Dental hygiene is a very important aspect of overall personal health maintenance. Dentistry generally deals with prevention and treatment of issues affecting the teeth and gums, the mouth and soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. There are a host of dentist’s jobs that requires general care such as repairing and cleaning affected teeth or dealing with special referrals for critical conditions. Dentists play a big part in reconstruction of teeth damaged in accidents or similar circumstances.
Before choosing dentistry as a career option, it is necessary to know the many fine details of the profession.
Job profiles – Dentists have a lot of specialist activities and these can be categorised as follows –
- Orthodontists – They correct irregular growth of the teeth during the formative years. This is done by structuring and putting braces in place.
- Oral surgeons – Such dentists are specialised in surgery and trained to perform complicated extractions, setting right facial deformities, treating fractures and abnormal growth in the oral cavity, mouth and jaws such as tumours.
- Periodontists –They are specialists in treatment of gum and tissues that keep teeth in place. They are also experts in oral implants.
- Endodontists – This branch of dentistry deals with treating the inner structure of the tooth and Endodontists are specialists in root canal treatment as well taking care of nerve inflammations.
- Pedodontists – Concerned largely with children’s dental care and treatment.
- Prosthodontists – This job profile requires detailed explanation because they play a crucial role in the overall dentistry scenario without being directly connected with patient care. Prosthodontists provide crucial support to dentists and are trained in repairing and constructing crowns, bridges, dentures and partial dentures. They are also experts in handling maxillofacial surgical devices and orthodontic appliances. There are a number of Australian dental courses that offer cutting edge training and lab facilities to prospective Prosthodontists. One of the top programs in this field is provided by ACFE that has a 96 week course inclusive of classroom and lab training.
Skills required – Dentists need to have almost the same skill sets as others in the medical profession. They should have manual dexterity and be precise in their work, good eyesight and a high level of scientific acumen. Most importantly, they must have a keen eye for aesthetics and this comes in handy when reconstruction procedures have to be carried out.
Opportunities for employment – There are a lot of employment opportunities for dentists in the booming Australian health care sector as well as the world over. Vacancies exist in hospitals and nursing homes, health departments and dental clinics. Those academically inclined can opt for a teaching job in one of the numerous colleges offering dentistry courses. The pharmaceutical industry too has vacancies for dentists in their oral care sections. Setting up private practice is a lucrative option for dentists, either singly or in partnership with colleagues by sharing expenses and overheads. Prosthodontists can start their career initially as a dental technician in a laboratory and then going on to establishing one’s own lab facilities. Being a dental consultant or a Dental Hygienist are some of the other alternatives in dentistry.
These then are some of the career options and job profiles in the field of dentistry.