The contemporary DDS degree opens a variety of career paths. About 90 percent of dentists active today are engaged in private practice. Of those, 70 percent work in solo practices, and the remainder are members of practice groups-an arrangement that, like medical group practice, is becoming increasingly popular. Career opportunities also are available in the armed forces, public health, business, academe, and industry.
Most DDS graduates - approximately 90 percent of the graduating class - pursue postgraduate training. The remainder begin careers in academe or enter the service; an extremely small percentage go directly into practice.
Postgraduate Training Opportunities
Approximately 75 percent of graduating seniors pursue postgraduate training in general practice residency (GPR) programs, one-year hospital-based programs that provide additional clinical experience for dentists interested in general practice.
Another 10 to 15 percent of the graduating class seek admission to specialty programs each year. Specialty programs generally require an additional one to five years of training and lead to a certificate of proficiency that serves as the basis for limitation of practice and eligibility for the appropriate specialty board. Eight dental specialties are currently recognized by the American Dental Association:
- Dental Public Health-the control and prevention of dental disease and promotion of oral health through organized community efforts
- Endodontics-the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the dental pulp tissue affecting the vitality of teeth
- Oral Pathology-the study of the causes, processes, and effects of diseases of the oral cavity and associated structures
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery-the diagnosis of, and surgical and related services dealing with, diseases, injuries, and defects of the oral cavity and associated structures
- Orthodontics-the supervision, guidance, and correction of the growing and mature dentofacial structures
- Pediatric Dentistry-the diagnosis and treatment of the developing dentition of children, adolescents, and young adults
- Periodontics-the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect the soft tissues that support the teeth
- Prosthodontics-the science and art of restoring missing teeth and associated structures with fixed or removable substitutes
A library of advanced dental education programs approved by the American Dental Association is maintained for student use. Located in the dean’s office, it contains program announcements from institutions with approved programs, as well as statements from our graduates who have attended them.
The school helps students identify professional opportunities, select postgraduate
programs, and prepare their résumés to assure that they start their professional careers in the best possible way.