What Does it Take to Be a Dentist?
Job 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.
What Do Dentists Do On a Daily Basis?
- Treat exposure of pulp by pulp capping, removal of pulp from pulp chamber, or root canal, using dental instruments.
- Fill pulp chamber and canal with endodontic materials.
- Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, or malformations of teeth, gums, or related oral structures and provide preventive or corrective services.
- Use masks, gloves, and safety glasses to protect patients and self from infectious diseases.
- Write prescriptions for antibiotics or other medications.
- Perform oral or periodontal surgery on the jaw or mouth.
These are the skills Dentists say are the most useful in their careers:
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.
Related Job Titles
- Family Dentist
- Associate Dentist
- Dental Intern
- Pediatric Dentist
Job Demand for Dentists
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. The BLS estimates 6,400 yearly job openings in this field.
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.
Dentists make between $72,810 and $208,000 a year.
Dentists who work in Alaska, Delaware, or Minnesota, make the highest salaries.
How much do Dentists make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$183,630|
What Tools do Dentists Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Dentists:
- 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 to Become a Dentist
Individuals working as a Dentist have obtained the following education levels:
What work experience do I need to become a Dentist?
Below are examples of industries where Dentists work:
More about our data sources and methodologies.