There are numerous career opportunities available to recent dental school grads. Many dentists opt for a traditional clinical practice route and go into private practice to eventually become dental owners or they become dental associates and work with larger dental groups. While others opt to pursue a path outside of clinical practice in research, education, or with government agencies, as well as various other settings. For those most interested in dental jobs outside of clinical practice, we’ve outlined a few opportunities worth exploring:
Dental Public Health
If you are looking to get involved with dental health policies and working with underserved populations, dental public health may be a good option. Although not mandatory, many dentists will pursue a public health residency or master’s in Public Health. Some public health dentists may still provide clinical services, while others work to educate and get dental care to those who don’t have access to it.
Numerous dental insurance companies are always looking to employ dentists to play many roles including claims review, research, administrative duties, and managerial positions. It is a great opportunity for dentists looking for more of an administrative than clinical position and many can even work remotely.
Many dentists enjoy teaching and working in academia allows dentists to collaborate and educate pre-doctoral and postdoctoral students. Some are full-time members of faculty at a dental school and others volunteer part-time. It is a wonderful opportunity to help shape upcoming dental professionals.
While many dentists practice in smaller, private practice settings, there are opportunities for dentists to work in a hospital. This position provides dental care for medically compromised patients or patients with limited mobility. Often patients undergoing cancer treatment or who have suffered dental trauma need dental care in a hospital setting.
Dentists looking for a challenge may want to get involved with dental research. It is a great opportunity to understand the science behind clinical practice. It also offers dentists a chance to work with new technology and evolving materials that impact patient care. Many dentists who are involved with dental research work at a dental school affiliated with a hospital, a university, or even major research centers like The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Organized dentistry can be on the local, state, or national level. For dentists wanting to represent others and help improve the field for dentists and for patient care, it is a great career track. You can positively contribute to how dentistry operates, how insurance companies impact the field, and high-quality standards of care for patients.
No matter which dentistry path you choose, there are endless opportunities available to you after you graduate from dental school.
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