How to Get a Job as a Dentist
Contacting a local dental school can be the first, crucial step in gaining a foothold in dentistry. For those with minimal prior training, taking a job as a dental assistant can also be a good way to break into the profession. “I would go to ADA.org [the American Dental Association’s website],” Howell says. “There’s so much information about what you need to do.” She also suggests visiting a dental school to ask what the requirements are for being accepted. “If you really want to do it, you’ll find a way.”
What is the Job Like?
Most dentists work full-time schedules, and many work in private practices. As such, Howell says those thinking of taking this avenue should remember that there’s a business aspect to the profession. In other words, dentists need to balance patient care with turning a profit. “I think most dentists want to see patients most of the time and not worry about the business aspect. But the business aspect is a key part of being successful … you can’t ignore any part,” she says.
Howell says teamwork is also integral to the profession, and that it can be as fulfilling as it is necessary. “The most rewarding part is everybody on the team doing what they need to do to give the patient what they need, so they’re happy,” she says. “That’s the best part—everybody working in tandem. We all have different roles within the office, and everybody is doing their job. It’s not work. It’s fun. It’s just like any other team.”