Learn about careers in dentistry

Do you like helping people? Would you like to be your own boss someday and make a good living? Then you might enjoy a career in the dental field. You’ll work with all kinds of people and help them enjoy good dental health. You can be a dentist, a dental hygienist, dental assistant or a dental laboratory technician.

Find out more about what it takes to become a dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant or dental lab technician.

Dentists provide important services to all types of people and are often able to set their own hours.

What do dentists do?

How do I become a dentist?

Where do dentists work?

  • Diagnose and treat diseases of the mouth, including teeth, gums and jaws
  • Repair or restore teeth that have been lost or damaged by decay (cavities), accidents or diseases
  • Make smiles bright and beautiful

Dental hygienists treat patients, teach them good dental habits and often have a flexible work schedule.

What do dental hygienists do?

How do I become a dental hygienist?

Where do dental hygienists work?

  • Clean patients' teeth by removing plaque and calculus and polishing and flossing teeth
  • Check teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy
  • Take x-rays of teeth
  • Teach patients how to brush and floss properly

Dental assistants work with all kinds of people and keep the office running smoothly.

What do dental assistants do?

How do I become a dental assistant?

Where do dental assistants work?

  • Assist the dentist with patient treatment, including taking x-rays and sterilizing instruments
  • Work directly with patients on some procedures, such as taking impressions of teeth so that crowns can be made
  • Schedule appointments, order supplies, handle bookkeeping and other office duties

Dental laboratory technicians use their artistic talents and work with modern technology to make many different kinds of replacements for teeth.

What do dental lab technicians do?

How do I become a dental lab technician?

Where do dental lab technicians work?

  • Make tooth replacements, including dentures, bridges, crowns and veneers and orthodontic appliances (such as braces)
  • Work directly with patients on some procedures, such as taking impressions of teeth so that crowns can be made