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Career and Education Opportunities for Dentists in Chicago, Illinois

If you want to be a dentist, the Chicago, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 7,660 working dentists in Illinois; this should grow by 12% to 8,610 working dentists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dentists are expected to grow by about 15.3%. Dentists generally diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures.

Income for dentists is about $70 per hour or $145,980 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $68 hourly or $142,870 yearly. Incomes for dentists are better than in the overall category of Dental in Illinois, and better than the overall Dental category nationally. People working as dentists can fill a number of jobs, such as: dental surgery doctor , endodontist, and pediatric dentist.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a dentist, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago 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 starting with a high school diploma.


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 Chicago 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.
  • Podiatrist. Diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.
  • 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.


University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607. University of Illinois at Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,709 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Chicago has 2 areas of study related to Dentist. They are:

  • Dentistry, professional degree which graduated 95 students in 2008.
  • Pediatric Dentistry/Pedodontics, professional certificate which graduated 6 students in 2008.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Dental Clinical Sciences.


Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.