Southern Ontario Dental College

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The Ultimate Guide to Learning About Different Dental Careers

Posted in Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienist, Dentistry.

Do you like to interact with people and want a rewarding career too? Are you naturally caring and detail-oriented too?

It might be time for you to consider a career in the field of dentistry. Dentistry offers stable employment opportunities (everyone has to go to the dentist) and several career options too.

Read on to learn about a few of the popular dental careers you should consider.


You can’t visit a dental office without seeing the actual dentist. A dentist is a kind of doctored health professional who diagnoses and treats issues with the mouth and teeth.

Many dentists are general practitioners, like your family doctor for teeth. They see patients for routine check-ups and help to keep patients’ teeth and mouths healthy.

Dentists can also specialize. Some specialities include:

  • Orthodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Endodontics
  • Pediatric dentistry

To become a dentist you must first have at least two years of college, although many dental schools require a full four-year degree. Then you go to dental school for training for another 4 years. Specialized degrees require more schooling beyond the four years.

Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist also works directly with patients in the dental office under the supervision of the dentist. A dental hygienist must be certified to provide the care they do.

A dental hygienist:

  • Performs cleanings
  • Examine mouths and teeth
  • Teaches good oral hygiene practices
  • Takes X-rays of mouth and teeth

To become a dental hygienist, you must also study in a specific program to get licensed. Most programs take around two years to complete. You must also pass a board certification test.

For a two-year program, the dental hygienist has the potential to earn a good salary. Their starting salary is usually around $48,750 per year. The median salary is $68,250 per year (or $35 an hour).

Dental Assistant

Dental Assistants also work closely with the dentist and with patients. Yet, they are not licensed to perform the same level of patient care as a dental hygienist.

Their role in a dental office might be to act as an assistant to the dentist while he or she does patient care. They might also have lab duties or office duties as well.

There are some one-year dental assistant programs for training.

Dental Technicians

Unlike the other dental professions listed here, a dental technician is not likely to actually work in a dental office. A dental technician will work in a lab setting.

They work to create dental appliances and prosthetics.

This job doesn’t require a special degree, instead, it’s more on the job training to understand how to do the work.

As dental work has advanced and more dentists are doing implants, there is even a greater need for dental technicians.

Dental Careers for You

If you like being around people and caring for them too, one of these dental careers might be right for you.

For more information about the programs at Southern Ontario Dental College, contact us today.

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