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 109,560 dentists in all specialities work in the United States.

Quick Facts
Duties Caring for patients; cleaning teeth; extracting bad teeth; filling cavities; and treating diseases of the mouth
Alternate Title(s) Endodontists, Oral Pathologists, Oral Surgeons, Orthodontists, Pedodontists, Periodontists, Prosthodontists, Public Health Dentists
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Nationwide; highest paying areas in Manchester, New Hampshire; Tyler and Abilene, Texas; and Asheville and Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Education and Training
  • Doctorate
  • Medical Degree
Related School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Health
Experience Internship; residency
  • Business Management
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Helpful
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Dentist, Practice Owner
  • Dentist, Practice Partner
  • Dentist, Practice Intern

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