There are several careers in the field of dentistry and each of these careers is expected to grow over the next 15 – 20 years. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of dental assistants and dental hygienists will grow by 29 – 30%, the number of dentists by 7 – 11%, the number of oral surgeons by 9%, and the number of dental laboratory technicians by approximately 4% by 2016.
Dental assistants clean dental equipment, explain techniques that patients can use to improve their hygiene (brushing, flossing, rinsing, etc.), perform dental x-rays, provide equipment to dentists or surgeons and perform other similar activities.
Dental hygienists clean teeth, check for signs of oral diseases (discolorations, lumps, etc), obtain and record information about the patient’s oral and overall health, perform dental x-rays and perform other similar activities.
Dental Laboratory Technicians
Dental laboratory technicians craft bridges (replaces missing tooth), crowns (caps broken tooth), full dentures, partial dentures, veneers, and other devices that are used to straighten and/or replace an individual’s teeth.
Dentists check for cavities, diagnose oral problems, fill cavities, fix broken teeth, install bridges and other oral devices, prescribe medications, remove teeth that are too damaged to be repaired and/or perform oral surgery.
Oral surgeons council patients on treatment options, install dental implants, perform root canals, remove teeth that are too damaged for other dentists to remove, and remove or repair damaged bone or tissue.