Careers

How to Find a Job as a Dentist

Careers

How to Find a Job as a Dentist

Female dentist showing young child patient how to brush teeth on a fake set of teeth

Starting a job search can feel daunting at first. You may feel overwhelmed with options, and yet it may seem like finding the perfect position will be impossible. Breaking down the process into bitesize steps is a great way to approach the task. Check out these great tips to help you find a job as a dentist in no time!

Before You Try to Find a Dental Job, Decide What You’re Looking For

The first step toward finding your ideal dental job is to know what you’re looking for. That means taking the time to consider your values as a doctor, and your goals in dentistry. Consider your immediate needs, but also keep an eye toward your career trajectory in the long term. 

Are you looking for your first job straight out of school, in hopes of making enough money to start paying off your student loans? Eager to find a work-family with plenty of support to offer as you transition into your new role? Are you looking for a business where you can eventually take on a leadership or ownership role? You don’t have to have all the answers right now but try to build some idea of where you hope this position will take you, or how it will help you along your career path.

Beyond your long-term plans, be sure you know what you need in a working environment to feel comfortable and work at your best. Especially in your first year out of dental school, mentorship may take on extra significance in your career path. Likewise, be sure you understand how to balance conflicting personal needs. While those student loan payments may be looming, you may need time to acclimate to your new position. That means you may need to balance your drive for productivity with your need for extra support.

Let the Hunt to Find a Job as a Dentist Begin!

Decide Where to Look

Like they say in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location! Start by narrowing down the areas you’d most like to live and work in. This may have a great deal to do with where your family lives, or where your spouse may also find opportunities. Consider your hobbies and lifestyle, and look for places well suited to the activities you value. Also, be sure to look for areas with patients who need you, and don’t discount rural and underserved areas! (And may we humbly suggest adding Texas to your list?)

Mom, dad, and child at the dentist in the waiting room.

Consider Different Practice Types

There are multiple dental practice models to choose from. Finding a great position means finding a practice where you will have plenty of opportunities but not feel overworked or burnt out. Private practices may promise a more personal experience and a slower pace to allow you to adapt. However, depending on the area and the size of the practice, it may prove difficult to keep your schedule full. On the other side of the spectrum, corporate practices may offer plenty of work and possibly promise high income, but frequently leave new dentists feeling overworked, underappreciated, and lacking needed support. 

For many dentists, small group practices and DSOs provide great balance. With plentiful patient rosters to fill appointments, a well-run DSO like Community Dental Partners can give you lots of opportunities to start your dental career off right. With our mentors and support team behind you every step of the way, your skills and confidence will grow.

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Search Job Postings Through Reputable Sources

Dental jobs do show up on job search sites like Indeed or LinkedIn, so it can’t hurt to peruse those options. Unlike in some other industries, finding a great job as a dentist can mean looking at forums specifically aimed at dental clinicians.

Wherever you decide to start your search, be sure the sources are reputable, and align with the practice type you’re looking for. Many jobs that show up on general job search sites may come from questionable sources, so do your research on the company before signing on for an interview.

On the other hand, there is plenty of support for dentists looking for jobs. The ADA website has a Marketplace for job postings, as do most state or local dental societies. Dental societies are a great place to search for jobs or reach out for shadowing or externship opportunities, so be sure to hit up your local chapter!

Getting to Know You: Find a Great Match for Your Dental Job

Once you find a few practices where you’d like to apply, it’s time to start preparing for interviews. Take the time to prepare yourself for a great interview. Review likely questions your interviewer may ask and prepare some answers. Choose a great outfit that you feel presents you professionally, but also shows a little of your personality, something that will help you feel really confident and approachable.

It can be hard not to feel intimidated in any job interview. Remember that your interviewer is just trying to get to know you. Take the opportunity to show your kindness, compassion, and approachability. Show them that you will be an asset to their team and don’t be afraid to highlight skills or qualities you feel set you apart from the crowd. In good practice for your interview, you would have checked out their website ahead of time and familiarized yourself with their mission and practice philosophy. Show them how your values align with theirs!

Also remember, dental interviews are not a one-way street. Just as much as the practice wants to get to know you, you’ll want to get to know them! Prepare a few questions ahead of time. Not only will this show serious interest in the job, but it will also help you ensure you find the best dental job for your needs.

Follow Up!

As with any job search, you’ll have more success finding a job as a dentist if you follow up. Send an email or text to thank the recruiter for their time and consideration. If you can, make reference to any points of connection or funny anecdotes you feel stood out during your conversation. This will help build a sense of familiarity and remind them who you were. There’s no need to go overboard by sending extravagant gifts to every interviewer. In fact, this can frequently be seen as a red flag for many recruiters. A heartfelt message is usually all it takes.

We wish you luck in finding a great job as a dentist. We also feel confident that Community Dental Partners can offer an amazing work experience and hope you’ll consider including us in your search! Schedule a call with a Recruiting Manager to learn more about beginning your career as a dentist with CDP!

Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown Executive Director of Human Resources Community Dental Partners

Having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration and management from West Texas A&M University, Jackie went on to study for an MBA at Texas Woman’s University. She joined the Community Dental Partners (CDP) team in 2019 as the director of dentist recruiting.

Today, as executive director of HR, Jackie is dedicated to providing leadership and clarity, building relationships, and removing roadblocks for supported doctors and staff as she helps them connect to a bigger purpose. For her, it’s about more than just the work — it’s about the people.

She’s hugely passionate about CDP’s culture and the Nine Pillars and loves bringing together people who are humble, compassionate, and honest and who are striving towards their goals. She recognizes the importance of focusing on the culture and engagement of staff and is proud to be part of an organization driven to provide superior performance.

Jackie is part of a Christian family; she’s been married for 28 years and has two children and a son-in-law. She’s a keen volunteer and dedicates her time to several local charities. She also loves to spend her time glamping with her family and sees this as an ideal opportunity to reconnect with both herself and her loved ones.

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