Whether you’re interested in becoming a dentist, dental hygienist, or even an admin assistant, there are tons of options for a person looking to work in the dental field. There are jobs in the dental field for people of all different types of skill sets, interests, and education levels.
Of the dental careers that require doctorates, dentists and orthodontists are probably the most commonly heard of, although periodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and cosmetic dentists all also require the top levels of education. A general dentist, or DDS, has been described as being comparable to a primary care doctor in general medicine. He or she will look after cleaning, fluoride treatments, cavities, root canals, and certain diseases. An orthodontist specializes in jaw alignment and tooth organization. This is the person we go to for braces. Periodontists specialize in the organization of the support structures, such as gums. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons can perform surgery on the teeth, jaw, and facial bones. They may perform complex reconstruction surgery for patients after cancer treatments or trauma to these areas. Cosmetic dentists focus on the appearance of teeth. They will provide services such as whitening, veneers, and straightening. The American Dental Association doesn’t recognize cosmetic dentistry as a formal area of dentistry, however, which is probably why most cosmetic dentists normally practice as general dentists.
Most of us may be better acquainted with our dental hygienist than with our dentist! A dental hygienist in the person in charge of administering cleaning, fluoride treatments, and educating patients. If you normally get your teeth cleaned right before you have an appointment with your dentist, this is the procedure is carried out by a dental hygienist. Dental hygienists are often on the lookout for the first signs of diseases and cavities. Dental assistants, on the other hand, handle a lot of the equipment. They take x-rays, sterilize equipment, take impressions of teeth, and guide patients through their procedures. While these sorts of jobs don’t require the extensive schooling of the doctors, they do usually require particular degrees and training. These jobs might be great for a person looking for a career change, since they don’t require as many years of school, even though they do require specialization. They are, however, still fulfilling jobs that help improve patients’ lives.
Just as with any kind of organization or business, dental offices require administrative services. The office won’t run itself, after all! These are the people who handle scheduling, billing, insurance, payroll, etc. These jobs usually require at least a GED or maybe an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. These jobs rarely require any training within the dental field, but, of course, it always helps to have a general knowledge of the area! If you’ve always been intrigued by dental care but had no desire to actually practice it (beyond your own brushing and flossing, obviously), then a job in admin might be a great way to go.