Clinical Dentistry

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There are lots of starting points for choosing a career and using your subject is just one of them. You are not restricted to the career ideas below and you may wish to consider additional factors which are important to you for your future career using our Understand yourself and your options section.

Remember too that the vast majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject and so your options are much broader than the examples given below.

Firstly, have a think about what ‘using your subject’ means to you and what you’re really looking for. Do you want to apply your subject-specific knowledge or skills to the real world? Or maybe you want to continue to practice and develop these skills? Maybe it’s a broader interest in your subject that you want to keep alive by working in a relevant type of organisation?

Using your subject can help provide you with some focus for your career research, but the broader your interests the more career options you will have open to you. Use our resources below to stimulate your thinking.

Generating career ideas with Dentistry

Using the resources below you can start to create your own list of career ideas to research

  • Look at what alumni from your department have done using the DLHE data we collect and through the University of Sheffield alumni page on LinkedIn.
  • Search for and contact alumni in your subject through our Graduate case studies database.
  • Browse the career ideas for Dentistry graduates on Prospects and TargetJobs but keep in mind that these are not a comprehensive list of all the careers related to your subject.
  • Brainstorm ideas and do some initial investigation to find out about research, organisations, start ups, government bodies and freelancers connected to your subject. Our Information resources - Occupations section is a good place to start.

Some career ideas for Dentistry and related courses

Almost all BDS graduates go on to professional employment-based training to become dental practitioners. Similarly, most students completing the Diploma in Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy become hygienists or therapists in community dental practices.
Many of those completing Master’s courses in the School return dental practice, having undertaken postgraduate study as part of their professional development.

However, there are related alternatives for those wanting to consider other options related to dental health. These include:

Health promotion specialist - helps people to improve their own health and increase their control over it. The roles in health promotion vary from advising individuals, or developing and implementing health education policies, to establishing programmes that promote healthy lifestyles and running campaigns. Although a specialist health promotion qualification may not always be necessary, a relevant one in health education or public health may be required by some employers, especially for senior posts or positions involving staff or project management.

Health service/dental practice manager - manages the cost, delivery and quality of health care, contributing to the strategic and day-to-day administration of services delivered in hospitals and community-based health centres and clinics, including many dental practices. Managers need to be able to communicate with clinical and non-clinical staff and other organisations, while implementing national and local health policy as appropriate. A relevant management qualification may be useful or advantageous.

Medical sales representative – representatives (often known as ‘reps’) sell health/dental care companies’ products to customers including dentists, doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. You will promote your company's dental and/or pharmaceutical and medical products to new and existing customers, and seek to meet set sales targets while being responsible for maintaining good commercial relations with your clients.

Science writer – researches and writes scientific news and other articles for a range of business and professional publications, specialist scientific journals, and the general news media. To do this, they need to understand complex information and theories and be able to write in clear and accurate language that can be understood by the intended audience which may be scientists, medical professionals or the general public. While some writers work in scientific journalism and write for a general audience, others in scientific communications write for a more specialist technical/scientific audience.

Dental technician/technologist - use various materials to design and construct dental appliances to meet individual patient’s needs. They work in laboratory settings and create unique devices that are comfortable and effective for the patient. This requires fine motor skills to work by hand as well as the training and skills to use specialised technical equipment.

Dental materials engineer/scientist - researches, designs and develops materials to advance dental technologies and products. They work with a range of different materials seeking to improve the performance and effectiveness of products and manufacturing processes. Postgraduate study is likely to be necessary, and for research and development roles, a PhD may be particularly advantageous.

Subject specific resources