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Career and Education Opportunities for Dentists in Los Angeles, California

Dentists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Los Angeles, California area. Currently, 15,300 people work as dentists in California. This is expected to grow by 14% to about 17,400 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for dentists, which sees this job pool growing by about 15.3% over the next eight years. Dentists generally diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures.

Dentists earn about $59 hourly or $124,030 per year on average in California and about $68 hourly or $142,870 per year on average nationally. Incomes for dentists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Dental in California, and better than the overall Dental category nationally. People working as dentists can fill a number of jobs, such as: family dentist, pediatric dentist, and dental officer.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can study to be a dentist, among 274 schools of higher education total in the Los Angeles area. Given that the most common education level for dentists is a Doctoral degree, you can expect to spend four or five years studying to be a dentist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years if you have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dentist

Dentist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, dentists diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures. They also may treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting vitality of teeth.

Dentists diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth, gums and related oral structures, and furnish preventive and corrective services. They also use masks, gloves and safety glasses to safeguard themselves and their patients from infectious diseases. Equally important, dentists have to examine teeth and related tissues, using dental instruments, x-rays, and other diagnostic apparatus, to review dental health, diagnose diseases or abnormalities, and plan appropriate treatments. They are often called upon to formulate plan of treatment for patient's teeth and mouth tissue. They are expected to use air turbine and hand instruments, dental appliances and surgical implements. Finally, dentists oversee business, employing and supervising staff and handling paperwork and insurance claims.

Every day, dentists are expected to be able to maintain precise control of objects and devices through a range of movements. They need to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for dentists to fill pulp chamber and canal with endodontic materials. They are often called upon to perform oral and periodontal surgery on the jaw or mouth. They also produce and evaluate dental health educational materials. They are sometimes expected to administer anesthetics to limit the amount of pain experienced by patients during procedures. Somewhat less frequently, dentists are also expected to advise and instruct patients regarding preventive dental care, the causes and treatment of dental problems, and oral health care services.

Dentists sometimes are asked to advise and instruct patients regarding preventive dental care, the causes and treatment of dental problems, and oral health care services. They also have to be able to oversee business, employing and supervising staff and handling paperwork and insurance claims and treat exposure of pulp by pulp capping, removal of pulp from pulp chamber, or root canal, using dental instruments. And finally, they sometimes have to analyze and evaluate dental needs to establish changes and trends in patterns of dental disease.

Like many other jobs, dentists must have exceptional integrity and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Chiropractor. Adjust spinal column and other articulations of the body to correct abnormalities of the human body believed to be caused by interference with the nervous system. Examine patient to determine nature and extent of disorder. Manipulate spine or other involved area. May utilize supplementary measures, such as exercise, rest, and nutritional therapy.
  • Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
  • Emergency Medical Technician. Assess injuries, administer emergency medical care, and extricate trapped individuals. Transport injured or sick persons to medical facilities.
  • Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
  • Optometrist. Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.
  • Orthodontist. Examine, diagnose, and treat dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies. Design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws to produce and maintain normal function and to improve appearance.
  • Physician Assistant. Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dentist Training

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has 4 areas of study related to Dentist. They are:

  • Dentistry, professional degree which graduated 259 students in 2008.
  • Advanced General Dentistry, professional certificate which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Oral Biology and Oral Pathology, professional certificate which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Pediatric Dentistry/Pedodontics, professional certificate which graduated 8 students in 2008.

University of California-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

University of California-Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405. University of California-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,782 students and an admission rate of 24%. University of California-Los Angeles has 2 areas of study related to Dentist. They are:

  • Dentistry, professional degree which graduated 101 students in 2008.
  • Dental Clinical Sciences, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated ten and four students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.