The position of a general dentist is the mainstay career for the care and maintenance of oral health, as dentists are responsible for seeing patients for healthy check-ups and correcting problems, from mild toothaches to cracked and broken teeth. They are also expected to build relationships with their clientele and establish a wide client-base.
A doctorate degree in dental medicine, DDS, from an accredited program, a license to practice dental medicine in the state of employment, and registration with the American Dental Association are required for this position. Aspiring dentists often gain experience as assistants to experienced dentists.
Those in this position work either in hospitals or private practice alongside other dentists and possibly with specialized dentists, such as orthodontists, oral maxillofacial surgeons, and others. Their hours may be flexible depending on their scheduling, but are usually traditional office hours. Some may be on-call at home to cover for dental emergencies; these are rare, though they do occur.
General Dentist Tasks
Advise and instruct patients regarding preventive dental care, the causes and treatment of dental problems, and oral health care services.
Examine teeth, gums, and related tissues, using dental instruments, x-rays, and other diagnostic equipment.
Administer anesthetics to limit the amount of pain experienced by patients during procedures.
Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth, gums and related oral structures, and provide preventive and corrective services.