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Working in Dentistry – Career Opportunities

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The dental profession offers numerous career opportunities. Apart from a general dentist, you can also opt for positions like dental hygienists, dental assistants, and lab technicians. Each profession in the dental field is equally important and carries a unique set of responsibilities and duties. Depending on your financial means and skill, you can opt for a suitable field in the dental profession.


Common dentistry degrees awarded to general dentists include BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) and MChD/ BChD (Master/ Bachelor of Dental Surgery). Though named differently, both degrees are essentially the same, covering identical subjects. Dental specialists undergo additional training and education after receiving their degree in general dentistry.

Like nursing, dental hygiene is almost always in demand. These assistants to dentists can expect relatively high pay and a job with a lot of variety in the duties expected.

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The main responsibility of a general dentist is to coordinate different dental treatments after diagnosis. The treatment and management of a patient are handled by a general dentist. Taking overall care and maintenance of oral health, general dentists are trained in all procedures. Some examples of dental specialists include cosmetic dentists, orthodontists, endodontists and oral surgeons.


Dental hygienist

Focusing on preventive oral care, dental hygienists are preventive care professionals who have completed a recognized dental hygiene course. These professionals are licensed for dental hygiene and their main responsibility includes promoting good oral health through clinical, administrative, educational, therapeutic, and research services. With a special focus on preventive oral health care, dental hygienists work with on specific skills under general dentists.

Dental assistant

Dental assistants are trained to assist dentists during treatments. These dental professionals are in charge of keeping the instruments and work area clean and often perform numerous lab procedures. From constructing dentures to carving models of the mouth and teeth, you can become a dental assistant with a high school degree and a few years of on-the-job training with a dental clinic.

A registered dental assistant is licensed from an accredited program. This license is received after intensive education including comprehensive written exams as well as practical exams. Certified dental assistants are allowed to perform more complex functions for the general dentist to ensure that all treatments are running smoothly. Dental assistants help improve the dentist’s efficiency by providing immediate services during treatments.

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Dental lab technicians

Lab technicians in the dental profession are responsible for the creation of tooth crowns, bridges, dentures and other orthodontic appliances based on the written instructions provided by the general dentist. Dental lab technicians work in numerous settings. From personal labs to dental offices, hospitals and dental schools, lab technicians also work for dental suppliers and manufacturers. To create contraptions for dental restorations and replacements, these professionals work with several materials like porcelain, wax, plastic, as well as precious or non-precious alloys.

To become a dental lab technician, a college degree is preferred. But lab technician careers can also begin with on-the-job training in dental offices and labs. With an average training of two years, you can become an accredited dental lab technician.

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