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- Accepts responsibility for the evaluation, examination, diagnosis, treatment, management, and overall condition of services to meet a patient’s oral health needs.
- Works with other members of the health care team to provide efficient, cost-effective care to patients.
- Usually functions in private practice settings, but may also work in public health facilities, hospitals, the military, or other settings. Patients typically seek dentists out or are referred to them by relatives, friends, other patients, or health care professionals.
Who is a Dentist?
What does a Dentist do?
In accordance with his or her education, training, and experience, a Dentist evaluates, diagnoses, prevents, and treats diseases, disorders, and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area, and adjacent and associated structures.
What education, training, and experience must one have to function as a Dentist?
In order to practice as a Dentist, an individual must meet three main requirements:
- graduation from an American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation-accredited pre-doctoral dental education program, which grants a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree upon completion of the program. A Dentist must complete three to four years of undergraduate study prior to attending the four-year dental education program.
- successful completion of the National Board of Dental Examinations Parts I and II administered by the American Dental Association Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations
- successful completion of a clinical licensing examination administered by a state or regional testing agency that meets the requirement of the state board of dentistry where the Dentist wishes to practice
How and by whom is a Dentist supervised?
What are the typical day-to-day activities of a Dentist?
On a typical day, Dentists may provide routine or emergency surgical or non-surgical dental care. For example, a Dentist may place amalgam or composite fillings, prepare teeth for crowns and bridges, provide root canal treatments, treat infection in the tooth or its supporting structures, or provide routine examinations.
Must a Dentist be licensed or certified to function in his or her role as part of the health care team?
Dentists must obtain a state license in order to practice and provide patient care. Most states require Dentists to obtain a minimum number of continuing education credits to renew their licenses in accordance with the state’s renewal cycle (every two to five years, depending on the state).
What types of patients would benefit from the care of a Dentist?
How and when does a Dentist become involved in the care of a particular patient?
Professional organizations for Dentists:
Lois Haglund, American Dental Association