Dental Support Services Job Opportunities

Find Career and Employment Opportunities in Dental Support Services

Dental support services degrees prepare students to work in dental clinics. Some job opportunities that are available to graduates of this program include that of a dental hygienist, dental assistant, or dental office administrator.

Dental Support Services Degree Programs

A degree plan in dental support services offers students a specialized knowledge in dentistry and dental office operations. Education requirements will differ depending on the individual’s desired job, but degrees at the associate level are typically sufficient. Students will learn how to assist dentists with their practices, and they may need to take coursework in:

  • Oral anatomy
  • Peridontology
  • Radiology
  • Biology

Students that complete this degree will be prepared to work as a dental office administrator, dental hygienist, or dental assistant.

Dental Office Administrator Job Opportunities for Dental Support Services Degree Graduates

Dental office administrators manage the work of office, administrative, and customer service employees to ensure that they adhere to quality standards, proper procedures, and correct problems. They resolve customer complains and answer questions regarding procedures. They provide employees with instructions on how to handle difficult or complex problems and they implement service standards along with management. They may also discuss job performance problems with employees to identify causes and issues. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a professional in this field in 2009 was $46,910. Projected job growth in this field is expected to be average with an anticipated 489,000 job openings through 2018.

Dental Assistant Job Opportunities for Dental Support Services Degree Graduates

Dental assistants work in dentists offices to help with cleaning and other tooth care activities. Some courses that dental assistant students will be asked to complete include:

  • Dental Radiography
  • Dental Chair side Manner
  • Dental Assistant Clinical
  • Dental Assistant Professionalism
  • Dental Health Safety
  • Dental Materials
  • Dental and General Anatomy

Dental assistants can work in a group practice, for an individual dentist, or in a specialized practice. They may also find work in public health centers, hospitals, school dental offices, or they may be able to obtain a sales management position in dental products. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for dental assistants was $33,230 in 2009. The top 10% earned over $47,000 a year.

Dental Hygienist Job Opportunities for Dental Support Services Degree Graduates

Dental hygiene programs are also offered at colleges, universities, community colleges, and trade schools. Dental hygiene is also known as one of the fastest growing professions in the country, and earning a Master’s degree will allow students to teach other aspiring hygienists the basics of the career field. Dental hygiene courses will vary depending on the institution and program a student is enrolled in, but some options for study include:

  • Preclinical Dental Hygiene
  • Pharmacology
  • Nutrition and Oral Health
  • Oral Pathology
  • Dental Materials and Methods
  • Community Oral Health
  • Oral Histology and Embryology
  • Dental Radiology
  • Clinical Dental Hygiene
  • Pharmacology
  • Principles of Periodontics

The US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual income for a dental hygienist in 2009 was $$67,340.

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