Dentistry is Ranked Top as a Profession

Dentistry is Ranked Top as a Profession

by Pacific Dental Services in News 06/09/2017

In a compilation of the 100 best jobs for 2017, careers in the dental sector topped the list. In a U.S. News and World Report, jobs in dentistry were ranked high for the third year running. The dental profession consists of specialist categories and these are all included in the latest list of most desirable occupations.

Overall oral care provided by a dentist has proved to be the most popular job, hence its position in the #1 spot for 100 best jobs for 2017. The other dental professions on the list are placed as follows:

  • #5 Orthodontist
  • #9 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
  • #21 Prosthodontist
  • #32 Dental Hygienist
  • #100 Dental Assistant

It is anticipated that up to the year 2024, new jobs in the dental industry will reach 26,700. This is according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. When it comes to selecting a future occupation, a career in dentistry has become an attractive option for many job seekers. The need for new dentists is an ongoing process as the gaps left by those retiring have to be filled. Also, taking into consideration the growth of the population and any changes made to the health law, the call for more dentists is on the rise. According to the American Dental Association, with widely differing ratios of dentists in practice to population, it is estimated that they range from approximately 42 to 108 dentists per 100,000 people.

There are many reasons why candidates have ambitions to make dentistry their career. Apart from the normal preventative care and repair procedures, patients often seek care from a dentist due to dental pain. Being able to diagnose, treat and provide prompt relief to patients, dentists can derive a certain amount of job satisfaction knowing that the oral health of their patients has been restored.

Independence is a major advantage for dentists. They can establish their own practices soon after completing their studies, giving them the opportunity and freedom to develop career plans and set their own goals for the future. Also, salaries are above average for those specializing in dentistry. In the ADA Health Policy Institute 2015 ‘Survey of Dental Practitioners’, in 2014, general practitioners who wholly or partly owned their practice earned an average net income of $183,340 while dental specialists earned an average of $344,740. Incomes across the country differ as they are determined by the sort of practice that is operated.

Another positive move towards the selection of a dental career is the number of options that are available under the dental umbrella. Although most dental graduates, (80%), go on to work in a private practice doing general dentistry, there are also research, academic, group practice, and clinical choices provided by the profession that can enhance the careers of both new graduates and established dentists. Also, the availability of different work options can give a practitioner the freedom, where possible, to set the number of hours or days they wish to work and to channel their expertise in an environment that suits them best. This flexibility allows for a good work-life balance.

The role of a dentist is not only confined to the practice. They can also play a major part in the dental education of others and participate in research. As a faculty member, their contribution can determine the curriculum of a dental education institution and as a researcher, with the most advanced technology and techniques at their disposal, they can play their part in efforts to solve countless dental problems and to use the results of their research in the advancement of oral health care.

Dentists are held in high regard by the communities they work with, mainly because of the positive impact they have on enhancing their lives. This is especially relevant when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. Teeth that are crooked,   missing or discolored can have a devastating effect on an individual’s self-esteem and make them feel self-conscious about their overall appearance. Dentists that have specific aesthetic skills have the talent to restore a set of teeth to their former glory, the results in many cases being even better than before, enabling a patient to smile with confidence again.

Although the dentist is regarded as the main practitioner, he or she is part of a team. This can consist of dental hygienists, assistants, and office managers – to name a few – who all work together with the dentist to provide a complete package of oral care and office experience to the patient. Teamwork is essential when it comes to achieving a successful outcome. With a flexible work schedule and earning power that exceeds the national norm, a dentist is also in the privileged position of being able to provide oral health care that can benefit communities or people who, because of access difficulties and financial constraints, are prevented from seeking essential treatment.

To find dentist opportunities and other dentistry related positions with offices supported by Pacific Dental Services®, visit