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Career Options

The ADA can help you navigate your dental career options. Take a look at these helpful resources:

Roadmap to Dental Practice

Roadmap to Dental Practice Cover






Determining how you want to practice dentistry is a different question than just determining what kind of dentistry you want to practice. Explore your options — from employee to owner — in Roadmap to Dental Practice: The Guide to the Rest of Your Career After Dental School and Licensure.

Finding an Associateship or Other Opportunity

Networking with other dentists is a great approach — attend a meeting of your Component (local) or Constituent (state) dental society. Many state and local societies also publish opportunities in their journals or web pages. Ask dental practice consultants, appraisers and brokers for suggestions of area dentists who may be seeking an associate—you can find directories of these professionals here.

Search career opportunities and set up job alert notifications on ADA CareerCenter, the official ADA job board for dentist and dental professional job opportunities. Also find new job opportunities in every issue of JADA.

Associateships Infopak

If you choose to enter into an associateship you aren't alone; as many as two out of three recent graduates seek associateships as employment after graduation. They have found that associateships can be an attractive career option, especially while coping with significant dental education debt.

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Postdoctoral Education

Advanced Dental Education Resources

Visit the Understanding Advanced Dental Education area to learn more about the many options for dentists who wish to continue their education.  When it's time to apply, be sure to use our Advanced Education Application Checklist and Advanced Education Application Finance Worksheet to stay organized.

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ADA Catalog

The ADA Catalog offers a number of practice management resources for new dentists, such as:

  • Associateships: A Guide for Owners and Prospective Associates (Item J045)
  • Practice Options for the New Dentist (Item J088)

Alternatives to a Traditional Dental Career

Many dentists consider career changes after they begin private practice for a variety of reasons including disability, stress and burn-out or dissatisfaction. Some dentists simply prefer to pursue non-clinical career opportunities.

Alternative Dental Careers

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