A career in oral health?
Whether you’re a family practitioner or dentist, there are lots of options available to help you succeed in the field.
There’s no shortage of information online, so here’s our pick of the best jobs for oral health.
If you want to learn more, read our guide to the job market for oral care.
‘Healthier’ is not the same as ‘good’ Read more QLD Oral Health career guide A family practitioner can provide oral health services to people with a range of conditions including diabetes, heart disease, depression, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
This is often a key part of a doctor’s practice, and the health of a patient is important to them too.
“Healthier” is not a pejorative term but the term has come to refer to a career that’s more about helping people in the community.
It’s a career with a strong focus on improving health, and it’s one that you can find in a wide range of professions.
“The main reason that we’ve done this is that it’s an area where we know people have really, really high expectations,” says Deborah McNeil, clinical director of the Australian Institute of Family Physicians (AIFP).
“The reality is that people are struggling, they’re depressed and they want their health to improve.
That’s why it’s so important that we have an oral health profession that’s doing what’s best for them.”
AIFP is currently seeking an oral healthcare practitioner to work in Brisbane and Gold Coast, and a position is available in the Gold Coast region.
The AIFp is looking for a person who “can provide oral care services for patients with the following conditions: depression, heart conditions, asthma, COPD, diabetes, obesity, anxiety and depression”.
“If you’re interested in this role, we’d love to hear from you,” says McNeil.
“If not, we also offer a range on the ABC News Breakfast show.
If that’s not a suitable fit, we can offer other roles on a case-by-case basis.”
A health career in the workplace is also on the list, with the role of dental health care worker being the most popular.
“It’s a very well-recognised profession in Australia,” says Ms McNeil of the role.
“There are a lot of people in this field who are very qualified.
It also is a very young profession, so we’re looking for people that have some experience.”
Some of the occupations on the Australian dental careers website include dental hygienist, dental technician, dental hydrator, dental assistant, dental therapist and dental nurse.
“Dental health care is a key area in the Australian community, particularly for children and young people,” says Dr John White, director of dental education and training at the AIFPS.
“You need a knowledge base in dental hygiene, oral hygiene, hygiene of mouth and throat, and that’s really important to a dentist.”
There are also careers in dental care that focus on community service, including nurse, dental nurse, and dental care support worker.
“A nurse is an important part of the community, so it’s important for people to be aware that they’re part of an important profession that is very important to their community,” says White.
“They also need to have the skills to be an effective nurse and an effective dental hyger.”
While the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says there were 2.2 million more people employed in the oral health sector in the financial year to December 2018 than in the year before, and 2.3 million more workers than there were the year prior, there were also a significant number of dentists and dental assistants.
“In terms of the dental health sector, the population is ageing,” says Malcolm Roberts, chief executive officer of the AASF.
“We have more dental assistants and dental hygeas than there are dental assistants in Australia.”
There’s a growing body of research and clinical evidence showing that dentists are among the best-qualified people in their profession, he says.
“As we get older, the quality of our health care continues to improve, and we’re not at the stage where we’re at now, so the profession is really key to the health and wellbeing of the population.”
“It will be a great year for dental health and oral health,” says Roberts.
“I’m looking forward to it.”