Careers in the dental field include such options as general practitioner dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, hygienists and dental assistants. Each of these fields has its own degree requirements, ranging from certificates for dental assistants to doctoral degrees and state licensure for dentists and dental specialists. Continue reading to learn more.

Inside Dentistry

In addition to general dentistry, students interested in the dental field can pursue careers in dental specializations, such as orthodontia, oral surgery or periodontics. Aspiring dentists must earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from a school accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation. Dental school graduates need to take state examinations required by all states to obtain licensure. Those interested in specializing their career could choose to focus on a concentration, such as periodontics, radiology or reconstructive surgery, in a master's or doctoral degree program.

Other dental career options include support positions, like assistants and hygienists. Some positions have negligible academic requirements. However, certificate and degree programs in dental assisting and dental hygiene are available through many vocational schools, community colleges and universities. Like dentists, dental assistants and hygienists usually require state licensure to practice.

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