General Dentist

Health Science > Therapeutic Services

Projected Growth: Faster than average

Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.

Common job titles of General Dentist include:

Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 81.44% said they needed a Doctoral Degree.

  • 7.17% said they needed a Some College Courses.


    Administer anesthetics to limit the amount of pain experienced by patients during procedures.

    Manage business aspects such as employing or supervising staff or handling paperwork or insurance claims.

    Examine teeth, gums, and related tissues, using dental instruments, x-rays, or other diagnostic equipment, to evaluate dental health, diagnose diseases or abnormalities, and plan appropriate treatments.

    Use masks, gloves, and safety glasses to protect patients and self from infectious diseases.

    Advise or instruct patients regarding preventive dental care, the causes and treatment of dental problems, or oral health care services.

    Analyze or evaluate dental needs to determine changes or trends in patterns of dental disease.

    Design, make, or fit prosthodontic appliances, such as space maintainers, bridges, or dentures, or write fabrication instructions or prescriptions for denturists or dental technicians.

    Formulate plan of treatment for patient's teeth and mouth tissue.

    Diagnose and treat diseases, injuries, or malformations of teeth, gums, or related oral structures and provide preventive or corrective services.

    Use dental air turbines, hand instruments, dental appliances, or surgical implements.

    Apply fluoride or sealants to teeth.

    Plan, organize, or maintain dental health programs.

    Perform oral or periodontal surgery on the jaw or mouth.

    Treat exposure of pulp by pulp capping, removal of pulp from pulp chamber, or root canal, using dental instruments.

    Write prescriptions for antibiotics or other medications.

    Fill pulp chamber and canal with endodontic materials.

    Produce or evaluate dental health educational materials.

    Bleach, clean, or polish teeth to restore natural color.

    Remove diseased tissue, using surgical instruments.

    Eliminate irritating margins of fillings and correct occlusions, using dental instruments.


Wiring pliers

Wire and arch bar scissors

Visible light curing units

Ultrasonic scaler tips

Ultrasonic cleaners

Turvey maxillary expander

Towel clamps

All Tools

Tooth-whitening argon lasers

Tooth color shade guides

Tongue retractors

Tongue forceps

Tissue retractors

Tissue forceps

Thyroid shields

Thyroid collars

Suture scissors

Surgical scissors

Surgical masks

Surgical handles

Surgical gloves

Surgical elevators

Surgical burs

Straight scissors

Straight mosquito forceps

Straight hemostats

Straight elevators

Straight dental handpieces

Straight attachments


Spoon excavators

Slow-speed dental handpieces

Single-ended periodontal probes

Single-end explorers


Sharpening stones



Saliva ejectors

Safety glasses

Rubber dam punches

Rubber dam frames

Rubber dam clamps

Rubber dam clamp forceps

Root tip picks

Root elevators

Root canal spreaders

Root canal reamers

Root canal rasps

Root canal pluggers

Root canal files

Root canal enlargers

Root canal barbed broaches

Rongeur forceps

Pulse oximeters

Pulp testers

Protective gowns

Prophylaxis cups

Prophylaxis brushes

Prophylaxis angles

Prophy contra angle head assemblies

Pretracheal stethoscopes

Posterior scalers

Porcelain crown pliers

Pointing devices


Plastic filling instruments

Plaster vibrators

Plaster knives

Photo-activated disinfection systems

Personal computers


Periosteal elevators

Periodontal probing devices

Periodontal pocket markers

Periodontal knives

Periodontal elevators

Periodontal curettes

Pedodontic forceps

Panoramic x ray equipment

Oral evacuation equipment

Occlusal force analysis systems

Notebook computers

Nitrous oxide administration equipment

Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Nd:YAG dental lasers

Needle holders

Mouth mirrors

Molar forceps

Model trimmers

Metric calipers

Metal spatulas

Matrix retainers


Manual film processing systems

Ligature instruments

Laryngeal mask airways LMA

Intraoral x ray equipment

Intraoral printers

Intraoral microscope systems

Intraoral camera systems

Interproximal carvers

Instrument sharpeners

High-speed evacuators

High-speed dental handpieces

High heat sterilizers


Gutta percha dispensers

Gauze packers

Gates-Glidden drills

Furcation probes

Foot controls

Fiberoptic periosteal elevators

Fiberoptic diagnostic probes

Fiberoptic dental mirrors

Fiberoptic aspirators

Eyewash stations

Extraoral x ray equipment


Endodontic pluggers

Endodontic obturating cones

Endodontic micro-torches

Endo excavators

Enamel hatchets

Electrically powered dental amalgamators

Dycal instruments

Double-end periodontal probes

Double-end explorers

Disimpaction forceps

Digital radiographic equipment

Digital medical thermometers

Desktop computers

Dental x ray protective aprons

Dental wire cutters

Dental wax spatuals

Dental syringes

Dental scissors

Dental operating lights

Dental mouth props

Dental matrix bands

Dental margin trimmers

Dental mallets

Dental lasers

Dental laboratory plaster traps

Dental laboratory lathes

Dental impression trays

Dental handpieces

Dental fiberoptic retractors

Dental excavators

Dental excavating burs

Dental electrosurgery devices

Dental drills

Dental cord packing instruments

Dental condensers

Dental chisels

Dental chairs

Dental carbon dioxide CO2 lasers

Dental burnishers

Dental aspiration syringes

Dental amalgam carvers

Dental air abrasion systems

Daylight loader film processing systems

Curved mosquito forceps

Curved hemostats

Crown splitting forceps

Crown scissors

Crown removing pliers

Crown removers

Cross-bar elevators

Cricothyrotomy devices

Crane picks

Cotton pliers

Copalite retainers

Copalite bands

Contra angle sheaths

Composite placing instruments

Chin-length plastic face shields

Chemical vapor sterilizers

Cement spatulas

Cement placing instruments


Bulb irrigators


Bridge removers

Bone files

Bone clamps

Blood pressure monitors

Bite blocks

Biscuspid forceps

Bayonet forceps

Band setters

Ball bearing contra angle assemblies


Automatic film processing systems

Automated external defibrillators AED


Articulating paper forceps

Apex locators

Anterior scalers

Anterior forceps

Angled pliers

Angle dental handpieces

Amalgam wells

Amalgam retainers

Amalgam condensers

Amalgam carriers

Amalgam bands

Air/water syringes

Air/water syringe tips

Air compressors



Accounting software

ACE Dental


AltaPoint Data Systems AltaPoint Dental

Data Team DDS

Dental charting software

All Technologies

Dental clinical records software

Dental digital radiology software

Dental imaging software

Dental intra-oral imaging software


DSN Software Dental-Exec

DSN Software Oral Surgery-Exec

DSN Software Perio-Exec

EZ 2000

Genesis Dental

Henry Schein DentalVision Professional

Henry Schein Dentrix

Henry Schein Easy Dental

Henry Schein EndoVision

Henry Schein PerioVision

Kodak Dental Systems Kodak PRACTICEWORKS Practice management software PMS

Kodak Dental Systems Kodak SOFTDENT Practice management software PMS

MDC Services DentalMate

MOGO Dental Software MOGO

OCS Office-Partner

Open Dental

Patterson Dental Supply Patterson EagleSoft


Teleo Practice Services The Complete Practitioner


Voice-activated perio charting software

Windent OMS

Windent SQL


Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Finger Dexterity

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Arm-Hand Steadiness

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

Control Movement Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Control Precision

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

Fine Manipulative Abilities › Psychomotor Abilities › Manual Dexterity

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

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