Dentists are in charge of patients’ dental health by monitoring, diagnosing and treating their teeth, gums and other parts of the mouth. In addition to removing tooth decay, repairing damaged teeth and filling cavities, dentists also provide advice and instruction on proper dental hygiene to ensure patients take good care of their teeth and gums.
On call for emergencies
Since many dentists own their own practices, they will come up with their own hours. For the most part, though, they work 40 hours during regular business hours. Of course, there are plenty of business operators who will keep their practices open on weekday evenings and weekends – some will even do emergency work during holidays.
A dentist will primarily work in a business setting. Because some dentists are instructors as well, they will spend a portion of their time in an education environment.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree
To become a dentist, you will need to have obtained a four-year bachelor’s degree in any science-related field, preferably anatomy, biology, chemistry or microbiology. After you have completed your undergraduate programme, you will have to earn a doctoral degree in dental medicine or dental surgery from a school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). It should be noted that prior to enrolling, you must submit your Dental Admission Test (DAT) scores with your enrollment application.
Upon graduation, all dentists need to apply for licensing, which will vary based on jurisdiction.
Dentists will typically begin their careers as interns and then associates before practising on their own. While it can be difficult to progress beyond a dentist and business owner, there is the opportunity to land a teaching position at a university or college. You might also be given the chance to serve on an industry body.