Fort Stewart, Georgia. Female Army dentist. CPT Jeannine Nordeen (Doctor), an Army Dentist assigned to DENTAC, is... - NARA - 531470.tif
Activity sectors Healthcare
Education required Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine

A dentist, also known as a 'dental surgeon', is a doctor that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity. The dentist's supporting team aides in providing oral health services. The dental team includes dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians, and in some states, dental therapists.



All dentists in the U.S must graduate from high school and complete required courses such as general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and statistics/calculus. While most dental schools require at least a bachelors degree, a few schools may consider admitting exceptional students after only 3 years of college. To apply, students must take the DAT or Dental Admissions Test. Admission to dental school is competitive, and is generally determined based on factors such as GPA, DAT scores, recommendation letters, and extracurricular activities. To become a licensed dentist, one must then complete an accredited dental school curriculum and successfully master all clinical competencies and national board exams. Most dental school curriculums require four years of training, however, some states require dentists to complete a post graduate residency program as well. In the U.S., a newly graduated dentist is then awarded the DDS, Doctor of Dental Surgery, degree or the DMD, Doctor of Dental Medicine, degree depending on the dental school attended. Both degrees are the same. A newly graduated dentist can then pursue further specialty residency training ranging from 2 to 6 years.


By nature of their general training, a licensed dentist can carry out the majority of dental treatments such as restorative (dental restorations, crowns, bridges), orthodontics (Braces, Invisalign), prosthetic (dentures), endodontic (root canal) therapy, periodontal (gum) therapy, and exodontia (extraction of teeth), as well as performing examinations, taking radiographs (x-rays) and diagnosis. Dentists can also prescribe medications such as antibiotics, fluorides, pain killers, Sedatives/Hypnotics and any other medication that serve in the treatment of the various conditions that arise in the head and neck.

Dentists need to take additional qualifications or training to carry out more complex procedures such as General anesthesia, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and implants. While many oral diseases are unique and self limiting, poor conditions in the oral cavity can lead to poor general health and vice versa. Conditions in the oral cavity may be indicative of systemic diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, or cancer.


Official specialties

  • Dental public health - The study of dental epidemiology and social health policies.
  • Endodontics - Root canal therapy and study of diseases of the dental pulp.
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology - The study, diagnosis, and sometimes the treatment of oral and maxillofacial related diseases.
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiology - The study and radiologic interpretation of oral and maxillofacial diseases.
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery - Extractions, implants, and MaxilloFacial surgery.
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics - The straightening of teeth and modification of midface and mandibular growth.
  • Periodontology (periodontics) - Study and treatment of diseases of the gums (non-surgical and surgical) as well as placement and maintenance of dental implants
  • Pediatric dentistry (formerly pedodontics) - Dentistry for children
  • Prosthodontics - Dentures, bridges and the restoration of implants. Some prosthodontists further their training in "oral and maxillofacial prosthodontics", which is the discipline concerned with the replacement of missing facial structures, such as ears, eyes, noses, etc.

Specialists in these fields are designated "registrable" (in the United States, "board eligible") and warrant exclusive titles such as orthodontist, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, endodontist, pediatric dentist, periodontist, or prosthodontist upon satisfying certain local accreditation requirements (U.S., "Board Certified").


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • dentist — DENTÍST, Ă, dentişti, ste, s.m. şi f., adj. (Medic) specializat în dentistică; stomatolog. – Din fr. dentiste, germ. Dentist. Trimis de cornel, 31.07.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  DENTÍST s. (med.) stomatolog. Trimis de siveco, 05.08.2004. Sursa …   Dicționar Român

  • Dentist — Sm Zahnarzt erw. fach. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. dentiste, das zu l. dēns (dentis) Zahn gebildet ist.    Ebenso nndl. dentist, ne. dentist, nschw. dentist. S. Dental und zur germanischen Verwandtschaft Zahn. ✎ DF 5 (21999), 294 296; …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Dentist — (von lat. dens „Zahn“; Betonung auf der zweiten Silbe) war eine Berufsbezeichnung für eine in Deutschland bis 1952 neben den Zahnärzten existierende Berufsgruppe in der Zahnmedizin. 1910 umfasste die Ausbildung zum Dentisten in Deutschland… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • dentist — 1759, from Fr. dentiste, from dent tooth, from L. dens (see TOOTH (Cf. tooth)) + IST (Cf. ist). Dentist figures it now in our newspapers, and may do well enough for a French puffer, but we fancy Rutter is content with being called a tooth drawer… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dentist — Den tist, n. [From L. dens, dentis, tooth: cf. F. dentiste. See {Tooth}.] One whose business it is to clean, extract, or repair natural teeth, and to make and insert artificial ones; a dental surgeon …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dentist — (v. lat.), Zahnarzt …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Dentist — (lat.), Zahntechniker, s. Zahnarzneikunde …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dentíst — (frz. u. engl.), Zahnarzt …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dentist — Dentist, Zahnarzt …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • dèntist — m (dèntistica ž) med. zubar, stomatolog …   Veliki rječnik hrvatskoga jezika

  • Dentist — Dentist,der:⇨Zahnarzt …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

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