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Dentist

   
Dentists examine, diagnose, and treat patients that have problems with their teeth and gums. They are responsible for diagnosing oral conditions such as diseases, injuries, and malformations. They also design and implement treatment plans to help patients restore and maintain optimal oral health. Other tasks that dentists are responsible for include locating and filling cavities, removing teeth that cannot be treated, treating gum disease, and fitting and providing dentures. Dentists can administer anesthetics during oral procedures, as well as prescribe antibiotics after procedures are complete. They are often the first health professionals to recognize and call attention to a wide variety of health problems, ranging from high blood pressure to cancer. Dentists also perform cosmetic and restorative surgeries to help patients feel better about themselves. There are several specialties in dentistry; these include oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, endodontics, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics, and public health dentistry. Anyone interested in becoming a dentist should have excellent visual perception, steady hands, and be able to work under extreme pressure. They must also enjoy working with other people as part of a team.

Work Environment:

The vast majority of dentists work in private practice or with a dental group. They may work with dental hygienists, nurses, dental assistants, or dental laboratory technicians. Other areas of possible employment are hospitals, clinics, government agencies, educational institutions, the military, research facilities, and public health facilities.

High School Preparation:

High school students interested in a career in dentistry should take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, algebra, trigonometry, geometry, foods and nutrition, computer skills, English (literature and composition), health occupations/medical professions education, and physical education.

College Requirements:

To be considered for admission at an accredited dental school, a student must graduate from a pre-dental baccalaureate program or its equivalent with an acceptable grade point average. They must also apply through the American Association of Dental Schools Application Service (AADSAS) and take the dental admissions examination. To become a licensed dentist in Mississippi, an individual must graduate from a dental school accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. They must also pass both written and practical examinations. Students interested in dentistry should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Career opportunities for dentists are expected to grow more slowly than the average for all other occupations. There is only a projected growth of 3%-9% through the year 2010. The most significant source of new job opportunities will result from replacing the large number of dentists that are expected to retire in the near future. The aging baby-boom population will create a demand for dental care professionals because they will require more maintenance and complicated dental work. In the future, dental care will concentrate on preventative care rather than surgeries and prosthetics. Job prospects should remain good as long as the number of dental school graduates does not increase dramatically.
 

 

 

Salary:
Average Annual Salary
$103,300


Salary Range
$75,900-$160,000

Professional Organizations:

American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 440-2500
Web: www.ada.org

American Dental Education Association
1625 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 667-9433
Phone: (800) 353-2237
Web: www.adea.org

Mississippi Dental Association
2630 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, MS 39216
Phone: (601) 982-0441
 www.msdental.org

 

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