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from the Academy of General Dentistry

Monday, January 17, 2022
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What Careers Are Available in Dentistry?


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in the dental profession? Each dental team member has a unique job that requires a specific skill set and each is crucial to a successful practice and high-quality patient care. If you've ever thought about a career in dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) would like to offer you a glimpse into the dental professional's world.


General dentists make up the majority of the more than 150,000 dentists practicing in the United States and Canada. General dentists care for their patients' overall oral health, which is crucial to a person's total health. General dentists also coordinate care with dentists in other specialties when a patient needs a specialized procedure.


Sometimes general dentists become partners or associates with other dentists in a group practice. But most general dentists own their practice, so they face the demands and reap the rewards of running a small business as well as being a doctor. In return, general dentists are their own bosses, and they set their own hours. General dentists enjoy prestige in their community and strong earning potential. Other general dentists work in government health services, research programs, higher education, corporations and even the military.

If you've thought about a career in dentistry, talk with your dentist, counselor or teacher about the day-to-day responsibilities of a dental professional and the requirements to become one. To begin, you should like science. Your own dentist may let you “shadow'” him or her for a few days to learn about what happens in a dental practice.


For more information on dental careers, check out the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook online at



Reviewed: January 2012