While many dentists and dental assistants love what they do and have a true passion for helping patients to care for their health and wellbeing, job satisfaction across the industry isn’t as high as it could be.
Research by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Health Policy Institute (HPI) found that, amongst those working in dentist owned and operated practices (DOO), only 69% were happy with their working hours, and just 55% were satisfied with their salary. At a time of change throughout ours and many other industries, it is understandable that many trained dentists would be interested in learning more about the different career pathways available to them, or about diversification activities that could help them to expand their practices.
One of the most rapidly emerging diversification activities for dentists is aesthetics, primarily due to the almost unprecedented growth of this alternative healthcare industry. In North America, the facial injectables market was worth a total of $2.1 billion in 2015, and is anticipated to rise to $5.8 billion by 2024. Among these minimally invasive procedures, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that Botox and dermal fillers are the two most widely requested procedures from American audiences.
It’s not as crazy as it seems! As dentists are able to prescribe, are accustomed to working with patients on a day-to-day basis, have mastered their own injecting technique, and boast a comprehensive understanding of the maxillofacial and oral areas of the face, much of the necessary training in facial injectables has solid roots in core dental processes. Even dental hygienists and dental therapists with prescribing rights make excellent candidates due to their extensive training in intricacies of the face and mouth.
Believe it or not, aesthetic medicine is becoming more heavily incorporated into many dental practices all across the country, and it’s actually pretty easy to see why. Not only are patients becoming more and more savvy and looking for professionals in whom they can fully place their trust to carry out their procedures, but aesthetics is one of the most lucrative areas of diversification for dentists.
Of course, it’s not just about money. It’s about achieving greater levels of success as a dentist. Cosmetic dentistry procedures have long been used to improve patient satisfaction, and the use of facial fillers can have a significant effect on appearance and even the success rate of necessary dental treatments.
Career Options for Dentists
Not all dentists will be interested in aesthetics, and that’s OK! We’ve used aesthetics as an example to really highlight the massive diversity in the range of careers that can be enjoyed with dental qualifications. Along with aesthetics and orthodontics, there are also plenty of non-clinical options to consider. The ADA actually reports that clinic ownership in the United States is declining, with an increasing number of trained professionals moving into training and teaching roles, research and technician jobs, and the dental products industry. There’s more to being a dentist than being a dentist!