Dentists diagnose and treat problems with
teeth andtissues in the mouth, along with giving advice and administering
care to help prevent future problems. They provide instruction on diet,
brushing, flossing, the use of fluorides, and other aspects of dental care.
They remove tooth decay, fill cavities, examine x rays, place protective
plastic sealants on children's teeth, straighten teeth, and repair
They also perform corrective surgery on gums and supporting
bones to treat gum diseases. Dentists extract teeth and make models and
measurements for dentures to replace missing teeth. They also administer
anesthetics and write prescriptions for antibiotics and other medications.
Dentists use a variety of equipment, including x-ray
machines, drills, mouth mirrors, probes, forceps, brushes, and scalpels.
Lasers, digital scanners, and other computer technologies also may be used.
Dentists wear masks, gloves, and safety glasses to protect themselves and
their patients from infectious diseases.
Dentists in private practice oversee a variety of administrative tasks,
including bookkeeping and the buying of equipment and supplies. They may
employ and supervise dental
laboratory technicians, and receptionists.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor