Dentistry is a trusted and valued field, and if you have the training, dentist jobs can be among the most rewarding and prestigious.
Why practice dentistry? Dentists help people in many ways: they improve oral health and quality of life, they provide an attractive smile, and they prevent debilitating oral diseases. Dentist jobs are also among the best – with reasonable hours, financial stability, and the ability to work independently.
How to get a career in dentistry – To prepare for a career in dentistry, most students must complete a four-year undergraduate program including pre-dental courses before applying to a four-year doctoral dental program. Internships during dental school can be a great way to secure a dentist job before graduation, or at least open the door for one.
Most new dentists become general practitioners, but about 20 percent become specialists in fields like public health dentistry, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics.
Cosmetic dentistry, such as teeth whitening and bonding, has boomed in recent years. What used to be affordable only to the rich and famous is now standard dental care for many Americans. Beyond cosmetic dentistry, basic dental procedures will always be needed.
Understanding current issues in dental practice – Dentist jobs have been affected by the insurance industry just as medical jobs have, and practicing dentistry now requires familiarity with different types of insurance. If you manage your own dental practice, you will need the latest information on legal and ethical issues, as well as malpractice insurance. You will also need to understand the financial concerns facing your patients as you work to find the best and most cost-effective treatment options for their needs.
Health insurance reform will likely affect dental practices across the nation, and dentists will need to be up-to-date on the latest changes as they happen.
Other types of dentist jobs – In addition to doctorate-level dentist jobs, some of the other careers in dentistry that require specific education are dental assistant, dental hygienist, and lab assistant. Administrative positions like receptionists, appointment schedulers, and billing assistants require training, but offer flexible hours and many benefits of the dental field.