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Alternative Career Options in Dentistry

There are many career paths that students may choose upon their graduation from the College of Dentistry. Students will enter residency programs or specialize in postgraduate studies. Other options include entering careers in academia and teaching, research, hospital dentistry, public health or the armed services.

Listed below are some of the many options you may consider upon graduating from the New York University College of Dentistry:

GENERAL PRACTICE RESIDENCY (GPR) - Many students will enter a GPR program. GPR programs are designed to provide you with further and more advanced clinical and didactic training in general dentistry, and are offered at hospitals and some dental schools. GPR programs usually are for one or two years.

ADVANCED EDUCATION IN GENERAL DENTISTRY (AEGD) - An AEGD program is similar to a GPR program, providing you with a planned, sequential program specifically designed to enhance your knowledge and skills.


The following nine dental specialties are also available for you to think about if you wish to specialize and get an advanced degree:

  1. Endodontics (
  2. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (
  3. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (
  4. Orthodontics (
  5. Pediatric Dentistry (
  6. Periodontics (
  7. Prosthodontics (
  8. Public Health (

These programs run in length from one to six years, and are highly competitive. For further information, please view the websites noted next to each specialty.


There are many options available to you once you get your D.D.S. degree. If you choose to go directly to work upon graduation, please note the following descriptions:

SOLO PRACTITIONERS - Solo practitioners graduate from dental school and open up their own private practice. Due to fiscal constraints, very few recent graduates are able to open up their own practice immediately following graduation.

PARTNERSHIPS - Partnerships are graduates who enter into a written contract and partner with an established practice.

ASSOCIATES - Associates are salaried employees of a dental practice, but do not participate in the practice's management. Becoming in associate is currently popular amongst recent graduates. Many established dental offices are looking for recent graduates to become associates. The advantage to starting out as an associate is that you will not be involved in taking a financial risk in the practice, and after a period of time, you will most often enter in to a partnership with another dentist or become a solo practitioner. At times, a proven associate will be offered to take over the practice of a dentist that is looking to retire or pass his practice, and his patients, on.


PUBLIC HEALTH - Many opportunities exist for dentists working for state and county dental programs. These programs provide work in clinics run by state and federal government, often located in populated areas, to provide dental services to low-income families.

HOSPITAL DENTISTRY - Dentists are needed in the hospital setting to provide care to patients who do not receive their care through traditional dental office visits, and often in an emergency situation.

ACADEMIA - As a graduate of NYUCD, you are aware that dental schools need dentists to both teach and serve dental students in an administrative capacity. Faculty positions often require dentists to have postgraduate degrees. Positions are available in the administrative area of dental schools as directors, deans and clinical management. Administrative positions in this area usually require an advanced degree in public administration, higher education or similar field.

THE MILITARY - The Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force) all employ dentists. For recently graduated students, this is often an option as the armed forces offer significant scholarships for students while enrolled in dental school.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT - U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE - Dentists may consider working in one of many agencies under the umbrella of the United States Public Health Service. These agencies include: Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes for Health.

RESEARCH - Dental research is becoming more prevalent and important at dental schools throughout the country. If you find yourself interested in a career in dental research, opportunities exist in academia, government agencies, and the private sector.

PRIVATE INDUSTRY - Most private industry positions involve laboratory research, and options exist in both professional and consumer market companies. Many private industry positions require an advanced business degree, such as an M.P.H. or M.B.A., and some research experience.

In summary, dentists are needed everywhere. Additional opportunities available to dentists include working for the National Health Service Corp. in under-represented areas of the country, working for non-profit missionary organizations assisting the needy throughout the world, or working as an independent dental contract for a dental practice.

Dentistry continues to be an ever-expanding career choice, with many options to pursue. The Office of Student Affairs suggests you explore your career options while enrolled at NYUCD - talk with administration, faculty and clinic directors for guidance and suggestions. Learn to network, and feel free to contact a member of the Office of Student Affairs for more information or assistance.

Finally, the following websites will provide you with more information: