Industries

dental

Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships and Work Experience

Dental

Dental Apprenticeships could range from you being an assistant to a dental technician. During a Dental Apprenticeship you'll be working alongside experienced professionals while gaining a recognised qualification. With the industry estimated to grow over the next 10 years, there are plenty of choices for you.

Industry Summary

As a dental apprentice, you'll be learning about the industry from the inside with experienced professionals. By learning the ins and outs of the business you'll know where you'd like to focus your expertise, alternatively you may opt to go to university and learnt he academic theory behind the industry and how you can help improve it.

The dental industry is all about preventing and treating problems with gums, teeth and the mouth, which includes injuries or other dental issues. It's not all about the dentists themselves though! There is a lot more behind the industry, such as the dental practice managers, demonstrators that 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 practice, an NHS hospital trust, community dental service or even as part of the armed forces!

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 medical professions. However, don't worry yourself sick 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 job interviews, your personal statement for university or your apprenticeship application.

Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is ideal if you want to get straight into the working world but you're not ready to leave your education behind you. You'll be working alongside experienced colleague while spending 20% of your time working towards a qualification that your employer pays for, and you'll get a salary! You'll be able to apply what you learn to your job and get more responsibility as your knowledge improves. There currently aren't any dental degree apprenticeships available, this isn't to say that they're not in the pipeline! These are the 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

University

Many people who are interested in the dental industry choose to go to university to start their career, this tends to be the case with those interested in more medical careers. If you choose to go to university, you'll be studying the academic and theory behind the role you want to take which you'll be able to 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 interest you more to specialise further in the subjects that interest you the most. 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)

Other routes

There are other routes to get into the dental industry, however it is an academic heavy industry. Some people may get straight into a role such as an administrator and progress their way up to a dental manager, whatever option you choose, make sure it is right for you.

Now it’s time to begin your dental search

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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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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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

Working with a wide range of Colleges and Training Providers

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