The worst has happened: You’ve lost your dental license. Now what? At first, it might feel like your career is over. But you haven’t lost all that hard-work and schooling—not by a long shot. While you might have to give up your dentistry practice, you can still work in the dental field or pursue jobs that would make use of your medical knowledge and experience. Here are some alternatives.
Many dental schools have a shortage of qualified faculty, which makes teaching an ideal alternative to practicing. A dental professor can also conduct research and publish articles in dental journals.
Government agencies and advocacy organization need qualified, experienced dentists on staff to help shape public policy. While these positions often require a doctorate in public health or similar field, they are ideal jobs for those interested in politics or the regulatory side of dentistry.
If you started your own practice, then you might know about “practice management advisors”– those who help start dentists start a practice. However, to become a practice management advisor, you need a certification from the American Association of Dental Consultants.
Dental equipment manufacturers hire consultants with clinical experience to help produce, test and market their products. Often research-oriented, these consulting jobs would allow you to stay close to the field, while working on the cutting edge of dental technology.
Insurance companies need qualified dentists to verify and help settle insurance claims. If that doesn’t sound very appealing, their work isn't always limited to paper review of cases: Insurance companies also conduct their own medical research. The one drawback those, is that many of these positions are part-time, and you would be working mostly as a consultant.
In addition to the American Dental Association, every state has its own dental association, as do many localities. There are also specialty associations, such as the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the American Academy of Periodontology.
By no means does this list exhaust the available alternatives. But, as you can see, your career is far from over. And who knows? You might enjoy your new career path even more than your old one.