Why Choose a Career in Dentistry?

Written by: Alex Brown
Published on: Sep 30, 2021

Career in Dentistry

Thinking about a future in the medical profession? There are certainly many choices you have for a career, but did you know dentistry has been one of the top occupations in the U.S. News & World Report 100 Best Jobs list for several years?

Dentistry is among the professions expecting growth over this decade. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of around 8 percent through 2030. 

Let’s take a look at seven reasons you might choose a career oral healthcare.

Seven Reasons to Choose a Dental Career

Provide Transformative Results and Oral Health

A dentist impacts the lives of patients in several key ways: correcting facial aesthetics, providing preventative care, eliminating oral pain, or providing dental restorative procedures. In essence, they are tasked with supporting health and giving patients smiles they can be proud of. During a single visit, a dentist can experience satisfaction, pride, and appreciation by transforming a patient’s life.

Achieve Financial Independence

A career in dentistry can be lucrative. The average annual income for general practitioners in 2020 was just over $170,000 and for specialists it was just under $324,000. Income will vary between independent practice owners and those employed in a larger system, but median salaries for all dental careers have been relatively stable since 2002.

Enjoy Career Flexibility

Upon graduation, dentists have many career paths they can take. First, you can choose your practice model – independent office or associate in a group practice. And while the vast majority of dental school graduates go into private practice in general dentistry, you can also choose from specialties such as oral surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, or periodontics. In addition, the profession offers a wide range of research and academic opportunities in non-clinical settings. Finally, there are educator roles for those who want to teach others about the importance of oral health.

Exercise Creativity in Providing Care

Dentistry is considered a mix of science art. You need to exhibit mastery of practical techniques used in the profession. But there is also opportunity to be creative when it comes to aesthetic enhancements. A large part of dentistry involves restoring teeth, altering alignment, and generally creating/restoring a smile beautiful. So, this profession allows you to become a creator as well as a practitioner.  

Dentist's Office

Continual Learning Opportunities

Dentistry is routinely influenced by two factors: technology and technique. Technology is always changing, so technological advances in the field of dentistry give you a chance to learn new software, devices, or equipment, such as 3D imaging or digital scanners. And some techniques are updated to achieve better outcomes, so education is necessary to keep up with the latest interventions.

Support Community with Benevolent Services

As mentioned, dentists enjoy higher annual income than in many industries. They also may choose a flexible work schedule that allows them freedom to provide oral health outside the office. The combination of these advantages allows a dentist the privilege and ability to offer services to underserved communities or populations that lack access to and affordability for dental care.

Help Shape the Future of Dental Health

Outside of providing clinical care to patients, dentists can also contribute to the future direction of oral health care. Whether as a researcher or educator, dental school graduates can be involved with scientific advancements that move the industry. For example, dental educators have the ability to shape dental school curriculum and emerging roles in the profession. And researchers have access to the most advanced technologies and techniques to discover and address new oral health challenges and solutions.