Dentist Job Description
A dentist is a medical doctor who is specially trained and licensed to provide oral health care. Dentists diagnose and treat diseases and other conditions affecting the teeth, gums and other tissues of the mouth. They also educate patients on the health of their mouth and teeth.
A dentist should be artistic, analytical, quick-witted, methodical, friendly and helpful, and have the ability to put people at ease and make them feel comfortable. They should have good eyesight, manual dexterity, arm-hand steadiness and mental stamina to perform intricate procedures with ease for long periods of time. They should also be very knowledgeable about oral diseases, their diagnoses and treatments.
Pursue a career in dentistry if you have aptitude for science and interest in medicine and oral health. You should have manual dexterity, patience, and interest in the welfare of others.
What does a Dentist do?
Dentists may do some or all of the following:
- carry out dental checkup to diagnose dental diseases and other conditions affecting oral heath
- study dental x-rays of patients to determine whether cavities are present in their teeth and gums
- diagnose and treat dental conditions, performing oral surgery where necessary
- administer anesthesia
- remove the decayed or weakened part of the tooth and apply filling ,materials to fill the cavities
- straighten , repair and replace teeth
- help in diagnosing medical conditions with oral manifestations such as diabetes
- refer patients to other dental specialist and doctors for treatments and care
- supervise dental assistants, hygienists and technicians
- carry out dental research
- educate patients on how to maintain good oral hygiene
- teach at medical colleges
Where does a Dentist work?
Dentists work in dental offices, clinics, hospitals and private practices. They usually work normal office hours, but those who work in private practices may work evening and weekends to meet their patients’ needs. They are required to put on protective clothing and gloves when working.
What is Required to Become a Dentist ?
To become a dentist, you need to have a degree in dentistry and complete an internship program. Dentists are required to be licensed to practice.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Dental anatomy
- Oral biology
- Dental occlusion
- Oral medicine and pharmacotherapeutics
- General pathology
- Oral pathology
- Oral surgery
A dentist may specialize to become any of the following:
- General dentist – a dentist who treats a broad range of primary dental health issues in patients of all ages
- Endodonticist – a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of dental pulp diseases
- Oral surgeon – a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment disorders of the mouth and jaws
- Public health dentist – a dentist who is concerned with the prevention and control of dental/oral diseases through organized public efforts
- Oral pathologist – a dentist who specializes in oral diseases
- Orthodontist – a dentist who corrects teeth irregularities
- Periodontist- a dentist who diagnoses and treats diseases of the gums and other periodontal tissues
- Pediatric dentist – a dentist who diagnoses and treats oral conditions affecting children teeth
- Prosthodontist – a dentist who is concerned with the replacement of teeth and parts of the jaw
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Dentists need to have:
- manual dexterity
- scientific aptitude
- accuracy and precision
- confidence and assertiveness
- good memory
- good eyesight and near vision
- good attention to detail
- good hand-eye coordination
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- analytical and problem-solving skills
- math and computer skills
- observational skills
- time management and organizational skills
- technical and surgical skills
- the ability to work well under pressure
- the ability to work well independently and in a team
- the ability to work in close proximity to patients
- the ability to maintain focus during delicate procedures
- the ability to inspire confidence in others in critical situations
- the ability to maintain patients confidentiality
- the ability to relate to a wide variety of people
- knowledge of general medicine
- knowledge of medical terminology
- knowledge of dental and surgical procedures
- knowledge of surgical and dental equipment and materials
- knowledge of the structure and functions of the teeth, jaw and mouth
- knowledge diseases and injuries of the mouth
Should I be a Dentist ?
Take our career test to find out if this career is ideal for you!
- Medical Doctor
- Dental Hygienist
If this is your profession and you would like to add to or amend any of the information on this page, then please get in touch with us at mail[at]careersome[dot]com