was $83,940 or $39.61 per hour. The top ten percent of PTs earned more than $116,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also claimed that roles for dentists are expected to grow eighteen percent between 2014 and 2024. The average salary for dentists is $158,310.

The more experience a dentist has the more the salary. Although physical therapy and dentistry are two occupations that take much time and effort, each has unique characteristics that make that time worth it. Both medical professions help the human body in different ways. Physical therapy and dentistry also require much schooling and time. After schooling, both occupations have growing demand and above average salaries. All of these are worth considering when choosing between the two occupations.

Work Cited

  1. Braus, Patricia. ‘Dentistry.’ The Gale Encyclopedia of Science, edited by K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, 5th ed., vol. 2, Gale, 2014, pp. 1293-1298.
  2. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://libcatalog.atu.edu:2189/apps/doc/CX3727800732/GVRL?u=aktechuniv&sid=GVRL&xid=1ebc9d8a. Accessed 15 Oct. 2018. Blaser, Larry. ‘Physical Therapy.’ The Gale Encyclopedia of Science, edited by K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, 5th ed., vol. 6, Gale, 2014, pp. 3363-3366.
  3. Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://libcatalog.atu.edu:2189/apps/doc/CX3727801876/GVRL?u=aktechuniv&sid=GVRL&xid=ec24ffce. Accessed 15 Oct. 2018. “Physical Therapy Schools & Careers | How to Become a Physical Therapist.”
  4. How to Become, www.learnhowtobecome.org/physical-therapist/. “Dentist Schools & Careers | How to Become a Dentist.” How to Become, www.learnhowtobecome.org/dentist/.

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The Compare And Contrast: Physical Therapy vs. Dentistry. (2022, Apr 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-compare-and-contrast/