The medical and dental instrument industry is one of the fastest-growing medical fields. It provides many career opportunities for individuals with the right technical and professional backgrounds. Today, the demand for medical and dental instruments is increasing because of a growing population, technological advancements, and the need for better healthcare. Because of its increasing growth, the medical/dental instruments industry has created many career paths for those interested in joining the field. But how many jobs are available in medical/dental instruments?
The job market for medical and dental instruments is quite robust. In the United States, there are more than 750,000 jobs in dental occupations for individuals with the required skills and training. The good news is that a person does not require a medical degree to join the industry.
Instead, they can get working opportunities in sales and marketing, research and development, technical service, product management, and engineering support. Other dental instruments careers include dental hygienist, dental technician, and dental x-ray technician.
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How many jobs are available in medical/dental instruments?
Generally, jobs in medical/dental instruments involve working with dental tools in some capacity. For example, one may work on dental instrument sterilisation or maintain instruments used by dentists. Here are some of the jobs in the field and the positions available in the United States.
1. Dental assistant
A dental assistant supports dental operators or dentists in providing efficient dental care to patients. The individual is responsible for many tasks, including preparing and organising the necessary tools for the dentist. Also, the person must take x-rays, sterilise instruments, help the dentist during treatments, offer patient education, and update and maintain patient dental records.
The United States has over 350,000 jobs for dental assistants. On average, a dental assistant receives $45,164 as an annual salary. But to pursue this as a dental career, an individual must thoroughly understand dental procedures, instruments, and materials used by dentists for patient care.
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2. Dental equipment engineer
A dental equipment engineer is responsible for maintaining, repairing, and installing dental equipment. They also offer technical support to dental professionals, clinics, and offices. In addition, dental equipment engineers sometimes work in the medical device engineering field to produce pneumatic, mechanical, and electrical components, such as X-ray Imaging and sterilisation equipment.
The United States has over 300,000 jobs in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing. A dental equipment engineer receives an annual salary of $63,794. However, one must have a strong understanding of electronics and mechanical systems and be able to troubleshoot and repair complex dental equipment.
3. Dental hygienist
A dental hygienist works with dentists to help patients maintain dental hygiene and oral health. The professionals also provide clinical services to patients, including cleaning teeth, providing educational and preventative services, and taking X-rays. Furthermore, a dental hygienist performs advanced procedures, including root planning, scaling, and administering local anaesthesia.
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In the USA, there are over 200,000 dental hygienist jobs. However, the industry only employs individuals who meet the educational requirements, have extensive knowledge of dental conditions and possess good communication and problem-solving skills. On average, a dental hygienist receives an annual salary of $79,806.
4. Dental technician
Dental technicians work in a laboratory environment to construct, fit and repair dental devices and appliances. The professional works closely with dentists to create crowns, dentures, bridges, dental braces, and dental prosthetics. Once they build prosthetics like crowns, they finish, smooth, and polish the pieces to ensure they fit the patients well.
To work as a dental technician, an individual must comprehensively understand dental autonomy, techniques, and materials used in dentistry. Over 70,000 jobs are available in the USA for dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians and medical appliance technicians. Once hired, a dental technician receives an annual salary of $58,002.
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5. Dental surgeon
A dental surgeon specialises in dentistry. They diagnose, prevent, manage, and treat diseases and disorders of the mouth’s teeth, gums, and other structures. In addition, dental surgeons undergo extensive training to perform complex procedures, such as extracting wisdom teeth and performing jaw joint replacement and corrective surgeries for dental malocclusions.
Dental surgeon positions in the USA are around 4,600. However, dental or oral surgeons are some of the best-paid medical professionals, with an average annual salary of $305,700.
An endodontist is a dentist with specialised training in treating and handling dental problems involving blood vessels and nerve tissues inside the mouth. The professional is also responsible for diagnosing and treating tooth pain, diseases, and infection and can perform root canal treatments.
Individuals who suffer from a cracked tooth or require procedures to prevent or treat tooth decay can get treatment from an endodontist. The average annual salary of an endodontist is $224,976. Endodontists command a massive salary because of the few positions available. For example, the USA only has about 4,700 jobs for endodontists.
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An orthodontist is a specialised dentist training in diagnosing, preventing and treating irregularities of the teeth and jaw. The professionals are experts in many dental fields, including dentistry, orthodontics, and orthopaedics. An orthodontist typically uses different treatment methods to correct jaw and teeth misalignments, such as braces, retainers, and headgear.
The employment estimate for orthodontists in the USA is about 5,000. Because of this small number, orthodontists command a substantial average salary of $148,847 annually.
8. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon specialises in the field of maxillofacial surgery. Maxillofacial surgery focuses on the reconstructive surgery of the face, head, neck, and trauma surgery. But an oral and maxillofacial surgeon deals with reconstructive surgery of the oral cavity.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will diagnose and treat congenital and acquired diseases and deformities of the mouth, teeth, and jaws. They will also treat injuries involving the mouth or perform cosmetic dental procedures. On average, oral and maxillofacial surgeons receive an annual salary of $344,960, and there are only 5,330 positions available in the USA.
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9. Oral pathologist
An oral pathologist diagnoses and treats all medical/dental disorders affecting the mouth. They can also treat all diseases in the teeth, gums, bones, joints, muscles, and glands around the mouth. For example, professionals can treat oral cancer, bumps, ulcers, tumours, abnormalities, and infections.
The average annual salary of an oral pathologist salary is $201,661. However, there are around 4,300 jobs for oral pathologists in the USA. One can become an oral pathologist if one understands and interprets oral pathology laboratory tests. Also, they must be excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to analyse medical records.
A periodontist treats periodontal diseases using periodontal surgery. However, their training also allows them to employ non-surgical treatments for conditions affecting the mouth. For example, they can treat gingivitis or perform procedures such as root planing, gum grafts, and implant placement.
The average salary of a periodontist in the USA is $250,025. However, less than 6,000 positions are available for periodontists.
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So, how many jobs are available in medical/dental instruments? The United States has over 750,000 medical and dental equipment jobs. An individual with the proper knowledge can work in the industry without a degree in medicine. For example, one can work as a sales and marketer for dentists.
Tuko.co.ke shared an article about the best-paying jobs in consumer services. Arguably, consumer service stands out as one of the largest job markets around the world. This is primarily because all companies and businesses have a department directly linked with consumers.
There are unlimited options to work in the consumer industry. The list is endless, from account managers, event planners, flight attendants, and financial advisors. In addition, apart from having lots of job opportunities, the rates as equally high.