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Dentists, or Doctors of Dental Medicine (DM), or Doctors of Dental Surgery (DDS), diagnose and treat problems of the teeth and tissues of the mouth. Dentists are artists as well as scientists; to brighten one tooth or realign an entire jaw, dentists must have an artist’s aesthetic sense to help their
patients look their best.
Most dentists are “solo practitioners,” meaning they own their own businesses and work alone or with a small staff. Some dentists have partners, and a few work for other dentists as associate dentists. Dentists usually work with a dental hygienist, dental assistant, or nurse.
Most dentists work 4 or 5 days a week. Some work evenings and weekends to meet their patients’ needs. Most full-time dentists work about 40 hours a week. They may have their own practice or be part of a dental or medical group.
Employment of dentists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.
Dentists have at least eight years of education beyond high school, and specialization requires even more training. Students entering dental school are expected to have completed the equivalent of four years of college and have a science-based baccalaureate degree. All dental school applicants are required to take the Dental Admission Test administered by the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association.
Licensure is required in the State of Connecticut. Prerequisite: Connecticut requires graduation from an approved Dental School and passing the National Board Examination; acceptable Regional Clinical Performance Test (e.g. NERB)
American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611