The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates occupational growth to be on par with the industry average at 3% through 2029.
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Dentistry Job Titles
Current trends impacting dentistry jobs
Market Research Future (MRFR), — a global market research institution, — projects the global dental industry to grow at a robust compounded growth rate of 7.6% through 2023. This is per the projections made by the global business data platform and statistics database Statista — and the dental industry’s prevailing growth.
Therefore, it is essential to keep up with current trends such as:
New business models like Dental Support Organizations (DSO) hire dentists on a contractual basis and handle marketing, accounting, and other nonclinical functions.
Laser technology replaces traditional methods for removing decay and whitening the teeth with lower infection rates and bleeding.
Vital pulp cryotherapy with decreased post-procedure pain and inflammation is an alternative to the traditional root canal treatment.
The use of clear aligners instead of traditional braces and retainers.
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Average salaries and employment outlook for dentistry workers
The average salaries of dentistry workers range from dental assistants on the lower end to dentists on the higher end. Though there are general and specialized dental professionals, the following are some of the professions that are common to both:
Dental profession assistants with or without postsecondary education degrees
Dental professionals, including dental assistants and dental office managers, are responsible for assisting the dental practitioner with functional and administrative tasks like providing an extra hand during dental procedures, conducting a preliminary diagnosis, maintaining patient records, and scheduling their appointments. These duties vary depending on the state where they work or their employer's requirements.
Job Outlook 2020—2030
Dental assistant or Hygienist
Dental assistants jobs are projected to grow by 11% from 2020 to 2030 — an increase of 36,900 jobs.
Orthodontic or oral surgery assistant
Employment in most dental occupations is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations during the 2018—28 decade.
Dental Office Manager
Employment of professionals providing office and administrative support, including dental office managers, is expected to decline by 5%, — a loss of about 959,700 jobs from 2020 to 2030
Dental professionals with medical or graduate degrees
Dentists, orthodontists, and dental surgeons come with a medical degree or higher. While dentists and dental surgeons treat patients with dental problems through surgical and operative procedures, orthodontists help patients with alignments and dental cosmetic procedures. They design dental products to correct bite issues and improve teeth alignment.
Job Outlook 2020—2030
Projections indicate that the employment for dentists is expected to grow by 8% through 2030, accounting for an increase of 5000 jobs.
The job growth for an orthodontist is projected to increase by 10.8% through 2030
Six of the top soft skills needed for dentistry jobs
The dental profession is fast-paced and service-oriented. Being a dental professional requires regularly dealing with patients and vendors who need them to have excellent soft skills. We have highlighted the six most essential soft skills for professionals working in the dental industry.
Compassion and empathyMost of the patients coming for dental procedures are afraid and nervous. A dental professional needs to stay calm, understand the patient’s problems, and create a friendly atmosphere to comfort them into going through a smooth procedure. This will help in giving a positive experience to the patients.
Expertise in using dental softwareThe job of dental professionals includes multiple tasks like handling schedules, managing health records, scheduling appointments and contacting patients for postoperative support. This is where automated dental software like Dentrix and Curve Dental plays a role in multitasking and simplifying dental office processes.
Detail-orientedDental work should look natural on patients. Understanding the shape, alignment, color, and diagnosis of other infections requires the dental professional to have a keen eye for detail to identify the right areas for treatment and other issues. The profession revolves around preventing complications and pathologies in the future by early detection.
Proficiency in using X-raysPatients head to dental professionals to detect and cure oral issues before they become serious. Pathologies like oral cancer cannot be seen through a physical exam. With X-rays, you will find the smallest signs of these problems in their initial stages. You can participate in relevant training programs such as X-ray Safety Training and X-ray Radiation Safety Training to become an expert at performing X-ray diagnostics.
Excellence in oral and written communicationBeing in a service-oriented profession, a dental professional must communicate with the patients to understand their problems and provide solutions. Active listening should be part of these communication skills to design an efficient treatment plan since each patient’s condition is different. You can prevent a misdiagnosis using this soft skill.
Quick adaptability with the latest dental trendsA dental professional should be keen to learn new things, refine their skills, and stay on top of the latest industry developments to provide solutions to patients. This will help in building trust and authority for the professionals in the minds of the patients. They should be on the lookout for trends such as CAD/CAM assistance, digital imaging, laser dentistry, and esthetic dentistry.
Educational requirements for dentistry jobs
Educational requirements for dental industry jobs vary according to the level of expertise. To become a dental assistant, you need a one-year certificate or a diploma program. For a dental hygienist, the requirement can vary from a diploma to a three-year bachelor’s degree in dentistry, depending on the state of practice and the employer requirements.
Dentists require a bachelor’s degree followed by a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree from a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
Individuals who aspire to conduct research can opt for a master’s program in dentistry. If you are interested in a specialization, choose your preferred field during the residency upon completing the DMD program.
Dentistry resume examples by experience level
When you’re writing a resume for the first time, make sure to refer to a sample resume and select the appropriate format based on your work experiences and skills.
Four easy steps to build an interview-winning dentistry resume
Three Tips to Stand Out and Get the Job You Want
Prepare a resume and pitch using a cover letter.While preparing your resume include keywords from the job description. This will ensure your resume passes the initial screening by your employer. When you're ready send it to your potential employer using the proper cover letter. Address it to the right person responsible for hiring you by their name, or simply refer to them as hiring manager if the name is unknown. It would help if you mentioned what you can offer them and how much they can benefit by hiring you as their employee.
Exhibit a growth mindset by stating that you're willing to undergo the latest industry-related training and certifications that can help your potential employer once they hire you.
Showcase your specialized knowledge.As the competition increases every day, aspirants benefit from having knowledge or expertise in specific areas. For example, dental surgery, odontology, cosmetic dentistry and other specializations can help you stand out. Choosing a niche gives you an advantage over other candidates that possess general knowledge of the field.
Be professional during the interview.Research about the employer, the dental procedures carried out by them, and the job requirements. Be prepared with the questions you can expect from your resume's listed skills, achievements, and past experiences. Your skills will help your potential employer understand your ability to carry out the task and evaluate your personality. Ensure that your body language reflects your professionalism and personality during the interview process. Always keep proper eye contact with your interviewer and stay attentive during the whole interview process.
Four easy steps to build an interview-winning dentistry resume
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What should I do to get a dentistry job?
Depending on your state, you should have a license or specific certifications. Verify your state’s board to find out more about licensing criteria. For example, dental assistants don’t need a license to practice in several states, while others require it.
What should I do if I'm from a different career background?
If you're from a different background, you should opt for a bachelor's degree in dentistry before you can apply for any dentistry-related jobs. It would be better to take an apprenticeship program and gain relevant practical experience and knowledge on various dental procedures before applying for a career in the dental industry.
What keywords should I use in my resume?
Search the job application for their requirements and use these as keywords. Go through your potential employers' social media pages and webpages for the dental procedures that they offer or their area of expertise. Some of the keywords that one must use in their dental resume include: “impressions,” “oral hygiene,” and “radiographs.”
What are some career opportunities available in the dentistry industry?
There are many career opportunities available in the dental industry, varying from general dentistry to specialized dentistry. Even within these specialties, one can choose a career from becoming a dental assistant or orthodontic assistant to a dentist or a dental surgeon according to your level of expertise.
What is the career trajectory for dentistry field employees?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment opportunities in dentistry to increase from 0.9% for dental assistants to 3.4% for dental laboratory technicians through 2029. With the development of new painless procedures that boost the patient's confidence in approaching a dentist combined with increased dental health care, employment chances are rising.