The Ins and Outs of Dental Careers: Your Complete Guide

Are you looking for a dental career that will allow you to help others maintain their oral health? If so, you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss the many different dental careers that are available and provide an overview of what each position entails. We will also highlight the educational requirements for these jobs so that you can get a better understanding of what is involved in pursuing a career in dentistry.

Dental Jobs are available in El Paso, TX!

Dental Careers in El Paso

If you want a job that involves helping people and providing dental care, there are many options available to you. The eight most popular jobs in the dental field are listed below, from lowest to highest earning potential:

Medical biller

The primary duties of a medical biller include updating patient information, preparing invoices, submitting bills to insurance companies, collecting payments, investigating claims that insurance companies deny, and applying insurance payments to patient accounts. Medical billers make sure they bill all treatments and procedures accurately and quickly.

The amount of formal education required to be a medical biller often varies. Many dental offices require their medical billers to have at least a high school diploma, while some may also require a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, or health care administration. In most cases though, experience with medical billing is generally acceptable in place of formal education.

Medical receptionist

The main responsibilities of a medical office receptionist usually involve handling more rudimentary clerical work in a dental setting. This can include tasks such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, greeting and checking patients in when they come into the office, as well as helping, and maintaining appearances throughout the building – with extra focus on locations like the front desk area. Furthermore, most medical receptionists are also responsible for keeping sensitive patient information private and confidential to adhere to both local and national laws.

A medical receptionist typically needs a high school diploma or GED. However, having knowledge of medical procedures and terminology can give you an edge over other candidates.

Dental assistant

Dental assistants typically work in collaboration with dentists. Their responsibilities include patient care and supporting the dentist during procedures, treatments, and exams. Dental assistants cannot perform the same tasks as licensed dental hygienists.

Dental assistants have a variety of responsibilities, such as making sure the treatment room is ready with tools and equipment, preparing patients for treatments by seating and draping them, answering patient questions, sterilizing tools, maintaining patient records, providing patient education on oral care habits, ensuring a clean and safe working environment, stocking inventory, and ordering supplies as needed.

The education requirements for this position include completion of a dental assisting program through a community college, vocational school, university, dental school, or technical institute. Most programs take nine to 11 months to complete; however, some schools offer accelerated options for those who want to finish sooner.

Dental hygienist

Dental hygienists’ primary duty is to provide preventive dental care to patients, including performing exams and cleaning teeth. They also educate patients on good oral hygiene practices. Other duties include polishing and removing plaque from teeth, reviewing patient records, and using X-ray equipment to take images of the teeth and roots.

A dental hygienist’s responsibilities include removing stitches, administering anesthesia during minor dental procedures, working with metal components, and sculpting filling materials to fill cavities in the teeth. In some states, a dental hygienist may also be able to perform additional duties. Dental hygienists work under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

To work as a dental hygienist, you must first obtain a high school diploma. You then need to complete an accredited university or college’s dental hygiene degree program. The type of degree required—associate or bachelor’s—usually differs depending on the state where the hygienist works.


Eligible dentists will be responsible for: Examinations, X-rays and other images analysis, diagnosis of issues, creation of treatment plans, filling cavities, tooth removal placing implants and crowns. Other treatments and procedures may also be included on an as-needed basis.

To become a dentist, one must first earn a bachelor’s degree and graduate from an accredited dental school. Dental school is four years long if completed full-time. After graduating from dental school, the final step to becoming licensed– which is required in all states of the USA–  is passing both a clinical and written exam.


Diagnosing and treating the gums and bones that support the jaw are the primary duties of a periodontist. This includes placing implants, providing preventative care, developing patient treatment plans, performing tissue reductions or grafts, and offering surgical or non-surgical options to treat gum issues.

In order to become a periodontist, one must complete a bachelor’s degree and attend an accredited dental school. After graduating from dental school, a future periodontist must also finish a residency program concentrating on gum problems and diseases. Plus, all states necessitate that periodontists hold current licensure; this process involves passing both clinical and written exams.


The responsibilities of an orthodontist include examining and treating irregularities in the mouth and teeth alignment, primarily through braces or retainers. They also read X-ray images, create treatment plans, review patients’ medical and dental history, fit appliances such as braces or retainers, and document changes throughout treatment.

An orthodontist needs the following educational requirements: a bachelor’s degree, an accredited dental school education, and a certification in orthodontics (totaling three years of additional schooling). An orthodontist must also have an up-to-date license to practice in their state.

Are you a dental professional looking for a career in El Paso, TX?

Give us a call today! We would love to help you find your dental career path. If you are interested in dental careers, please contact our office for more information. We would be happy to discuss the dental industry with you and help you find the dental career path that is right for you.