What Do Dentists Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

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daily life of a Dentist
are Dentists happy with their job


Other names for this job might include Associate Dentist, Dental Intern, Dental Officer, Dental Surgery Doctor (DDS), Dentist, Dentist/Owner, Doctor, Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Endodontist

  • $172350
  • 82%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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Being A Dentist: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Dentists do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Dentist or not.

Job summary

Dentists 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.

We asked Dentists how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


82% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 86% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Dentists Administer anesthetics to limit the amount of pain experienced by patients during procedures. They Examine teeth, gums, and related tissues, using dental instruments, x-rays, or other diagnostic equipment, to evaluate dental health, diagnose diseases or abnormalities, and plan appropriate treatments.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Dentist is to Formulate plan of treatment for patient’s teeth and mouth tissue.

Some may also Advise or instruct patients regarding preventive dental care, the causes and treatment of dental problems, or oral health care services.

In a normal work day, another thing that Dentists do is they Design, make, or fit prosthodontic appliances, such as space maintainers, bridges, or dentures, or write fabrication instructions or prescriptions for denturists or dental technicians.

In addition to that, they Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, or malformations of teeth, gums, or related oral structures and provide preventive or corrective services..

A typical day for A Dentist look like this:

Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
Examine mouth, teeth, gums, or related facial structures.
Operate diagnostic or therapeutic medical instruments or equipment.
Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
Develop medical treatment plans.

We asked some Dentists a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?70% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?35% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?87% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?100% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?43% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?80% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?7% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?90% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Dentists do, they Fill pulp chamber and canal with endodontic materials. They might also Write prescriptions for antibiotics or other medications.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Dentists Treat exposure of pulp by pulp capping, removal of pulp from pulp chamber, or root canal, using dental instruments. and Eliminate irritating margins of fillings and correct occlusions, using dental instruments.

In addition, they Perform oral or periodontal surgery on the jaw or mouth.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Remove diseased tissue, using surgical instruments.

To some Dentists, it is also their responsibility to Bleach, clean, or polish teeth to restore natural color.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Treat dental problems or diseases.
Prescribe medications.
Treat dental problems or diseases.
Treat dental problems or diseases.
Operate on patients to treat conditions.

Working life

Working hours

Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Dentist, you can expect to work Less than 40 hours per week.

Do Dentists work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Dentists work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Dentists work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

You also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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They administer anesthetics prior to, during, or after surgery or other medical procedures.
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Salary: $158900

They administer anesthesia, monitor patient’s vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia. May assist anesthesiologists, surgeons, other physicians, or dentists. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Therapeutic Services

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