STRIDE is a program of the Michigan Health Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building health professional capacity by offering innovative products and services across six domains of work


Find which dental profession could be right for you

Considering a Career in the Dental field and need more information? This section will help you learn more about the dentistry profession and the career options available. ADA offers information specifically for high school students to discover if dentistry is a good fit and how to demonstrate your interest in the profession. The MDA provides information on the types of dental careers and specialties to explore and how to choose a dental school that works best for you.

Dental Assistant

Average Salary: $33,000

Length of Education: 1 year

Degree type: Training

Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office, and laboratory duties. They sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment, prepare and lay out the instruments and materials required to treat each patient, and obtain and update patients' dental records.

Assistants make patients comfortable in the dental chair and prepare them for treatment.

During dental procedures, assistants work alongside the dentist to provide assistance. They hand instruments and materials to dentists and keep patients' mouths dry and clear by using suction hoses or other devices. They also instruct patients on postoperative and general oral healthcare.

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Dental Hygienist

Average Salary: $40,000
Length of Education: 2 years
Degree type: Associate's 

Dental hygienists work with dentists and provide routine teeth cleaning and other oral health care like checking gums and other tissues of the mouth for disease or injury.

Hygienists also educate patients on the importance good oral hygiene and ways to improve their overall oral health.

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Dental Technician

Average Salary: $35,000

Length of Education: 1 year

Degree type: Training

Dental laboratory technicians are responsible for creating dental implants based on molds, diagrams, and measurements made by dentists and dental hygienists.

Dental laboratory technicians use these measurements to create the dental appliances like crowns, bridges, and dentures, ensuring they match the mouth of the patient.

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Average Salary: $142,000
Length of Education: 8 years
Degree type: Professional

Prerequisite: Bachelor's

Dentists do more that keep teeth white! Good oral health is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


In addition to providing instruction on brushing, flossing, and avoiding sugary drinks, dentists fill cavities, remove teeth, straighten teeth, examine x-rays, and check tissues in the mouth for signs of cancer and other diseases. Dental care is essential to keep patients happy and healthy.

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