What Dentists Do

How Dentist Do Their Job

Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of the gums and teeth and on diet choices that affect oral health.


Dentists typically do the following:

– Remove decay from teeth and fill cavities
– Repair cracked or fractured teeth and remove teeth
– Place sealants or whitening agents on teeth
– Administer anesthetics to keep patients from feeling pain during procedures
– Prescribe antibiotics or other medications
– Examine x rays of teeth, gums, the jaw, and nearby areas in order to diagnose problems
– Make models and measurements for dental appliances, such as dentures, to fit patients
– Teach patients about diets, flossing, the use of fluoride, and other aspects of dental care

Dentists use a variety of equipment, including x-ray machines, drills, mouth mirrors, probes, forceps, scalpels, and brushes. They also use lasers, digital scanners, and other computer technologies, such as digital dentistry.

In addition, dentists in private practice oversee a variety of administrative tasks, including bookkeeping and buying equipment and supplies. They employ and supervise dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental laboratory technicians, and receptionists.

Most dentists are general practitioners and handle a variety of dental needs. Other dentists practice in 1 of 9 specialty areas:

Dental public health specialists promote good dental health and the prevention of dental diseases in specific communities.

Endodontists perform root-canal therapy, by which they remove the nerves and blood supply from infected or injured teeth.

Oral and maxillofacial radiologists diagnose diseases in the head and neck through the use of imaging technologies.

Maxillofacial and oral surgeons operate on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck, and head, performing procedures such as surgically repairing a cleft lip and palate or removing impacted teeth.

Oral pathologists diagnose conditions in the mouth, such as ulcers or bumps, and oral diseases, such as cancer.

Orthodontists straighten teeth by applying pressure to the teeth with braces or other appliances.

Pediatric dentists focus on dentistry for special-needs and children patients.

Periodontists treat the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

Prosthodontists replace missing teeth with permanent fixtures, such as crowns and bridges, or with removable fixtures, such as dentures.

For further information about General Dentistry: http://www.sojournerclinic.org