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Purpose and Mission
Dentists are highly trained medical professionals who focus on teeth and gums. The primary duties of a dentist include diagnosing and treating injuries, chronic conditions and abnormalities of the teeth and gums. While most dentists practise general dentistry, some choose to specialise in orthodontics, forensic dentistry or dental surgery.
Some of the common activities of dentists include repairing or pulling broken and decayed teeth, treating diseases of the roots or nerves, cleaning teeth and gums, filling cavities and designing and fitting dental crowns, bridges and dentures.
The large majority of dentists work in a private practice. Most dentists therefore do not report directly to any individual, but they are supervised by the board of the practise. Dentists who are employed at community clinics, nursing homes and as employees at larger dental practises may report to a mid-level supervisor or office manager.
Dentists often have major supervisory responsibilities, especially those operating their own practice or participating in the management of a practice, as they typically supervise at least a half-dozen professional and administrative staff.
Dentists have earned a bachelor degree as well as completed a four-year Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. Your undergraduate degree can be in any field, but chemistry or biology is recommended to make sure you are ready for highly competitive dental school.
Also of note, all dentists must be registered with the Dental Board of Australia to be able to practice in Australia.
Responsibilities of a Dentist
Dentists perform a broad range of tasks related to the prevention and treatment of diseases of the teeth and gums. Specific professional activities commonly undertaken by dentists include: