More than one in four adults in the United States has untreated tooth decay, and nearly half of adults over the age of 30 show signs of gum disease.
These stats alone are enough to make you want to brush and floss, two essential elements for overall good health. The same goes for regular treatment by a dental professional. Here are some dental health jobs worth exploring.
They are the general specialists for your teeth, gums and related parts of the mouth. Dentists must be licensed in the state in which they work and generally must have a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine. The demand for dentistry is increasing.
These are the health specialists you usually see before the dentist arrives. They clean your teeth, check for signs of oral disease, and provide preventive care. To become a dental hygienist, you need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, which normally takes three years.
Dental assistants take x-rays, keep records and schedule appointments at the dentist’s office. Some states require an exam and license, but some allow on-the-job training. Check with your state licensing board for local requirements.
Orthodontists treat irregular teeth, improper bites and facial growths. They use devices such as braces, retainers, and bands to change the position of the teeth. You will need a bachelor’s degree and a dental degree, as well as an orthodontic certificate. You may also be required to obtain separate certifications depending on your area of practice.
These dental specialists deal with problems that affect the pulp or the inside of the teeth. Endodontists are dentists who undergo at least two additional years of training to diagnose and treat dental pain.
They treat tooth decay, dental abscesses, and injuries, such as cracked teeth. You may see an endodontist for procedures such as root canals.