The dental profession offers a variety of practice options. The dentist may choose general dentistry or dental specialties. He / she may establish his / her own private practice or work as an employed dentist for another dentist or a public or private agency or institution. The dentist may choose solo or group practice or work with other health professionals. Career opportunities are also available in the armed forces. Some dentists serve as administrators or public health practitioners. Dental research or education offers further career opportunities to dentists.
Mostly dentists work as general practitioners- restoring damaged or missing tooth and provide preventative oral health care.
After getting a dental degree one can opt for specialisation in a field which requires 3 or 4 years of additional study and training. The following outlines the dental specialties:
Private practice in solo mode, implies starting from "scratch" with a small staff.
A dentist on hire by an organisation with or without practice becomes an associate employee of the institution. The job involves diagnosing and treating patients assigned to him during the tenure. The employer is solely responsible for the payment, policies, etc. to the individual.
The individual is treated as any other employee in the institution. The associate employee has no authority into decision making of any kind. He has to abide by the rules and regulations.This may be a contract for a time-duration. The associate is not entitled to any employee benefits or retirement policies of any kind. It is crucial for an individual to prepare a legal document before becoming an associate employee.
Dental practice in a hospital is regarded as institutional practice. It is generally termed as a ‘9-5 job’. A dentist earns a specific income from the very first month of practice. He has no financial risks nor requires capital investments. Institutional practitioners are also entitled to various employee benefits including retirement plans.
The dentist is an employee of the institution and has no involvement in decision making. In a government job one may earn less salary than the one at institution, but has job- security. The dentists has no control over patient care or organisational goals. One must be prepared for transfers to remote and extreme locations.