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Life As a Dentist

Career 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.

List of Dentist Job Duties

  • Bleach, clean, or polish teeth to restore natural color.
  • Manage business aspects such as employing or supervising staff or handling paperwork or insurance claims.
  • Produce or evaluate dental health educational materials.
  • Fill pulp chamber and canal with endodontic materials.
  • Analyze or evaluate dental needs to determine changes or trends in patterns of dental disease.
  • Write prescriptions for antibiotics or other medications.

Skills Needed to be a Dentist

Below is a list of the skills most Dentists say are important on the job.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Types of Dentist Jobs

  • Associate Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Dental Intern
  • Dentist/Owner
  • Dentist

Dentist Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 132,800 jobs for Dentist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 25,700 new jobs for Dentist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 6,400 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Dentist are Arizona, Maryland, and Tennessee. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Rhode Island, or Mississippi. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Dentist

The salary for Dentists ranges between about $72,810 and $208,000 a year.

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Dentists who work in Alaska, Delaware, or Minnesota, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Dentists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $171,900
Alaska $259,350
Arizona $186,870
Arkansas $165,480
California $151,490
Colorado $174,930
Connecticut $213,390
Delaware $264,440
District of Columbia $183,630
Florida $167,270
Georgia $176,600
Hawaii $196,690
Idaho $172,020
Illinois $171,590
Indiana $183,800
Iowa $187,570
Kansas $179,100
Kentucky $154,230
Louisiana $124,020
Maine $203,920
Maryland $151,950
Massachusetts $177,410
Michigan $197,490
Minnesota $227,280
Mississippi $153,810
Missouri $191,240
Montana $170,260
Nebraska $135,080
Nevada $210,710
New Hampshire $226,300
New Jersey $169,990
New Mexico $173,610
New York $164,520
North Carolina $212,160
North Dakota $212,380
Ohio $197,150
Oklahoma $156,060
Oregon $190,690
Pennsylvania $153,950
Rhode Island $254,190
South Carolina $172,780
South Dakota $198,170
Tennessee $186,670
Texas $185,680
Utah $138,970
Virginia $199,870
Washington $184,780
West Virginia $139,170
Wisconsin $213,210
Wyoming $125,120

What Tools do Dentists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Dentists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Accounting software
  • Practice management software PMS
  • Henry Schein Dentrix
  • Patterson Dental Supply Patterson EagleSoft
  • Kodak Dental Systems Kodak SOFTDENT Practice management software PMS
  • Henry Schein DentalVision Professional
  • Dental imaging software
  • Dental digital radiology software
  • Henry Schein Easy Dental
  • Kodak Dental Systems Kodak PRACTICEWORKS Practice management software PMS
  • Dental clinical records software
  • Dental charting software
  • DSN Software Oral Surgery-Exec
  • Voice-activated perio charting software
  • Dental intra-oral imaging software

How do I Become a Dentist?

Education needed to be a Dentist:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Dentists Sector

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The table below shows the approximate number of Dentists employed by various industries.

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References:

Image Credit: Michal Jarmoluk via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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