Dental Careers

General dentists are responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of a patient’s oral health. General dentists are trained in all dental procedures but choose not to specialize in only one specific area of dentistry. Dental specialists are dentists who have received additional education and training after receiving licensure as a general dentist. A dental education also gives you access to other career paths, like working in a hospital emergency room, conducting advanced laboratory research, teaching future dentists or even traveling the world with international health and relief organizations.

Top 10 Reasons to Become a Dentist

  • Serve Others: Help people maintain and improve their oral health, quality of life and appearance.
  • Balance Your Lifestyle: Dentistry offers flexibility to balance professional and personal life.
  • Empower Your Patients: Give patients smiles they are proud to wear.
  • Research: Be involved with the scientific advancement of dentistry.
  • Be a Leader: Earn respect from your family, friends and community.
  • Educate: Be an educator on the importance of oral health.
  • Detect Disease: Treat oral health and detect disease - including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • Be Creative: Merge your artistic and scientific talents.
  • Succeed: With the aging population and increase in access to care, the demand and need for dentistry is on the rise.
  • Choose Your Practice Model: Own a dental practice and set your own schedule or become an associate in a group practice.


Dental Hygienists use their knowledge and clinical skills to provide dental hygiene care for patients.

Dental Laboratory Technicians work with a variety of materials, as well as sophisticated instruments and equipment, to create dental prostheses.

Dental Assistants duties may include the taking and developing of dental radiographs (x-rays), sterilizing instruments and equipment and taking impressions of patients' teeth.

New Proposed Dental Team Careers

The ADA proposes the addition of two new dental team members to assist dentists in increasing care for all.

The Community Dental Health Coordinator model training program is a proposed initiative to bring greater access to oral health care to underserved communities. The program is being piloted in several locations.

The Oral Preventive Assistant proposed model will support the dental profession by providing a variety of preventive services as well as patient oral health care education