The dental profession is not composed solely of people with “DDS” after their name. There are a wide variety of employment opportunities available to those wishing to help people take great care of their teeth and gums. And according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the markets are growing.
Dental Hygienists. A dental hygienist is responsible for the examination of a patient’s teeth and gums. They check for abnormalities and/or diseases, and chart the appearance and health, while noting any areas of concern. Dental hygiene jobs are expected to grow by 33% between 2012 and 2022.
Dental Assistants. A dental assistant is exactly what it sounds like — someone in the dental office who assists a dentist or a dental hygienist. Projections have the dental assistant market growing by up to 25% by the year 2022.
Dental Laboratory Technicians. Dental laboratory technicians create dentures, crowns, bridges, and other dental or oral prosthetics. Implant dentists surgically implant a titanium replacement root, and call upon the technicians to fashion a new tooth to set on top of the root. The field isn’t growing as fast as the others, according to the statistics, but is still expected to see 7% growth by 2022.
Administrative Staff. Any clinic needs qualified help in the front office, whether it be checking patients in, scheduling appointments, tracking down insurance claims, maintaining supply levels, or even janitorial services. A smoothly-functioning office has many moving parts, and each is important to overall success of the business. Given the varying nature of the jobs entailed, the employment stats are understandably difficult to track.
A passion for a certain field doesn’t have to follow any one particular path. There are many routes to job satisfaction in the dental industry that don’t require a four-year degree. Search job listings online, read the trade journals for openings in your area… or stop by your local dentist’s office and see what makes their business click. And you might just find that perfect career. Reference links.