The dental industry in the United States is massive. In fact, it is expected to surpass $28 billion over the next few years.
This comes as no surprise as a nice smile is important during the digital age. With so many selfies on the internet, people want their teeth to look great.
The demand for dental services is creating many job opportunities. A job in the dental industry affords competitive pay rates and security. Read on to learn about the best dental jobs in the industry. Explore five different jobs that are certain to leave you with satisfaction and a sense of importance.
1. Dental Assistant
Dental assistant jobs are growing faster than the national average. Over the next eight years, the number of jobs is forecasted to grow by 7%.
The median pay for a dental assistant was over $41,000 in 2020. This pay rate may increase depending on years of experience and locality.
The educational requirements make dental assistant jobs appealing. You can complete many dental assisting programs in 12 months.
There are programs that lead to an Associate’s degree. These dental assisting programs take up to two years to complete. Click here if you want to learn more about the dental assistant program out there.
The most important thing is to find a program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. This commission accredits approximately 250 different programs and ensures the proper skills are passed on to students.
You may be wondering what a dental assistant does. They assist the dentist by sterilizing instruments and preparing the work area for a procedure. Dental assistants process X-ray images and directly support the dentist during a procedure.
2. Dental Hygienist
A dental hygienist is another popular job in this industry. This is a more hands-on job as dental hygienists work directly with the patient.
They are responsible for routine cleanings. Dentists recommend that you get a professional cleaning twice per year.
Dental hygienists remove plaque from hard-to-reach places in the mouth. They polish your team and apply protective fluoride. Their efforts are designed to prevent cavities from occurring.
Like assistants, dental hygienist jobs are also in demand. The number of hygienist jobs is expected to increase by 6% through 2029.
Dental hygienist jobs pay well. The median pay in 2020 was over $77,000 per year.
The pay is consummate with the level of education required. A dental hygienist requires an Associate’s degree. There are Bachelor’s degree programs available as well. With the addition of laboratory and clinical instruction, you can expect to take three years to complete a dental hygiene training program.
3. Dental Receptionist
Dental offices require a robust administrative staff. There is so much going on behind the scenes beyond dental cleanings and procedures.
The dental office receptionist is on the front lines. They are the first person that a client encounters when they walk in the office.
The receptionist helps them fill out the necessary paperwork to receive treatment. They interact directly with all patients informing them what comes next.
Amongst the most important duties that a dental receptionist has is booking appointments. They are responsible for filling the dentist’s schedule with patients. The receptionist finds a time that works for both patient and dentist.
This means that the receptionist is critical to the office’s revenue stream. Without patients on the schedule, the office is going to lose out on potential profits.
Dental receptionist jobs are not nearly as in demand as hygienists and assistants. The number of jobs is expected to grow by 4% over this decade.
The most appealing facet of a dental receptionist job is the requirements. You do not need a college degree to become a receptionist. Receptionists are trained on the job and can use their high school diploma or GED to qualify.
4. Dental Billing and Coding
Dental billers and coders are part of the robust administrative staff in an office. They are at the back end and make sure the dentist gets paid for their work.
The process starts off by identifying the proper insurance code for the procedure or treatment performed. Next, the dental biller files a claim to the patient’s insurance company. There is a contracted agreement with the insurance company on the total cost of the procedure.
In the vast majority of cases, insurance only covers a portion of the procedure. The biller’s responsibility then pivots to collecting the patient’s responsibility.
The insurance company sends out an explanation of benefits. This document tells both the dental office and patient how much they are responsible for. Then, a bill is sent out to the patient to collect the remainder of the charge.
It is not uncommon for a patient to miss payments or not pay it altogether. Dental billers may need to work with a collection agency to receive all the money.
There are postsecondary education programs to train dental billers. A professional certification or degree program meets the educational requirement. Some dentists will hire a person with a high school diploma or GED and train them on this unique skill set.
5. Dental Technician
Dental technicians also work behind the scenes. Their primary job function is to create dental prosthetics and other appliances needed to complete a procedure. Specifically, this includes items like bridges, crowns, and dentures.
Dental technicians do not work directly with patients. They work in a laboratory setting and may not even work in the office. Their work can be outsourced to a third party who performs the work outside the office.
5 Different Dental Jobs to Consider
Getting a job in the dental industry is a wise decision. The dental field is relatively recession-proof. Regardless of how the economy is going, oral health is a top priority for the population.
There are many great jobs to choose from. Occupations such as hygienist and assistant pay well and offer job security. You do not necessarily need a college degree to get into the dental industry.
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