Dental School Graduation: What Comes Next?

February 15, 2024

The time right after graduation can be overwhelming. In this transitionary period, graduates are all over the place regarding their career, occupation or whether they have to pursue specialized education. In this blog, we will outline some of the future pathways that one can opt for after getting their bachelors education in dentistry.

Types of Career Trajectories After Dental School

1. Advanced Specialization

Once you have completed your degree, one option is to continue your educational journey with advanced degree options. This will help streamline your field further with a particular dental specialty, opening doors for better opportunities with higher pay rates. Here are some areas that come under specialized education;

  • Dental Anesthesiology
  • Dental Public Health
  • Endodontics
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Pathology/Radiology
  • Orthodontics
  • Orofacial Pain
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Prosthodontics

2. Hospital Based Training

Once you have completed your standard degree education, you are moved to a more formal setting to apply your education into practice. You can either pursue this at a dental school, or a hospital depending on your choice of dental practice. Other times, your specialty will determine which is the right choice for you.

Starting Off Your Career

If the idea of getting into further studies is not sustainable or feasible for you, and you are more inclined towards starting off your career right away – here’s a list of options for you.

1. Associate Trainee/Practitioner

Starting off with an associate position is the best idea to step into the dentistry career. Your references and strong resume will be of most help. You can do a thorough research and apply to positions that you feel fit the best. In an associateship, you work as an employee of a group practice or a lead dentist depending on your workplace heirarchy. This can be helpful to build a reputation in the field or take up your lead dentists’ place after retirement.

2. Private Practice

Second option for dentists is to start their own independent private practice. If you are willing to invest into a separate practicing entity, you are good to go. But it is important to note that it may be a challenging route to build a reputation from scratch. Starting a business from ground up can include buying/renting a clinic, hiring help, setting up equipment and finally looking after all logistics. Another option is to purchase an existing dental practice so you can implement changes however you want.

3. Academic/Public Health Expert

You can also consider going into dental academia – choosing to impart knowledge to new dental students. For this, you will need to apply to dental schools for any vacant position. Apart from that, you also have the option to work at the government or university level as a public health policy expert, to have an impact on existing and new policies around dental health and care.

Final Takeaway

While the options and opportunities are endless, do not rush into anything without proper knowledge and vision. Evaluate your options and put your education into value keeping in mind your interest and inclination. IHDS provides career counseling sessions at their dental school in Houston TX. Call us at (713) 589-9603 for details and information.

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