A Brief Guide to Dental Careers

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Not everyone in life immediately knows what they are born to do. Whether you are stepping into your first working role or looking to change careers, why not consider dentistry?

Dental careers can be varied, well-paid, and challenging, and you don’t need to spend years training to be a dentist to expand into the field.

In this article, we will give you a brief guide on the plethora of dental careers out there. It could be the best decision you have ever made. Read on to find out what it will take for you to get qualified.

What Kind of Jobs Are Associated With Dental Careers?

There are many different roles and careers that can be found in a dentist’s office or surgery. People sometimes wrongly assume that a dentist will take care of all of the surgical and dental tasks within a clinic. However, there’s plenty of others that support and play a vital role.

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant supports and helps the dentist with their patients. Often their jobs will include sterilizing instruments, admin, taking X-rays, and monitoring the flow of patient appointments. They are a crucial cog in any surgery or practice.

If you are interested in taking a dental assistant course or becoming a dental assistant, check out the link to learn more. Especially if you are interested in a dental assistant role that has expanded responsibilities.

The more dentistry qualifications you have, the more likely you are able to interview for competitive and higher-paid roles.

Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists are responsible for the hygiene and cleaning of patients’ teeth. Especially if they have plaque build-up or signs of gum disease. They can identify oral decay or disease within the mouth, often being mistaken for dentists themselves.

They have greater responsibilities than dental assistants, but they do tend to have some overlap depending on how highly qualified the dental assistant is.

Dental Receptionist

Dental receptionists don’t need to have any formal dental training. However, they are a vital part of a dental team and are responsible for scheduling all the appointments for patients.

They deal with patients’ questions and queries, admin, record keeping, and liaising between dentists and patients. It takes organizational and people skills to become a dental receptionist.

If that sounds like you, do some research and start applying for roles!

Are You a People Person?

Regardless of what dental career or role you choose, it’s imperative that you enjoy spending time around people. It’s a career that is predominately customer-facing, and you will see upwards of 10-20 patients every day.

You need to be confident and reassuring in your dental role. Putting people at ease will be part and parcel of the job. Especially if they are nervous about certain procedures or having a dental check-up.

You’ll need to have a desire to help people. The job can be incredibly rewarding when helping others improve their dental hygiene and also their health.

You’ll also have to be passionate about educating others on how to be better with their oral hygiene and care. Not to mention practicing what you preach!

As someone who is in a dental career, people will put their trust and faith in you to make them better. This can be quite a daunting prospect at first, although the feeling of job satisfaction can be huge.

Do You Have an Eye for Detail?

Apart from dental receptionists, many of those that pursue a dental career have to be extremely dexterous and pay close attention to details. This is because you are routinely working in small cavities and spaces in people’s mouths. You can’t afford to slip up and make a mistake.

In some ways pursuing a dental career is similar to that as an artist, craftsman or sculptor. You have to be meticulous in your movements and work on fixing issues that lie in the tiniest of margins.

You may also have to handle and navigate a number of different tools or apparatus. Each with their own special purpose or addressing different needs of the patient.

It’s your job to understand and become familiar with these tools and be comfortable to use them on a wide range of oral hygiene problems and people.

Do You Enjoy Problem Solving?

Dental careers involve a vast amount of diagnosis and problem-solving. Using the skills that you have learnt doing your dentistry degree or dentistry qualifications, you will need to make accurate assessments of people’s oral hygiene or issues.

A lot of the time, the teeth and gums will do the talking for you. You are able to assess whether preventative or proactive steps need to be taken in order to keep people’s mouths healthy.

Although, speaking with them about their oral hygiene routines and whether they are experiencing any pain can also help in terms of making a decision. Relying on your experience and training, you can then advise on the necessary action (if any) that needs to be taken.

It also involves a fair amount of creativity as well. Whether you will need to tailor-make a treatment plan for a patient to ensure they recover fully, or if you need to design a certain apparatus to fit with a patient’s mouth.

No two problems are ever the same, meaning you will always have plenty to keep your brain active.

Thinking About Dental Careers: What Next?

However you decide to pursue an opportunity in dental careers, there is plenty of pathways into the field. It is a reliable and well-paid profession that will always have job opening across the country, and world wide.

If you are curious about whether a dental career is right for you, do your research and start applying to some schools.

If you enjoyed this article and want to read similar kinds, check out our other blog posts.

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