4 mins read

Career Explorers: 5 Unique Opportunities in the Dental Industry

02 August 2022   |   by Explore Careers

A visit to the dentist isn’t many people’s idea of fun – no matter how vital those regular check-ups are!

Even after years, we can’t seem to shake the jitters that come with sitting in the waiting room of our local dental practice.

But it did get us thinking – is there a whole world of career opportunities being overlooked simply because of an unwarranted fear?

Yes. The answer is yes.

Dental Health Week 2022

Look, we’re not your parents or guardians; we’re not here to nag or tell you what to do. We’re here to give you information that helps you make informed decisions about your future.

But we’re not going to lie; going through the campaigns for Dental Health Week 2022 was a great reminder for us – so we thought we’d share.

Dental Health Week (DHW) runs from the 1st to the 7th of August and is the Australian Dental Association’s (ADA) annual oral health campaign.

The campaign focuses on the importance of caring for your teeth and gums to help keep your mouth healthy for life. There are four key messages as part of the campaign:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Clean between your teeth daily using floss or interdental brushes.
  3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar intake.
  4. Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventive care.

From an employment, job readiness and interview attendance perspective – good dental hygiene can make a huge difference.

Employers and recruiters regularly cite bad breath and poor personal hygiene as one of the reasons they might not hire someone. So it pays to ensure a healthy smile is a priority when job hunting!

5 Unique Dental Careers to Explore

Of course, the big one most people think of when it comes to dental careers is being a dentist – but there is a wide range of professionals in the industry! Here’s a look at a few:

1. Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists work as ‘mid-level’ professionals in the industry, supporting dentists with diagnosis, treatment and management plans for patients. When you visit a dentist, it’s more common for your checkup to be carried out by a qualified hygienist. A key part of their role is to conduct initial dental screenings and complete regular teeth cleaning.

They may also help with in-depth dental procedures and surgeries and advise patients on preventative care. Dental hygiene is an excellent pathway for anyone interested in exploring a career in the sector before fully committing to becoming a dentist.

2. Dental Service Manager

This could be the most essential role in the clinic! Dental – or customer – service managers help manage a wide range of support functions that ensure dentists can focus on their work. This includes everything from appointment management, invoice and billing, client outreach, aftercare check-ins and most importantly – making sure patients feel safe, welcomed and supported throughout.

This role extends beyond simple receptionist duties and would be rewarding for anyone interested in working in healthcare with a business and people focus.

3. Dental Ceramicist

When a dentist requires a specialist product for their patients, such as dentures, crowns or implants, dental ceramicists are the ones who make them. Usually, the dentist will take moulds and x-rays of their client’s mouth and then send these to a dental ceramicist, who uses them to create unique pieces for the patient. They do this using a range of state-of-the-art technology and software, focusing on precision and patient comfort.

The role is very detail oriented; if a piece they make is incorrect by even the tiniest margin, it won’t be usable for the patient. Dental ceramicists have a more ‘hands-off’ role in patient care, but their role can be a mix of problem-solving, innovation and practical-driven tasks.

4. Dental Laboratory Technician

On the same pathway as dental ceramicists are dental laboratory technicians. This role tends to have a broader scope. They work closely with dentists to help design and manufacture dental prosthetics such as dentures, crowns, bridges and a whole range of unique specialist products required to support short and long-term dental treatment.

There are four main fields: Fixed Prosthesis, Removable Prosthesis, Maxillofacial Prosthesis and Orthodontics and Auxiliaries. You might work with adults or babies and young children who need something designed for them due to medical conditions or to support healthy dental development. Just like dental ceramicists, this is a very detail-oriented role – everything must be made to exact specifications, and there can be a lot of thinking outside the box involved.

5. Dental Outreach Educator/Healthcare Professional

Dental health is an important but sometimes overlooked part of our lives. Not everyone has the same access to high-quality care, and some might not be aware of what dental health care looks like. Dental outreach professionals help support community knowledge around dental health and preventative care to support different community groups.

They might run workshops and talks in schools, community centres and health centres. They might also run training for other healthcare professionals, such as aged care workers, to support their knowledge and ability to help those in their care. This is a less patient-focused role but very people-centred. You’ll need a passion for teaching others and the ability to tailor information to suit different audiences.

Ready to Find Out More?

The world of dentistry is pretty huge when you start to scratch below the surface. Aside from working in a dental practice, you might also work in an insurance-focused environment – like with our employer partner, HCF, or allied health services.

We were also surprised to learn there’s a whole area of dentistry within the Defence force – it’s true!

There’s definitely more to the industry than meets the eye, and if you think you want something within health that’s people-focused but also has lots of scope for innovation, growth and challenges – dentistry could be for you!


Rate this article

Did you find this article helpful?

    Back to top

      Sign up to our Newsletter

      Get the latest on job opportunities, insights and news to help explore your future

      Why are we asking for this? Postcodes help us make sure that the information we send is relevant to you in your area.

      Thank you for signing up

      We'll keep you updated with the latest on job opportunities, insights and news to help explore your future.