When searching for information about careers in the dental field, it's best to know the types of jobs available. When looking to obtain your degree, you should narrow down your field of expertise. The different types of jobs require varying amounts of schooling, as well as hands-on experience. While you're looking for dental job listings, keep the following job titles and education requirements in mind.
Most dentists have their own practice or work closely with a partner. Dentists deal with treatment options, surgical restoration and disease detection. Using X-rays, anesthesia, drills and other types of machinery, dentists treat problems with teeth and tissues in the mouth. A minimum of four years of dental school is required; more education is needed depending upon your specialty.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Dental hygienists work closely with the dentist when dealing with patients. They clean teeth, administer preventive dental care and assist patients with better dental hygiene. This profession is similar to a dental assistant, but the hygienist does not assist in procedures.
Dental assistants have an all-encompassing profession. They take and develop X-rays, work with patients on putting together better oral hygiene habits and take teeth impressions. An assistant may also help a dentist with fillings and exams.
These behind-the-scenes technicians can make full or partial dentures from impressions formed at the dentist's office. They also make crowns and veneers, often working with high-tech equipment to do their job.
Oral surgeons perform surgery on patients' mouths, with extractions or biopsies. They can also do complicated jaw-reconstruction surgeries. They care for people who need wisdom teeth removed, have misaligned jaws or suffer from facial pain.
The orthodontist straightens teeth by analyzing a patient's mouth. An orthodontist's work is done through braces, which tighten the muscles and teeth. If there is not enough room in the patient's mouth, teeth may have to be extracted by an oral surgeon.