A dentist provides oral health services to adults and children. Some dentists choose to study a subspecialty, such as orthodontics. Most dentists obtain an undergraduate degree before completing a four-year dental program and earning a doctoral degree in dental medicine or dental surgery. While no specific undergraduate degree is required, students commonly take science courses in biology, anatomy, chemistry, and microbiology. Postgraduate requirements, such as a residency, may also be required. All dentists must be licensed by the state in which they practice.
Dentists work with patients to promote dental health. They diagnose and treat oral health issues and inform patients on preventative care and treatment. Most dentists are general practitioners who perform exams, fill cavities, and extract teeth; however, some choose a subspecialty of dentistry, such as orthodontics. Dental school graduates may work for established offices or set up their own practice.
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