Turn the clock back twenty years or so and the vast majority of dentists would have been male. However, times are changing in this traditionally male-dominated industry, with figures from the Australian Department of Health showing that in the 20-34 year age group, 55% of dental practitioners are now female.
Clearly, a role in dentistry is an attractive career option for women. To coincide with International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March, here are some of the reasons why a role in the dental industry could be an ideal fit for women seeking a rewarding and fulfilling career.
The ability to have flexible hours is a major advantage of working in dentistry. This flexibility is particularly appealing to working mothers looking to balance a career with childcare responsibilities.For many women, the family-friendly nature of working in a dental practice makes this a more appealing option than a typical 9-5 job.
What’s more, the potential high average salaries associated with dentistry can mean that even working part-time can still provide women with a reasonable income.
The field of dentistry offers a unique opportunity to combine scientific practices and artistic flair. With an increasing focus on the aesthetics of the teeth - such as in cosmetic dentistry procedures like dental implants and veneers - areas such as shaping and sculpting have become just as important as functional considerations.
A job that offers the chance to combine creativity with technical ability often appeals to females, particularly those who lean towards more artistic pursuits.
For women with a nurturing temperament who enjoy working closely with people, dentistry can be a great fit. Whether working as a dental surgeon, a hygienist, or a dental assistant, your role will require you to deal directly with patients, many of whom will be nervous or apprehensive about their upcoming procedure.
Being able to balance professionalism with a calming, caring attitude, is therefore a valuable skill for anyone considering a role in dentistry, and is often displayed more prominently in women.Similarly, having a good degree of patience and excellent communication skills are important qualities in dental work, which may represent a suitable fit for female dental practitioners.
With the average salary for a dentist in Australia sitting at close to $200k, the potential earning power of a role in the dental industry can make this a particularly attractive career choice for women.
What’s more, for those looking to take their dental careers to the next level, the opportunity to ‘be your own boss’ by running your own practice and growing the business can offer even greater prospects. Women who relish the challenge of balancing technical competencies with business management skills can truly excel in this area.
Searching for a new job can be a long and arduous process. It can take hours of trawling through employment websites and speaking to recruiters, some who over-promise and under deliver before you find that perfect role.
Whether you’re looking for work or already a busy dentist, volunteer dental work can be a positive thing to do. It needn’t be a big commitment, but giving some time to help others can help with networking, adding to your resume and giving you personal satisfaction.