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Dentists

Dentists
Quick Facts : Dentists*
2010 Median Pay$146,920
Entry Level EducationDoctoral or professional degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012155,700
Job Outlook21% (Faster than average)
Employment Change32,200


Dentists diagnose and treat problems with a patient?s teeth, gums, and other parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health. Most dentists are general practitioners and handle a variety of dental needs but others dentists practice in a specialty areas.

What Dentists Do

  • Repair cracked or fractured teeth, remove teeth and decay from teeth and fill cavities
  • Give anesthetics to keep patients from feeling pain during procedures
  • Examine x rays of teeth, gums, the jaw, and nearby areas for problems
  • Make models and measurements for dental appliances, such as dentures, to fit patients
  • Teach patients about diet, flossing, use of fluoride, and other aspects of dental care

Work Environment

Some dentists own their own businesses and work alone or with a small staff. Other dentists have partners in their practices, and a few work for other dentists as associate dentists.
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Job Outlook

Employment of dentists is expected to grow by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, as dentists will continue to see an increase in public demand for their services as studies continue to link oral health to overall health.
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Pay

The average salary of dentists was $146,920 in May 2010.
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Dentists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Dentists

146920

Healthcare Occupations

58203.2

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Dentists*
Percent Change in Employment

Dentists

20.6808

Healthcare Occupations

25.417691284418105

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Dentists

Most dental students need at least a bachelor's degree before entering dental school; requirements vary by school. All dental schools require applicants to have completed certain required science courses, such as biology and chemistry. Majoring in a science, such as biology, might increase the chances of being accepted, but no specific major is required to enter most dental programs.
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