It’s certainly an exciting time to be a student in a dental assistant program. In addition to doing work that you know will lead you into a field directly relating to what you’ve studied, technological innovation seems to be creating new opportunities left and right.
The fact of the matter is that as the job opportunities for students studying the dentistry industry increase, so does the responsibility of those individuals to stay up to date. If you’re curious as to how growing technology will increase the dental sector over the next few years, these examples may serve as strong indications:
A change in practice structure
You may have noticed that drug stores have begun offering small clinics for basic services to capitalize on those without a general practitioner. Dentistry has begun to mimic this, according to Dentistry IQ, through the rise of the non-traditional clinic.1
Innovations in data usage
It seems that almost every professional field is currently undergoing some degree of renaissance and reinvention as big data comes to the forefront of our society. For example, the Washington Times recently reported on a toothbrush being designed by a company called Kolibree that has the power to change education about oral hygiene.
The toothbrush connects to a mobile device application using Bluetooth sensors and can offer individuals feedback on the preventative care they take for their teeth.2 Products like this, that hold the capacity to store data over time, could create a wealth of new information regarding the cost benefit analysis of various types of oral care.
Retirement opening doors for new professionals
As the baby boomer generation continues to move closer to retirement, the jobs that these individuals have long held will be back on the market. True NJ has reported that an estimated 64,000 dental hygienists will be needed by 2022, which provides valuable insight into exactly what kind of job prospects you could be looking at when you graduate.3
1) How e-Learning Can Affect the Future of the Dental Hygiene Profession, Part 1, Dentistry IQ, Nufar Kiryati, 12/2/14 http://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2014/12/how-e-learning-can-affect-the-future-of-the-dental-hygiene-profession-part-1.html
2) Gadget Geek Top Picks – Kolibree Toothbrush, Washington Times, Jason Hull, 12/21/14 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/21/christmas-last-minute-gadget-geek-top-picks-kolibr/
3) New Year, New Career; Four Growth Industries, True NJ, Staff Reporter, 12/22/14 http://www.nj.com/jobadvice/2014/12/new_year_new_career_four_growt.html