diagnose and treat problems with teeth and tissues 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 fractured teeth.
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.
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
laboratory technicians, and receptionists.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.