Allied Dental Professional Positions -USA 12

Updated: Feb 6


“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”-Henry David Thoreau


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  • Some international dental graduates seek employment as allied dental personnel until they succeed in attaining dental licensure.

  • Three categories of allied dental personnel are recognized in the United States:

Dental assistant

  • A dental assistant supports a dentist directly inpatient care.

  • A dental assistant works under the supervision of a dentist and duties may include performing such chairside functions as instrument exchange, exposing and processing radiographs, sterilizing instruments, preparing tray set-ups, maintaining patient records and performing business office procedures.

  • Although formal education in dental assisting is available, neither formal education nor licensure is required by law for employment in most states.

  • Some states register dental assistants to perform intraoral functions specified in the dental practice act.

  • Employment opportunities may be found in classified sections of professional publications and local newspapers.

  • Persons seeking employment may also place advertisements in such publications.


Dental laboratory technician

  • A dental laboratory technician works with dentists by following the specifications described in authorizations from the dentist to create a variety of dental prostheses including complete dentures, fixed bridges, removable partial dentures, crowns, inlays and corrective appliances.

  • Although formal education in dental laboratory technology is available, neither formal education nor licensure are typically required for employment.

  • Most dental laboratory technicians are employed in commercial laboratories or operate their own laboratories, but dentists and various government agencies might also employ dental laboratory technicians.

  • Opportunities can be sought through advertisements as described for dental assisting or by contacting commercial laboratories in the area.


Dental hygienist.

  • To work as a dental hygienist an individual must be licensed by the appropriate state board of dentistry.

  • The usual dental hygiene educational requirement for licensure is graduation from a dental hygiene education program that is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.

  • Such a program is conducted at the post-secondary level and is a minimum of two academic years in length.

  • The National Board Dental Hygiene Examination and a clinical examination are also required.

  • A dental hygienist assumes delegated responsibilities for patient care under the direction and supervision of a dentist.

  • The scope of a hygienist's work is dependent upon the jurisdiction's dental practice act, but typically includes collecting diagnostic data; performing an oral inspection and oral prophylaxis; and providing fluoride treatments, dental sealants and oral hygiene instructions.

  • Generally, states do not have provisions for dental hygiene licensure for international dentists.

  • Florida, however, grants eligibility status for the Florida clinical dental hygiene examination to international dentists who wish to obtain a dental hygiene license.