Dentists diagnose and treat oral diseases, injuries and abnormalities of jaws, teeth and gums, undertake preventive procedures, conduct surgery and perform other specialist techniques.
Duties & Tasks
Dentists may perform the following tasks:
- examine patients' teeth and gums using dental equipment and X-rays
- diagnose dental conditions and plan oral health care in consultation with patients
- clean teeth and cavities, and provide preventive care such as scaling, cleaning and fluoride therapy
- repair decayed and broken teeth by rebuilding tooth structures and providing crowns and bridges
- treat diseases of the roots, gums and soft tissues of the mouth
- perform routine surgical procedures, such as extracting teeth, as well as complex operations on the jaws and soft tissues
- give local anaesthetics when necessary for carrying out treatment, and prescribe other medicines for infection or pain
- design and fit dentures, crowns and bridges for the replacement of lost or unsound teeth
- refer patients to dental specialists for further treatment.
- good hand-eye coordination
- able to do precise and detailed work
- good communication skills
- able to concentrate for long periods
- sympathetic and caring.
An endodontist diagnoses and treats diseases and injuries to the soft tissues within the hollow core of the tooth.
An oral/maxillofacial surgeon surgically treats diseases and abnormalities of the mouth and adjacent parts.
An orthodontist diagnoses and treats badly aligned teeth and jaws.
A paediatric dentist deals with children's dental health.
A periodontist prevents and treats diseases of the gums and supporting tissues.
A prosthodontist restores and/or replaces teeth and their associated parts.
Public Health Dentist
A public health dentist works with the community, researching and facilitating community dental programmes.
Special Needs Dentist
A special needs dentist treats patients with conditions that require special techniques to manage dental problems.