8 Dental Specialist Jobs and How to Get Them

The dental industry is undoubtedly one of the best to consider if you want to forge a new career. It is essentially recession-proof; people always need dental work performed. Plus, there are numerous roles within the industry that you can consider, depending on your experience, level of education, and goals.

If you’re looking for a rewarding job in an industry that truly makes a difference in people’s lives, the dental industry could be right for you. Consider some of the positions available in the dental field, and what it takes to make it in each.

Dentist

When you consider becoming a dental specialist, one of the first positions you’ll probably find yourself looking at is that of a dentist. All dentists have excellent knowledge of the human body and are highly skilled at diagnosing and treating all kinds of dental problems.

8 Dental Specialist Jobs and How to Get Them

Some dentists work for the NHS, but many choose to set up their own private practices. Either way you choose to go, to become a dentist in the UK you’ll need to have an approved degree in dentistry. The degrees available generally take five to six years to complete. You’ll also need to register with the General Dental Council before you can start practising as a dentist.

Periodontist

In a nutshell, a periodontist is a qualified dentist that specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontists also specialise in the placement of implants. This is a great dental specialist position for those who are interested specifically in the treatment of gums and the bones that support the teeth.

To become a periodontist, you will need to go through the same education and training as a dentist. However, there is additional training required for this speciality. On top of this, you will need to successfully complete the Speciality Membership Examination in Periodontics.

Endodontist

Endodontist jobs allow you to specialize in areas related to the dental pulp. Endodontists diagnose, prevent, and treat injuries and diseases that relate specifically to the dental pulp (the tissue within the centre of the tooth) and the surrounding tissue. For example, an Endodontist specialises in conducting root canals in patients.

If you’re interested in becoming an Endodontist, you will first have to go through the educational route to be a dentist. Once you have become a dentist, you will then need to continue your education with an additional two to three years of specialized education and training.

Orthodontist

What does an orthodontist do? Put simply, an orthodontist is a dentist who specialises in the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of mal-positioned teeth and jaws. Their job also involves correcting irregular teeth with braces. Other areas that orthodontists may address include correcting issues such as cleft lip and palate.

How to become an orthodontist? As with the previous dental specialities, you must first qualify as a dentist and then go on to have further education in orthodontics. Once you have completed that additional education, you can apply for orthodontist roles in the NHS or private sector.

Dental Hygienist

Another essential role in the industry is that of a dental hygienist. Dental hygienists have an essential role to play in dental healthcare, as their job is to educate and motivate patients on good oral hygiene and dental care. They might work in dental practices, hospitals, or even within the community.

Some responsibilities of a dental hygienist include applying treatments to reduce tooth decay, taking dental x-rays, and cleaning teeth using specialist equipment.

To become a dental hygienist, you need a dental degree in oral health science. You will also need to register with the General Dental Council before offering your services in the NHS or elsewhere.

Dental Nurse

Dental nurses provide a much-needed support role to dentists and other staff. This role is a crucial part of the dental practice, and as such has a variety of responsibilities. As a dental nurse, you may find yourself maintaining and sterilising instruments and dental equipment, updating patient records as needed, taking notes during appointments, helping the dentist with routine procedures, and more.

If you want to become a full-time dental nurse, you must complete a dental nursing course approved by the General Dental Council or take a full-time degree course. However, it is possible to work as a part-time or trainee dental nurse without having this formal education. This is a great option for those who are interested in seeing if a dental career is the right path for them.

Dental Technologist

A dental technologist, also known as a dental technician, is a person who specialises in making the dentures, crowns, bridges, and braces that patients need to improve their dental and oral health, appearance, and more.

Following a dentist or doctor’s prescription, your role involves using materials like gold, porcelain, or plastic to create appliances that are a perfect fit for each patient. It’s a dental specialist job where attention to detail is crucial.

Dental technologists must have a diploma or a bachelor’s degree in dental technology and register with the General Dental Council before applying for jobs.

Dental Therapist

A dental therapist is someone who conducts routine dental work like clinical examinations, scaling, and polishing teeth. Their role also involves providing advice and treatment plans for further care, as well as offering oral cancer screenings.

Dental therapists predominately work out of dentist surgeries, but they could also work in the community, such as in schools or care homes. They can provide additional services, such as extracting teeth, performing teeth whitening treatments, and taking teeth impressions.

To become a dental therapist, you will need to have a degree in dental therapy, and you may also need a recognised qualification in dental nursing. All dental therapists must register with the General Dental Council before they can work professionally.

Conclusion

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the dental field, there are so many options to choose from. Whether you’ve already started your dental education or you simply want to see what is out there for career opportunities, you’ll quickly find that the demand for those interested in providing dental services is high.  Working for Dentex, you will join a collective of practices with a mutual interest in seeing the group grow and thrive. We celebrate the freedom of our practices, empowering them to run as they always have, proudly and independently maintaining their own brand and unique set of values.  We recognise the hard work in making a practice successful and that each individual really makes the difference. Our Dentex values are: Generosity of spirit, Respect for each other, Innovation and continuous improvement, Igniting passion, Integrity, Collaborative and communicative engagement, and Highest ethical standards.