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Career and Education Opportunities for Dentists in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dentists. There are currently 3,080 jobs for dentists in Washington and this is projected to grow by 20% to about 3,690 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for dentists, which sees this job pool growing by about 15.3% over the next eight years. In general, dentists diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums and related oral structures.

Dentists earn about over $80 per hour or over $166,400 per year on average in Washington and about $68 hourly or $142,870 annually on average nationally. Incomes for dentists are better than in the overall category of Dental in Washington, and better than the overall Dental category nationally. People working as dentists can fill a number of jobs, such as: periodontist, dental surgery doctor , and endodontist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a dentist, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. The most common level of education 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.


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 Seattle include:

  • 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.
  • 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.


University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has 3 areas of study related to Dentist. They are:

  • Dentistry, professional degree which graduated 52 students in 2008.
  • Oral Biology and Oral Pathology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Pediatric Dentistry/Pedodontics, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.


Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.