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 typically do the following:
Remove decay from teeth and fill cavities
Repair cracked or fractured teeth and remove teeth
Place sealants or whitening agents on teeth
Administer anesthetics to keep patients from feeling pain during procedures
Prescribe antibiotics or other medications
Examine x rays of teeth, gums, the jaw, and nearby areas in order to diagnose problems
Make models and measurements for dental appliances, such as dentures, to fit patients
Teach patients about diets, flossing, the use of fluoride, and other aspects of dental care
Dentists use a variety of equipment, including x-ray machines, drills, mouth mirrors, probes, forceps, brushes, and scalpels. They also use lasers, digital scanners, and other computer technologies, such as digital dentistry.