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Dental Careers

Dentistry is an exciting field. Dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and administrative personnel form a team that provides vital health services for Georgia consumers. Careers in dentistry can be personally fulfilling, as dental professionals help people obtain optimal oral health and maintain their oral health and appearance.

Careers in Georgia Dentistry

Dentists provide vital health services as part of a highly respected profession and perform a variety of professional duties. They examine patients for signs of diseases such as oral cancer. They diagnose and treat health problems with a person’s teeth, gums, tongue, lips and jaws. Dentists can help people have functional, attractive smiles through a variety of cosmetic dental procedures. Dentists may also perform surgery to repair teeth, gums, and oral tissues. They educate patients about good oral health. Good oral health is the key to good overall health!

Many dentists use their professional skills and volunteer to treat indigent individuals and to educate their communities about the importance of good oral health. Dentists can practice as family dentists or they can pursue additional years of education and become specialists. There are nine recognized dental specialties, including pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, public health dentists, periodontists, endodontists, and oral pathologists.

For more information about becoming a dentist and applying to dental school, visit the American Dental Association web site www.mouthhealthy.org. The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University is the state’s only dental school. Find out about their educational program and admissions process at www.​augusta.edu/dentalmedicine.

Careers in Georgia Dental Hygiene

Dental hygienists have many roles in the dental office. Most dental hygienists are employed by family dentists, but many have roles in other offices and in public health and education fields. Although regulations vary by state, some dental hygiene professional duties include: Taking and recording patient dental and medical histories; performing cleanings and tooth polishing; applying topical fluoride; preparing diagnostic casts; performing root planing; exposing and processing X-rays; applying dental sealants; and implementing patient education.

There are two types of dental hygiene education programs in Georgia. The two-year associate degree program consists of courses in basic sciences, dental sciences, and liberal arts as well as significant clinical experience. Most associate degree courses allow transfer credits for a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degree programs four years of college level work. Below is a listing of dental hygiene education programs in Georgia.

  • Georgia Dental Hygiene Educational Programs

Careers in Georgia Dental ​Assisting

Dental assistants perform a variety of tasks and duties. The dental office provides an excellent work environment with interaction with many different people. You can receive satisfaction in working with patients and knowing that you have helped to provide a valuable service. Most dental assistants are employed by family dentists. However, many specialists also employ assistants. There are also opportunities for employment in public health dentistry.

Dental assisting can also serve as a bridge to other dental careers, such as dental hygiene. Being an assistant lets you work in a dental office and see if oral health care is the career for you before investing years of education and training.

Although regulations vary by state, some dental assisting tasks include: taking the patient’s medical history; taking impressions for study casts (models); placing and developing x-rays; serving as an infection control officer; preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment; providing patients with after-care instructions; performing office management tasks; and assisting the dentist during treatment procedures.

Dental assistants can receive their education and training through academic programs at community colleges or technical schools as well as on the job training by a dentist. The majority of academic programs take nine to eleven months to complete. Below is a listing of dental assisting education programs in Georgia.
  • Georgia Dental Assisting Educational Programs
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