Industries

dental

Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships and Work Experience

Dental


There a huge range of careers in the dental industry, ranging from being a surgery assistant to a dental technician – all with the aim of helping people develop healthier habits and lives. With the industry estimated to grow massively over the next ten years, there are plenty of choices for you.

Industry Summary

The dental industry is all about preventing and treating problems with the gums, teeth and the mouth, including injuries or helping to correct other dental issues. Though the most common roles in this industry involve dentists or dental assistants, it’s not all about them! There’s a lot more to the industry that’s not immediately apparent. Other important roles include dental practise managers, demonstrators that educate future dental experts, and even the practice administrators who make sure patients arrive on time, and much more!

The dental industry is vast, and your career could take you through a number of routes. You could work in private dental practise, an NHS hospital trust, community dental service or even as part of the armed forces! No matter what your specific role is, you’ll have a range of responsibilities that will keep you busy – from educating the public on oral healthcare, to assessing treatment options and maintaining patient’s records. It’s not just about teeth in this industry, with roles in sales, HR, marketing or administration also widely available.

 

What options can I take for a career in the dental industry?

 

Work Experience

Work experience in the dental industry is incredibly important when you’re starting out as it is so competitive, particularly in the medical professions. However, don’t worry yourself as the industry is set to grow! Dental work experience will give you the opportunity to ask the professionals what they look for in new talent, and more importantly, find out whether you like the job. This will also help you in interviews, your personal statement for university or your apprenticeship application as dentistry placements are highly desired and fought for.

Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!

 

Apprenticeships

As a dental apprentice, you’ll be learning about the industry from the inside with experienced professionals, earning a salary and also earning the qualifications that will set you up for a great future. By learning the ins and outs of the business you’ll know where you’d like to focus your expertise and is ideal if you want to get straight into the working world. You’ll be able to apply what you learn to your job and get more responsibility as your knowledge improves. Though there currently aren’t any dental degree apprenticeships available, this isn’t to say that they’re not in the pipeline! These are many other apprenticeship opportunities in the dental industry that are currently available:

  • Level 3 – Dental Laboratory Assistant
  • Level 3 – Dental Nurse
  • Level 4 – Dental Practise Manager
  • Level 5 – Dental Technician

Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!

 

University

Most people who are interested in the dental industry choose to go to university to start their career, especially those who are interested in the medical aspect of the sector. If you choose to go to university, you’ll be studying the academic and theory behind the role you want and then you can apply to your job when you graduate. Many dental degrees also give you the option for a placement in your course. You’ll also be able to choose certain units that to specialise further in the subjects that interest you the most, potentially become a high-earner in a more restrictive field. Some degrees in dental include:

  • Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy BSc (Hons)
  • Dentistry BDS
  • Dental Surgery BDS
  • Oral Health Science BSc
  • Dental Therapy BSc (Hons)
  • Clinical Dental Technology BSc (Hons)
  • Bio-dental Science and Technology BSc (Hons)

Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!

 

Graduate Jobs

There are many opportunities for graduates in the dentistry industry – there are many roles in the sector that call for employees of different backgrounds, such as business administrators and salespeople. After graduation, you’ll have to carry out a compulsory year of Dental Foundation Training (DFT) with an approved general dentist practice if you wish to become a full-on dentist. This is essential to work in the NHS. It is also necessary to obtain the Diploma of the Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties (MJDF) to practice in primary care. There are also further specialist courses which you could undertake once you have your degree which will allow you to specialise even further, such as the Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training (CCST).

Graduate roles in this industry are also widely available to graduates of other disciplines. Related subjects such as marketing or business administration are highly sought after by employers in dentistry as these roles are crucial to the organisation and success of many businesses.

Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!

 

Other routes

There are other routes to get into the dental industry, however, as this is an academic heavy sector you may be required to have certain qualifications to be fit for some roles. Nonetheless, other roles allow you to go into them straight away after school or as a career change, especially those in administration or the broader business aspect of the industry. Many people successfully enter these roles and progress their way up to top positions. No matter the option you choose, make sure it is right for you.

Ready to start searching? Find your route into the dental industry

Career Progression, Discover Your Future

Dental practitioners

Work Description

Dental practitioners diagnose dental and oral diseases, injuries and disorders, prescribe and administer treatment, recommend preventative action and, where necessary, refer the patient to a specialist.

Qualification

Entrants require an approved university degree and must have completed a period of postgraduate vocational training. Graduate entry to dental school is sometimes possible. Registration with the General Dental Council is a pre-requisite to practise. Specialist fields require further study and training.

Job Tasks

examines patient’s teeth, gums and jaw, using dental and x-ray equipment, diagnoses dental conditions; assesses and recommends treatment options to patients; administers local anaesthetics; carries out clinical treatments, restores teeth affected by decay etc., treats gum disease and other disorders; constructs and fits braces, inlays, dentures and other appliances; supervises patient’s progress and advises on preventative action; educates patients on oral health care; refers patient to specialist, where necessary; maintains patients’ dental health records; prepares and delivers lectures, undertakes research, and conducts and participates in clinical trials.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Medical and dental technicians

Work Description

Medical and dental technicians operate, calibrate and maintain cardiographic and encephalographic testing equipment, assist in the conduct of post mortems, give simple dental treatments, fit artificial limbs and hearing aids, and undertake a wide range of related medical and dental tasks.

Qualification

Entrants usually possess GCSEs/S grades, BTEC/ SQA awards, an Intermediate GNVQ/GSVQ Level II or A levels/H grades. Training may last up to five years depending upon the field and method of study. Professional qualifications and NVQs/SVQs at Level 3 are available in some areas.

Job Tasks

operates equipment to diagnose and record or treat hearing, heart, brain, lung and kidney ailments; undertakes scaling and polishing of teeth, applies medicaments, carries out post-operative hygiene work and advises on preventative dentistry; makes dentures, crowns, bridges, orthodontic and other dental appliances according to individual patient requirements; measures patients for, and fits them with, surgical appliances, hearing aids and artificial limbs; performs related medical tasks including treating hair and scalp disorders and conducting tests on glaucoma patients; takes samples for clinical examination.

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Audiometrician Cardiographer Ceramist, dental Consultant, aid, hearing Coordinator, implantology Curator, instrument Dentist, equine Dispenser, aid, hearing Educator, health, dental Electro-encephalographer Engineer, dental Engineer, medical Fitter, appliance, surgical Fitter, dental Fitter, limb Foreman Hygienist, dental Hygienist, oral Maker, denture Mechanic, dental Mechanic, dentist's Ocularist Officer, appliance Officer, technical, medical Officer, technical Orthotist, equine Physiologist, cardiac Physiologist, gastroenterology Physiologist, respiratory Practitioner, assistant, radiography Practitioner, assistant Radiographer, dental Recordist, electroencephalographic Screener, hearing, newborn Technician, audiologist Technician, cardiac Technician, cardiological Technician, cephalographic Technician, clinical Technician, dental, equine Technician, dental Technician, ECG Technician, EEG Technician, gastroenterology Technician, hospital Technician, hospital Technician, hospital Technician, limb, artificial Technician, maxillo-facial Technician, medical Technician, orthodontic Technician, orthopaedic Technician, orthotic Technician, pathology, anatomical Technician, pathology Technician, physics, medical Technician, plaster Technician, prosthetic Technician, support, clinical Technician, support, life Technician, surgical Technician, theatre, hospital Technician, theatre, operating Technician, trauma Technician Technician Technician Technician Technologist, dental Therapist, dental Therapist, hearing Trichologist 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Dental nurses

Work Description

Dental nurses prepare patients for, and assist with, dental examinations, prepare and sterilise instruments and maintain case records.

Qualification

Entry is most common with GCSEs/S grades. Training is available both off- and on-the-job. Most entrants work towards the National Certificate for Dental Nurses.

Job Tasks

prepares patient for examination; prepares and sterilises instruments and follows guidelines to maintain sterile conditions within the surgery; hands required equipment and medication to dentist during examination; assists with minor treatment, such as preparing materials for fillings; removes water and saliva from patient’s mouth during treatment; maintains records, processes and mounts x?ray films and undertakes reception duties.

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Assistant, chairside, orthodontic Assistant, dental Assistant, surgeon's, dental Assistant, surgery, dental Attendant, dental Auxiliary, dental Nurse, dental Nurse, surgery, dental Nurse Nurse-receptionist, dental Receptionist-nurse, dental 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

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