Dentist Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | September 2, 2023
Dentist job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities
Dentists help in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases associated with oral cavity. Image source:

This post provides exhaustive information on the job description of a dentist, to boost your knowledge of the duties, tasks, and responsibilities that they perform.

What Does a Dentist Do?

A dentist is a health care practitioner whose job description entails prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the oral cavity.

The dentist’s supporting team helps in providing oral health services.

By the nature of their overall training, a licensed and ace dentist can perform most dental treatments such as periodontal (gum) therapy, orthodontics (braces), endodontic (root canal) therapy, restorative (crowns, bridges, dental restorations), prosthodontic (crown/bridge, dentures) and oral surgery (extraction of teeth), as well as performing examinations, taking diagnosis and radiographs (x-rays).

In addition, dentists can also engage in oral surgery procedures like dental implant placement.

The duties and responsibilities of dentists can also include prescribing drugs like fluorides, pain killers, antibiotics, sedatives/hypnotics, local anesthetics and any other medication that can take care of the various conditions that arise in the neck and head.

All dentists in the United States are required to graduate from high school and complete necessary courses like physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, general biology and statistics/calculus.

While almost all dental schools require a minimum of a 4-year Bachelor’s degree, a select few may consider admitting outstanding students after spending only 3 years of college, although this is very rare situation.

To apply for a dental course, prospective students would be required to take the Dental Admissions Test.

Admission to dental school is highly competitive and the number of admitted student is generally determined by factors like DAT scores, research, GPA, recommendation letters cum extracurricular activities.

In order to become a licensed and qualify to perform the role of a dentist in any organization, you must first complete an accredited dental school curriculum after which you would successfully master all clinical competencies as well as national board exams.

Most dental schools curricula would require a training of four years; some states however require dentists to also complete a post-graduate residency program.

In the United States, a newly graduated dentist would be awarded the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree or the Doctor of Dental Medicine, (DMD) degree, depending on the dental school the person attended. The two degrees are equivalent.

A fresh graduate of dentistry may then pursue further specialty residency training program which ranges from 2 – 6 years in one of the popular specialties.

In addition, dentists are required to take part in continuing education where they would attend lectures in order to learn of recent developments and practice new methods in dentistry.

Dentist Job Description Example/Sample/Template

Most dentists’ job description will contain the following major tasks, duties, and responsibilities they must complete working in that position:

  • Educate patients on oral healthcare
  • Assess treatment options and agree to treatment plans with patients
  • Carry out agreed clinical treatments like treating gum disease and restoring teeth affected by decay
  • Maintain patients’ dental records
  • Recruit, train and manage members of the medical staff
  • Managing budgets and maintain stocks of equipment
  • Update self of new developments via structured continuing professional development
  • Market services to potential or prospective clients
  • Administer anesthetics like carbon dioxide to relax patients
  • Inform patients of problems with their gums or teeth
  • Develop plans for treating patients
  • Write prescriptions for antibiotics cum pain killers following dental procedures
  • Remove tooth decay and fill cavities.

The sample job description presented above has information that can be used in making a resume for seeking the dentist job.

Dentist Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success

To be hired as dentists, applicants are usually expected to have the following qualifications:

  • High school diploma
  • Completion of science courses (biology, organic chemistry, physics)
  • Possession of Bachelor’s degree
  • Must pass the Dental Admission Test as issued by the school.