Dentists maintain their clients' teeth through such preventive and reparative practices as extracting, filling, cleaning, or replacing teeth. They perform corrective work, such as straightening teeth, and treat diseased tissue of the gums. They also perform surgical operations on the jaw or mouth, and make and fit false teeth. Approximately 98,900 general dentists, including 12,730 specialists, work in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Endodontists, Oral Pathologists, Oral Surgeons, Orthodontists, Pedodontists, Periodontists, Prosthodontists, Public Health Dentists
Duties Caring for patients; cleaning teeth; extracting bad teeth; filling cavities; and treating diseases of the mouth
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions
Minimum Education Level
  • Doctorate
  • Medical Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Health
Experience Internship; residency
Personality Traits
  • Helpful
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Business Management
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Dentist, Practice Owner
  • Dentist, Practice Partner
  • Dentist, Practice Intern

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