A dentist is a care worker who prevents and treats problems relating to the mouth and teeth. They treat injuries and correct dental issues. Dentists must be caring and willing to help their patients as they will have to work with people of all ages. They often talk directly with their patients and help to organise their patient’s care. Dentists usually lead a team of dental nurses and hygienists so they would need to be able to communicate effectively with their team to ensure that they provide the best care possible. The most common type of dentist is a general dental practitioner who would work as a self-employed contractor (someone who runs their business themselves and takes responsibility for the success or failure of their business). This means that they would provide dental care to the public. However, a dentist might also provide services under the NHS or privately (under a private organisation).

Dentists need an approved degree of dentistry to be able to practice as a dentist, this course would take at least 5 years to complete. As well as this, a dentist will need high grades at A-level in maths, biology, chemistry or physics. If someone doesn’t have the A-levels required they can do a 1-year pre-dental course at some dental schools. Depending on where they works, a dentists salary can vary widely. Dentists that are self-employed contractors can earn between £50,000 and £110,000. However if they are completely private a dentist could earn £140,000+. NNHS dentists, who mainly offer community dental services can earn a salary between £38,095 to £81,480.

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Responsibilities of a Dentist:

Educating patients on oral healthcare:

Detnists have to educate their patients on how to take care of their dental health to prevent diseases and problems. Fo example, not looking after your mouth properly could lead to gum disease or tooth cavities. During an appointment, the dentist will tell their patient about difference choices that they could be making to take better care of their teeth. This could include discussing different options such as using electric toothbrushes instead of manual ones because they remove more plaque.

Examining teeth and diagnosing patients’ dental conditions by using tools such as x-rays:

One of the main responsibilities of a dentist is to diagnose dental conditions by using tools like x-rays. For example, a dentist may use a mouth X-ray on a patient to check the teeth. X-rays work by passing x-rays, a type of electro-magnetic radiation, through a person. The x-rays are absorbed by bone meaning that an image can be produced. This image shows the bone structure of the tested area.  Dentist can use this tool because teeth are made out of bone; this means that they can identify a variety of problems with teeth. For example, a dentist might use an x-ray to find problems below the gum line like impacted teeth, abscesses or tumours. There are four different types of x-ray that a dentist may use to see different parts of the teeth, For example, a periapical x-ray provides a view of the entire tooth from the crown ()to the one that supports the tooth. 

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