By: Dylan Boettcher

A Career as a Dentist

Career  Goal- Dentist

Career Overview

Dentists examine a patients teeth and mouth to look fro problems to fix.

Most dentists are general practitioners. They handle many different dental problems. They fill cavities, pull teeth, and try to prevent dental disease. Dentists start by looking at the patients teeth. They examine x-rays for things that are wrong with the patient's teeth. They talk to their Dental Hygienists about how the cleaning of the patients teeth went and if they noticed anything. Dentists make plans for patients on how to improve dental health.

The common procedures for dentists are to apply sealants and repair fractured teeth. They make molds for pulled or removed teeth. Dentists apply crowns to strengthen teeth. Dentists sometime perform surgery on gums or bones that support the gums. Dentist sometimes give anesthetic to patients to keep pain away. Dentists use drills, mirrors, and scalpels during surgery.

Career Skills and Intrests

Dentists need to:
  • Communicate
    • Express ideas clearly when speaking or writing.
    • Listen to others, understand, and ask questions.
    • Read and understand work-related materials.
    Reason and Problem Solve
    • Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
    • Think of new ideas or original and creative ways to solve problems.
    Use Math and Science
    • Use math and science skills to solve problems.
    • Work with People
    • Look for ways to help people.

Career Working Conditions

A Dentists work setting:

Almost always work as part of a larger work group. Are substantially responsible for the health and safety of their patients. May sometimes be placed in conflict situations in which patients may rude or unpleasant to interact with. Work indoors. Wear gloves and protective glasses. Can be exposed to radiation because of X-rays. Errors may cause pain. They affect their patients in good and on occasion bad ways.Work with deadlines. Some dentists work up to 40 hrs. a week. Can work at anytime of week to meet patients needs..

Wages and Outlook

A dentist in Minnesota get paid on average:

$84.40 a hour

$175,550 a year

About 32% of dentists are self employed. There is a large out look for dentists. Almost 21% growing.

Career Related Occupations

The occupations listed below may have similar work duties, use similar skills, be in the same career ladder, have a similar level of education, or be related in another way.

Dental Hygenist


Dental assistants

CAreer Program of Study- Dentistry

Dental Overview

Dentistry programs prepare people to work as dentists. Students learn all aspects of dental medicine. They learn how to both prevent and treat oral disease and decay.

Dentists take care of your teeth, gums, tongue, lips, and jaw by diagnosing and treating oral problems related to them. They also teach you to take care of your teeth and gums.

As a student of dentistry, you attend dental school to learn how to maintain or restore a person's oral health. You study the anatomy and structure of the oral cavity, including the teeth and jaws. You learn how to do x-rays, fill cavities, and straighten teeth. You also learn how to fit dentures.

Dentistry continue to develop. Laser dentistry is one way it is evolving. Laser beams are used to help remove tooth decay and even treat some forms of gum disease.

There are about 50 dental schools in the United States. You can earn either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S) degree or a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) degree. Both degrees indicate the same amount of training, but different schools choose to give a different one.

A dental doctoral degree typically takes about eight years of full-time study after high school. Four years needed to get a bachelor's degree and then four years to finish dental school.

Dental Admission

Admission to dental schools is competitive. You will need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good scores on the Dental Admission Test (DAT). You also need letters of recommendation and a personal interview. You will also need to take the following courses before dental school:

• English (one year)

• General Biology with lab (one year)

• General Chemistry with lab (one year)

• General Physics with lab (one year)

• Organic Chemistry with lab (one year)

Course may vary from program to program. You may also be required to take biochemistry and psychology courses as well.

Dental Typical course work

Course work in dental school is usually divided into two parts: the basic clinical sciences and the clinical rotations. The clinical sciences course work is during the first two years of dental school, in both the classroom and the lab. These courses usually include some combination of the following:

• Craniofacial Function
• Crown and Bridge
• Dental Anatomy and Occlusion
• Endodontics
• Esthetic Dentistry
• Ethics and Jurisprudence
• Geriatric Dentistry
• Microbiology and Oral Health Promotion
• Neuroanatomy
• Nutrition
• Operative Dentistry
• Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
• Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
• Pediatric Dentistry
• Periodontology
• Practice Management
• Removable Prosthodontics

You participate in clinical rotations in the third and fourth years of dental school. This is a hands on opportunity to do the things you learned in your first two years in a real life clinical situation. An experienced dentist will be supervising you.

Related Programs

These programs below are closely related to dentistry
  • Advanced Dentistry and Oral Surgery
  • Anatomy
  • Dental Assisting
  • Dental Hygenist
  • Pre-Dentistry
  • Dental Laboratory Technology

College Choice

Schools that offer Dentistry:

University of Minnesota

Hamline University

University of Minnesota - Minneapolis

  • The University of Minnesota is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • This University had many different groups/clubs for students to join
  • 4 year college
  • No religious affiliation
  • Lecture: 15- 150 students
  • Labs 20- 40 students
  • Discussion: 15-20 students
  • Student to Teacher Ratio: 21:1
  • The Act and a 2.0 GPA in high school is required
  • Should be in top 50% of your high school class

Financial Aid:

March 1st is the deadline to apply. People usually get up to $13,036 dollars of financial aid.

College Expenses:

Tuition: $13,526

Room and Board: $7,576

Book Expenses: $

Application Deposit: $45

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