General Dentists

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Also known as:
Family Dentist

ABOUT GENERAL DENTIST CAREERS
Video transcript

Open wide. Dentists diagnose and treat problems that occur in teeth and the tissues of the mouth. They fill cavities, repair broken teeth, perform extractions and clean teeth. They make molds for dentures to replace missing teeth and advise patients concerning good dental hygiene.

Dentists use drills, x-ray machines, forceps, mirrors and brushes to do their jobs. They wear masks, gloves and safety glasses to protect themselves from infectious diseases.

While most dentists are in general practice, some specialize in dental surgery, straightening teeth, or treating gum and bone diseases of the mouth. Ninety percent of all dentists setup their own practices. Some dentists work in group practices, others work for older, established dentists -the rest work in hospitals, clinics and research facilities.

Weekend and evening hours are often necessary to accommodate patients' schedules. Dentists with growing or established practices con have a very high income potential. If you're thinking about becoming a dentist, you must take two to four years of college level pre-dental education, followed by four years at an accredited dental school. Upon graduation, you must pass a written board examination and obtain a license.

It's a long road to becoming a dentist, but running your own business and helping people to care for their teeth makes dentistry a very rewarding profession.

SNAPSHOT
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Plan, organize, or maintain dental health programs.

Produce or evaluate dental health educational materials.

Bleach, clean, or polish teeth to restore natural color.

Remove diseased tissue, using surgical instruments.

Apply fluoride or sealants to teeth.

Eliminate irritating margins of fillings and correct occlusions, using dental instruments.

Perform oral or periodontal surgery on the jaw or mouth.

Analyze or evaluate dental needs to determine changes or trends in patterns of dental disease.

Design, make, or fit prosthodontic appliances, such as space maintainers, bridges, or dentures, or write fabrication instructions or prescriptions for denturists or dental technicians.

Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, or malformations of teeth, gums, or related oral structures and provide preventive or corrective services.

Formulate plan of treatment for patient's teeth and mouth tissue.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Personnel and Human Resources Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
TOP SKILLS
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
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.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.