What does a Dentist do?

A dentist is a physician that works diagnosing and treating problems concerning patient's teeth and gums. They provide regular checkups and cleanings in addition to more detailed procedures like root canals or installing braces. A dentist is located in a dental medical facility and is usually an independent practice or small to medium business. They also complete x-rays in the office as well as evaluations for more extensive orthodontic procedures.

Each state requires dentists to be licensed and hold a degree from an accredited dental school. In addition, dentists are required to complete a residency program and work in their area of specialty before becoming fully licensed. Individuals who are interested in oral care, promoting healthy living and enjoy working closely with patients will likely excel as a dentist.

What responsibilities are common for Dentist jobs?
  • Provide general dental care by cleaning teeth and filling cavities
  • Repair and remove problematic or chipped teeth
  • Correct teeth alignment or placement by installing braces
  • Protect teeth by using sealants or using whitening treatments
  • Recommend patients to dental specialists as needed for recommended procedures
  • Instruct patients about best practices in oral health, and recommend the best brushes and toothpaste for their needs
  • Create models of crowns and dentures by taking measurements and making models
  • Review x-ray images captured in the office to determine the health of the teeth and potential areas of concern
What are the typical qualifications for Dentist jobs?
  • Doctoral degree in dental medicine
  • Licensed to practice dentistry in the state of residency required
  • Continuing education courses for new procedures and standards
  • Experience working in accordance with HIPAA and other medical privacy laws
  • Professional and compassionate demeanor when interacting with patients
  • Personal accountability and attention to detail required
  • Ability to multitask and make informed decisions accurately and quickly
  • Experience working in a high-volume dental office and delivering exceptional care
  • Strict adherence to sanitation requirements for tools and procedures
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Dentist make?

$251,957 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Dentist Career Path

Learn how to become a Dentist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Dentist III
Lead Dentist

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Dentist Insights

Read what Dentist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Portman Dental CarePortman Dental Care
Feb 8, 2021

“Excellent back office support meaning I can go to work and do what I do best”

Graduate Student
Mar 17, 2023

“I got good experience from my college and good communication skill and I can do all the basic procedure”

Heartland DentalHeartland Dental
General Dentist
Dec 11, 2020

“I have a salary and benefits and get to do what I want and practice how I want.”

Heartland DentalHeartland Dental
Mar 29, 2023

“Get a Peter Pan make believe that this is gonna be a great collaborative partnership.”

Heartland DentalHeartland Dental
General Dentist
Apr 5, 2023

“Amazing opportunities to learn from docs that don’t just post good looking content on instagram but are actually thriving in real life practice.”

Tela Dental Clinic Ajmer
Dental Surgeon
Jun 17, 2021

“Good and friendly environment to work with.”

Bulgaria Dent
General Dentist
Jul 31, 2021

“Career and personal development support is minimal.”

Dec 8, 2022

“Stable and good salary . 2 days weekend”

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Dentist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Dentist

When working as a Dentist, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Diagnosis, CPR, Written Communication, Strong VERBAL, and Interpersonal and Communication.

The most similar professions to Dentist are:
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Assistant
  • Optician

Related Careers

Dental Hygienist
13% skills overlap
Dental Assistant
No skills overlap
No skills overlap

Dentist Jobs