Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients' teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.
Dentists held about 151,500 jobs in 2014. Some dentists own their own businesses and work alone or with a small staff.
Dentists must be licensed in the state(s) in which they work. Licensure requirements vary by state, although candidates usually must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass written and practical exams.
The median annual wage for dentists was $158,310 in May 2015.
Employment of dentists is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for dental services will increase as the population ages, cosmetic dental services become increasingly popular, and access to health insurance continues to grow.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for dentists.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of dentists with similar occupations.
Learn more about dentists by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.