When you think of a dental professional, what is the career sector comes to mind? For most, the common sector we think of and enter into is a private dental practice which we can join an existing dental practice or own a dental practice. Private dental practices provide dental treatment to families.
Before you decide on a dental practice career, discover some of the sectors you can work in and what you could be doing in the list below.
- Teaching: In academia dentistry, dental professionals can transition from a clinical career to an educational arena. Become an educator to continue the excellence of dental specialties, and training and doctoral programs for the next generation of dental professionals. As an educator, you’ll have the opportunity of having university resources to contribute to the educational development of dental students and to stay current in dental procedures and technologies. Teaching can be an excellent alternative to dental professionals who’re looking for a new career change but who are passionate about dentistry.
- Research: Become involved in the opportunity of oral health, dental and craniofacial research. Although we placed research in the academic sector, you can find research careers in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, government institutions, and even private corporate research centers. In addition to researching oral health, you can be researching new products. The primary center for oral research is the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which is a nation’s medical research agency.
- Dental Service Organizations (DSO): Also known as Dental Support Organizations, are independent business support centers which contract with dental practices for administrative and operations management. It’s a model where the dentist works as an employee and earns a salary. A dental service organization allows general and specialized dentists to work as employees and focus on patient care.
- Dental Associations: You’ve probably more familiar with dental associations since there are various associations at the national, state, and local level where they hire dental professionals for administrative positions. They also work to advance the dental profession from the national to the local level through the new development of science.
- U.S. Public Health Service: Be employed as a dentist in the public health field through various branches in the federal health care agencies such as Department of Health and Human Services and Health Resources and Services Administration to name a few.
- Military: If you want to join the army with a profession, the military offers dental positions across their dental treatment facilities in the U.S. and other countries. You can even work within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs providing services to veterans and their families. Note there are limited positions within the military sector.
- Public Policy: Interested in legal regulations or the politics of dental care, then this is the sector for you! In this position, you work closely with the state departments or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help guide and establish regulations and legislation.
- Forensic Dentistry: The opportunity to work with law enforcement has now been possible. Work as a forensic dentist or odontologists to analyze dental records to identify human remains, missing persons, or bite marks. Get a closer look at crime as you work with law enforcement, note for this position you will need to get a certification from the American Board of Forensic Odontology.
- Dental insurance: Get hired for administrative or management at a dental insurance company. Some insurance companies hire dentists to review claims and for research analysis and research; this position requires you to have stronger interpersonal skills and customer service skills as you will be dealing with clients.
- Consultation: Serve as practice management advisors who focus on management, general office efficiency, and financial services to help guide dental practices through their first stage of launching a practice or to help improve existing practice. They can help dental practices improve revenues, efficiency, or expansion.
- Hospital Dentistry: Treat patients at the hospital who don’t receive dental care through dental clinics. You’ll be treating patients with emergency needs, who are medically or mentally compromised, and hospital employees.
There are various sectors you can enter and start your new career which can open you to new opportunities to explore. If you already have a dental profession at a dental practice and looking for a new change, explore a new sector to learn and challenge yourself. Discover what you can do with your knowledge, experience, and a dental degree.