Career Profile: Alternative Careers with a Dentistry Degree
Updated: Jul 12, 2021
From talking to my friends and even other prospective dental students, many people seem to think that with a dentistry degree, you are bound to become a dentist. And would be forgiven for believing that, since dentistry is indeed a vocational degree but there are other career paths available, having achieved a dentistry degree.
Having graduated from you BDS course, the standard next step is to do become the dentist equivalent of a foundation year doctor. From then, people often specialise in areas such as prosthodontics and endodontics, or they become general dentists. Other areas that a dental degree would be useful include becoming a hygienist, technician and therapist but read on for more unique careers.
As an aside, it is useful to note that as with any degree, one could go into business with a dental degree. It's important to remember that you aren't bound to become a dentist and often businesses are started in university. During your 5 or 6 year course you may come up with some good ideas. Look into Deren Flesher, a dentist who owns some Papa John's shops and is involved with the cannabis industry and who talks about the 'dental bubble'. Similarly, as with most degrees career options can also include academia, research, military services etc. Equally, getting involved in a dentistry business (such as owning your own dental practice) is a lucrative field where there are roles like manager. It's also important to remember that freelancing is always an option as well as monetising other things you enjoy such as photography or making music.
Another next step could be to do graduate medicine. After that one can become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. It's lots and lots work but you will be part of one of the most unique specialities. See my complete post on oral and maxillofacial surgery here. To be honest, with a dentistry degree, you could probably go into anything to do with healthcare (with some training of course) from becoming a pathologist, a healthcare sales representative to becoming a writer. Really, you could become anything with a bit more training. Having a dentistry degree shows that you have a lot of desirable characteristics, meaning that you will desirable in many different fields.