The dental industry is a significant sector and one that is filled with various sub-markets. Therefore, it’s pretty normal to get lost when entering this industry. That’s why you need to know the various careers you can have if you’re interested in this field.
The most obvious choice for everyone is to become a dentist. However, there are many types of dentists out there, and some aren’t even known to the public. If you want to start making your way into becoming a dentist, you’re going to need experience. For you to gain experience, you need to become a dental assistant.
Dental assistants are the unsung heroes of the dental industry. Without them, the entire industry would be functioning at a snail-like pace, with each visit to the dentist requiring an hour at least to finish. Instead, dental assistants ensure that each visit will only take a few minutes and each operation would be less than an hour.
This particular career is a humble one. You’ll be in charge of preparatory work such as the sterilization of various dental equipment. The dentist will also ask you to take impressions of a client’s teeth. All of these are essential functions in dentistry, and it’s no wonder most dentists undergo such a job before becoming dentists themselves.
Dental assistants aren’t dentists, and they don’t have to be. You can choose to be a dental assistant your entire life but most eventually transition into becoming a general dentist or a dental hygienist in the future.
Dental hygienists are usually involved with the cleaning of teeth. They are also involved with the diagnosis of oral diseases. But they are not yet dentists.
Most dental hygienists work under the supervision of a dentist, and it’s required that they have a degree in dental hygiene or have taken a couple of units in dentistry. They have significantly lower pay than dentists but have a decent income, earning at least $60,000 to $70,000 annually. But this should only be a stepping stone for you to become a dentist in the future.
A dentist is a demanding career and one that requires extensive knowledge. But it also has one of the highest salaries in the US, with some states paying dentists more than doctors. So it’s a worthwhile career to finish, but one that’s very challenging at the start.
To become a dentist, you need to sacrifice at least seven to nine years of your life studying. You’ll also have to do one or two years of internship. During your internship, you can start earning a bit of money by doing the jobs we’ve indicated above.
After you’ve studied dentistry and gotten the necessary internship years, you’ll have to take the board exam, which is one of the hardest board exams in the U.S. Once you’ve passed your board exam, you’re now a licensed dentist, but you’re still a long way from starting your own clinic.
Regardless, becoming a dentist is a fulfilling career and one that can pay you handsomely. You’re certainly on track to success once you’ve become a dentist. However, another good option is to become an orthodontist.
Orthodontists are considered to be specialized dental professionals. They are dentists, and they go through all the studies that dentists undergo, but with specialized training. Technically, an orthodontist creates various orthodontic products such as braces and dental implants. Moreover, they are in-charge in a more specific part of oral health, mainly bite correction and straightness of teeth.
Not all dentists are orthodontists but all orthodontists are dentists. So if you want some added pay on your dentist career, becoming an orthodontist should be a part of your career track.
If you have a more entrepreneurial mindset, then the listed careers might not be meant for you. Instead, you can choose to be a manufacturer of all sorts of dental products.
There is a huge market for dental products and one that can give you a decent market share. Dental products such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, floss, and more, are considered essential products in dental health and can turn a decent profit. Concentrating on specialized products such as personalized charcoal black toothbrush protector holders can gain you even more profit. Many are looking for specialized products in the dental industry, and many are inside untapped markets.
However, becoming a manufacturer is no easy task. It requires a lot of time knowing your craft. It’ll also require a lot of funding from investors. So you’ll have to learn a lot from the business end of things before you can start a manufacturing business of your own. But the risks will always be outweighed by the rewards. It’s a profitable venture and one that doesn’t require you to become a dentist.
These various careers in the dental industry are quite profitable. Moreover, they are rewarding and humble jobs. Pick the right one for you and start your dental career today.