Open wide! Dentists diagnose and treat problems that occur in teeth and the tissues of the mouth. Dentists use a variety of tools and equipment to fill cavities… repair broken teeth… and remove diseased teeth. To keep teeth healthy and strong, dentists remove plaque, and conduct check-ups after a hygienist cleans a patient’s teeth. They may also make models for dentures. Dentists advise patients on dental care, and encourage them to keep up with flossing and brushing. Dentists suit up in surgical masks, gloves, and safety glasses to protect themselves from infectious diseases. When they’re not working with patients, they supervise dental hygienists, assistants, and lab technicians, and manage business aspects of their practice. Many dentists set up their own private practices, or work in already-established practices. Others work in hospitals, clinics, and research facilities. Weekend and evening hours may be necessary to accommodate patients’ schedules. Physical stamina, good dexterity, and patience, are important qualities for dentists. Students considering a career in dentistry need to complete biology and chemistry courses in college, and take the Dental Admission Test. They must earn a doctoral degree from dental school, then obtain a dentistry license. It’s a long road to becoming a dentist, but helping people maintain oral health can make dentistry a very rewarding profession.
What they do:
Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.
On the job, you would:
Use masks, gloves, and safety glasses to protect patients and self from infectious diseases.
Examine teeth, gums, and related tissues, using dental instruments, x-rays, or other diagnostic equipment, to evaluate dental health, diagnose diseases or abnormalities, and plan appropriate treatments.
Administer anesthetics to limit the amount of pain experienced by patients during procedures.
medicine and dentistry
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
looking for ways to help people
understanding people's reactions
Hand and Finger Use
put together small parts with your fingers
keep your arm or hand steady
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Office suite software
doctoral degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.