On the Job
Dentists examine, diagnose, and treat illnesses, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. They work to improve oral hygiene and help patients keep their teeth healthy. They may offer care that is preventative, reducing the likelihood of problems later.
This career requires good eyesight.
Typical Work Tasks
People who work in this career often:
- Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
- Operate on patients to treat conditions.
- Treat dental problems or diseases.
- Diagnose dental conditions.
- Prepare healthcare training materials.
- Protect patients or staff members using safety equipment.
- Direct healthcare delivery programs.
- Supervise patient care personnel.
- Examine mouth, teeth, gums, or related facial structures.
- Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
Typical Working Conditions
- Having face-to-face discussions.
- Close physical proximity with other people.
- Frequent decision-making.
- Working with a group or team.
- The freedom to determine tasks, priorities, and goals.
- The importance of being accurate or exact.
- Exposure to disease or infections.
- Responsibility for outcomes and results.
- Using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.
- Wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats, or life jackets.
- Exposure to contaminants (like gases or odors).
- High levels of competition.
- Meeting strict deadlines.
- Being in situations in which conflicts arise.
This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.
Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.