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Dentist

Dentists diagnose and treat problems with a patient’s teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.Dentists typically do the following:Remove decay from teeth and fill cavitiesRepair cracked or fractured teeth and remove teethStraighten teeth to correct bite issuesPlace sealants or whitening agents on teethAdminister anesthetics to keep patients from feeling pain during proceduresWrite prescriptions for antibiotics or other medicationsExamine x rays of teeth, gums, the jaw, and nearby areas for problemsMake models and measurements for dental appliances, such as dentures, to fit patientsTeach patients about diet, flossing, use of fluoride, and other aspects of dental careDentists use a variety of equipment, including x-ray machines, drills, mouth mirrors, probes, forceps, brushes, and scalpels. They also use lasers, digital scanners, and other computer technologies.Dentists in private practice also oversee a variety of administrative tasks, including bookkeeping and buying equipment and supplies. They employ and supervise dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental laboratory technicians, and receptionists.Most dentists are general practitioners and handle a variety of dental needs. Other dentists practice in one of nine specialty areas:Dental public health specialists promote good dental health and the prevention of dental diseases in specific communities.Endodontists perform root-canal therapy, by which they remove the nerves and blood supply from injured or infected teeth.Oral and maxillofacial radiologists diagnose diseases in the head and neck through the use of imaging technologies.Oral and maxillofacial surgeons operate on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck, and head, including procedures such as surgically repairing a cleft lip and palate or removing impacted teeth.Oral pathologists diagnose conditions in the mouth, such as bumps or ulcers, and oral diseases, such as cancer.Orthodontists straighten teeth by applying pressure to the teeth with braces or other appliances.Pediatric dentists focus on dentistry for children and special-needs patients.Periodontists treat the gums and bone supporting the teeth.Prosthodontists replace missing teeth with permanent fixtures, such as crowns and bridges, or with removable fixtures such as dentures.
Personality & Interest

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Dentists typically have an interest in the Doer, Thinker and Helper interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Doer interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things. The Thinker interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Helper interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counselling, or teaching other people.If you are not sure whether you have a Doer or Thinker or Helper interest which might fit with a career as a dentist, you can take a career test to measure your interests.Dentists should also possess the following specific qualities:Communication skills. Dentists must have excellent communication skills. They must be able to communicate effectively with patients, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and receptionists.Detail oriented. Dentists must be detail oriented so patients receive appropriate treatments and medications. They must also pay attention to space, shape, and color of teeth. For example, they may need to closely match a false tooth with a patient’s other teeth.Dexterity. Dentists must be good at working with their hands. They work with tools in a limited area.Leadership skills. Most dentists work in their own practice. This requires them to manage and lead a staff.Organizational skills. Strong organizational skills, including keeping accurate records of patient care, are critical in both medical and business settings.Patience. Dentists may work for long periods of time with patients who need special attention. Children and patients with a fear of dental work may require a lot of patience.Physical stamina. Dentists should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as bending over patients for long periods.Problem-solving skills. Dentists need strong problem-solving skills. They must evaluate patients’ symptoms and choose the appropriate treatments.
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