Dentists, General Career Video
Description: 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.
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.