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Due to an aging population and research linking oral health to general health the need to treat and maintain teeth will continue to drive demand for dental care. The demand for all dental workers is expected to grow around 20 percent over the next few years.
Dental jobs deal with the treatment and maintenance of teeth, by performing oral examinations, patient care, diagnosing and treating problems, education patients on proper dental care and diseases related to teeth, gums and other parts of the mouth. Other types of dental work include cosmetic work and teeth straightening, repair of a cleft palate or performing oral surgery.
Some dentists own their own business and work alone or with small staff. Other dentists may be part of a practice. Dental assistants work under the supervision of dentists and assist dental hygienists in their day-to-day activities. Most dental employees work full-time. Some dentists may work evening and weekends.
Applicants interested in pursuing a career in dentistry must complete certain science courses and earn a bachelor’s degree, preferably in science, before applying to dental school. All nine dental specialties require dentists to complete additional training before practicing that specialty, Training is anywhere from 2 to 4-year residency. General dentists do not need additional training after dental school.
Dental hygienists need an associate’s in dental hygiene. Dental hygiene programs take 3 years to complete. Bachelor’s and master’s in dental hygiene is also offered, but only needed for teaching, research and clinical practice in public or school health programs.
Depending on the state, there are several ways to get started as a dental assistant. Some states require that dental assistants receive their education from an accredited program. Most programs take about a year to complete and lead to a certificate or a diploma. These programs include class and laboratory work.
The median annual wage for dentists is around $158,120. For dental hygienists, the annual wage is around $74,070, and $37,630 for dental assistants.
Dentists and dental hygienist must be licensed in the state that they work in.
Some states require that dental assistants be licensed, registered, or certified for entry or advancement. Specific licensing may be required in order to work in radiography, infection control, or other specialties.
You can search for a dental job listing through websites like CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed, SimplyHired, and JobsInEachState.com. You can also check your local papers or do a general web search for your area for dental jobs.