What Is Oral Health Promotion?
Do you take pride in the health and appearance of your teeth? You could pursue a career in helping other people do the same. Oral health promotion is all about preventing oral diseases and supporting dentists.
An oral health specialist plays a crucial role in helping patients eat and speak without any discomfort or pain. They do so by providing patients with the knowledge and tools to prevent oral health diseases before they occur – and by treating/managing diseases that are already present.
What kind of jobs are available in oral health promotion?
You might immediately think of a dental assistant. This is indeed a common and rewarding career path for those interested in oral health promotion. However, getting qualified in this field can also prepare you to work as:
- A treatment coordinator (discussing and arranging options with patients)
- A dental receptionist (booking appointments, liaising with patients, and admin duties)
- An oral health advisor (educating individuals and/or community groups about oral health)
- A dental sterilisation nurse (maintaining equipment and reprocessing instruments).
If you choose to work as a dental assistant, you’ll be responsible for keeping patients comfortable and informed while helping dentists perform various procedures. Other common duties for a dental assistant include:
- Preparing the chair/treatment area between appointments
- Preparing and reprocessing dental equipment/instruments
- Ordering and managing the practice’s stock of dental supplies
- Developing X-rays
- Recording information and taking dictation from the dentist
How do I get a job in oral health promotion?
You don’t technically need a formal qualification to get an entry-level position as a dental assistant. However, completing an oral health course can help improve your chances of finding a satisfying and well-paid job in this field.
What skills do I need to work in oral health promotion?
Working as a dental assistant can make for a fascinating and rewarding career, as you’ll provide vital support to dentists while bringing a smile to people’s faces – often literally.
However, this field isn’t suitable for everyone. Before committing to this career path, consider if you possess these essential attributes:
- Strong communication skills
- Great team player
- Ability to multi-task
- Solid organisational skills
- Natural charisma for building rapport with co-workers and patients.
Why work in oral health promotion?
Many dental practices provide a wonderful working environment where you get to team up with other hard-working people – including dentists and dental hygienists who you’ll be able to learn a lot from. Medical clinics are also dynamic workplaces where every day brings fresh faces and new challenges.
In addition to being an emotionally rewarding job, dental assistants also enjoy reasonable job security, good earning potential (average salary of $47,250 according to PayScale), and opportunities for growth (e.g. progressing towards a dental hygienist or dental office manager role).
Ready to embark on your oral health promotion career? Enrol in one of our dental courses today.