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.
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!
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:
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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:
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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.
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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.
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