Dentists diagnose and treat conditions of the teeth and mouth. They fill dental cavities and remove decayed teeth when necessary. If a tooth must be extracted they make molds that can be used to fit patients with crowns or dentures. However they administer preventive care so that people do not develop serious problems in the future. During the course of their work dentists use equipment such as X-ray machines and drills as well as instruments such as mirrors probes and brushes so it is important that they have manual dexterity.

When necessary they administer anesthetics and write prescriptions for antibiotics. While they are working dentists wear masks gloves and safety glasses in order to protect themselves and their patients from diseases. The website states that the majority of dentists have a general practice but some dentists specialize in gums root canals or orthodontic treatment. In addition some dentists limit their practice to the treatment of children. Most work in private offices but some work in clinics.

According to the website dentists must complete at least eight years of education beyond high school. First they earn a four-year bachelor's degree with a heavy emphasis on biology and chemistry. Then they enter dental school which is typically in a four year program leading to a Doctor of Dentistry degree. In all 50 states in the U.S. dentists must be licensed. The requirements for a license are graduation from a dental school that is accredited by the American Dental Association and passing written and practical examinations. Earn a degree in dentistry.

Approximately 75 percent of all dentists are solo practitioners. Dentists' annual income depends on location number hours per week of work and years of experience but the median is approximately $144000. Those in private practice tend to earn more than those who work in clinics.

Education Required: Doctoral Degree
Avg Salary: $144000
High Salary: $164000
Low Salary: $124000
Tasks: Fills cavities.
Extracts teeth.
Provides oral health services.
Administers preventative care for teeth.
Also Called: Orthodontist
Oral Surgeon
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