The dental profession offers a variety of career options. The dentist may choose general dentistry or one of the five recognized dental specialties. He or she may establish his or her own private practice or work as an employed dentist for another dentist, join the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine, Sri Lanka as a government dental surgeon or a public or private agency or institution. The dentist may choose solo or group practice or work with other health professionals in the provision of total health care. Career opportunities are also available in the armed forces. Some dentists serve as administrators or public health practitioners. Dental research or education offers further career opportunities to dentists. Some of these career possibilities are described below.
Most dentists engage in general practice, bringing their skills in oral diagnosis, prevention and rehabilitation directly to the patient. The general practitioner is not only called upon to restore damaged or missing tooth structure but can also provide a positive program of preventative oral health care. Approximately 80 percent of the active dental population is currently engaged in general practice.
Dentists can work as general practitioners in the private and the state sector. They can open up their own private clinic or work at a private hospital as a dental surgeon or work under a senior private dental practitioner. They also can join the state sector as a government dental surgeon. Most of the graduates choose latter opportunity and work in government hospital throughout the country.
Becoming a recognized specialist usually requires from one to four years of additional training beyond the dental degree. The following outlines the dental specialties.
- Community Dental Health includes the control and prevention of dental disease and the promotion of oral health through organized community efforts. It is that form of dental practice which treats the community rather than the individual as a patient.
- Restorative Dentistry deals with the causes, diagnoses, prevention, and treatment of diseases of the pulp and other dental tissues which affect the vitality of the teeth.
- Oral Pathology is concerned with diseases which affect the oral mucous membranes as well as other tissues which surround the teeth.
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery includes a broad scope of diagnostic, operative, and related services dealing with diseases, injuries, and defects in the jaws and associated structures.
- Orthodontics is the science of tooth and oral structure development. The orthodontist treats problems related to irregular dental development, missing teeth, and other abnormalities in order to establish normal functioning and appearance.
Education and Research
After graduation one can join the academic staff of the Faculty of Dental Sciences as an academic and carry our teaching and research. An increasing number of dentists are pursuing careers in dental education and research. For job opportunities please visit
Postgraduate programs at the Faculty of Dental Sciences are open to graduates. For further information please visit our site at http://dental.pdn.ac.lk/post_pro.php.
Many dentists serve the dental health needs of the nation's military personnel and assist the government in the design, administration, and execution of dental public health and research programs. Currently there are many dentists in the commissioned dental corps of the Sri Lanka Army, Navy Air Force. Dentists are offered attractive incentives to become career officers in the uniformed services.
Other Possible Careers
Each year, the horizons of dentistry are expanded and new areas of dental service are created. In practice, industry, government, dental societies, national scientific organizations, and educational institutions there is a critical need for dental manpower.