Each month, Patch asks an Elmhurst resident to answer questions about his or her profession. Their answers will provide students and job seekers with a realistic picture of the demands—and rewards—of the job.
Name: William L. Bacon
Office: William L. Bacon Family Dentistry and Periodontics, 183 N. Addison Ave.
Education: Dr. Bacon grew up in Canon, IL, and received his bachelor's degree from North Central College in Naperville and his dental degree at The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. He lives with his wife, periodontist Julie Bacon, in Elmhurst.
How would you describe your job?
I work with people to help restore and maintain their oral health.
What is a typical day like for you?
I spend eight hours a day seeing patients ages 2 to 100 doing fillings, root canals, crowns and six-month checkups.
How many hours a week do you work?
35 hours a week.
Do you work evenings and weekends?
Yes, I work one evening per week and three Saturdays per month.
How much of your day is spent alone?
I spend just 1 percent of my work day alone.
What do you love most about your job?
Helping others by fixing and preserving their teeth. I also love helping people work through their anxiety and fears they have associated with going to the dentist. I like educating people.
Is there anything particularly stressful you would change if you could?
Some days can be very busy, but emergencies must be addressed and that cannot be changed. Also, working with people with fear of the dentist can be stressful as well.
How did you choose this career?
In college, my best friend fell and broke his front teeth when we were mountain biking, and his dentist fixed his severely damaged teeth and made them look normal again.
Did you find it hard to find a job when you started in this industry?
No. Many jobs are available for dentists in all areas of the United States.
What natural abilities do you have that help you perform well at your job?
I am good with my hands, which helps me be a good dentist. I am also pretty good with people as well.
Have you had many gaps in employment?
No. My dental office in Elmhurst is the only dental office I have ever worked in.
Would you say the cost of your education and training has paid off?
Yes. I feel the cost of education is always worth it. Education is very important.
What long-term accomplishments in your job are you most proud of?
I have helped many people with pain, infections and broken teeth. I have helped people who were previously unable or uncomfortable smiling at others.
How would you describe your work/life balance?
Dentistry has allowed me to have a nice balance of work and other aspects of life. It is especially nice for women who want to work part-time and have a family.
How satisfied are you with your chosen career?