What Are the Different Types of Temporary Dental Employment?

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  • Written By: A. Garrett
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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Dentist, hygienist, and dental assistant are all forms of temporary dental employment. Temporary positions in dentistry represent limited-time employment where the employee leaves after a predetermined period of time. Individuals employed in these positions may work full-time or part-time and receive employment benefits similar to those offered to permanent employees. Most people accepting temporary dental employment are seeking career experience through an internship or cannot find full-time employment opportunities. These types of temporary dental employment can be found through employment agencies, university career services, and dental offices.

The duties of a temporary dentist vary based on the nature of the dental practice. General practitioners screen for problems related to the teeth, tongue, or gums. They also provide information related to brushing, flossing, and diet. Orthodontists straighten crooked teeth. Oral surgeons replace missing teeth, correct issues related to a patient’s gum or jaw line, and repair chipped teeth.

Individuals seeking temporary dental employment as a dentist are usually recent graduates of a dental school. They use the work experience to hone the skills they learned in dental school. Dentists seeking to establish their own private practices may use temporary dental employment as a means to build their reputation and develop a client base. In order to work as a dentist, applicants must have graduated from an accredited school and be licensed to practice by the governing body of the field.


Hygienists perform basic teeth cleaning and routine examinations of a patient’s teeth and gums. They also take x-rays for the dental office’s records. Depending on the region, hygienists can also prep patients for surgery. In order to gain temporary dental employment as a hygienist, applicants must have graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program. Hygienists must also be certified to work in the state or region where they are seeking employment.

Dental assistants help dentists during examinations. Assistants prepare and sterilize tools and equipment. They also prepare patients by informing them about what their particular treatment entails and, if necessary, providing postoperative instructions.

The requirements for temporary dental employment as a dental assistant are not as stringent as those established for dentists and hygienists. Consequently, the duties a dental assistant are allowed to perform may be limited by the region or country they work in because there are no formal training requirements. Individuals seeking temporary dental employment in this field can improve their chances of being hired if they have certification from a dental-assisting training program, however.


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