Do You Want To Become a Dentist?
Guide your students as they think about dentistry as a career.
DISCUSS: Dentists finish high school, and then they attend college for four years. After college, they go to dental school, learning about teeth and gums. Dentists must be able to read information from dentistry journals and from their patients’ charts and records. They use science and math as they mix materials and medicines to repair teeth. Dentists use their artistic ability as they sculpt fillings. They must have good communication skills to talk with their hygienists and explain procedures to their patients.
Some dentists do further study and have special jobs in their field. Dental specialties include these jobs:
- endodontist: a dentist who treats infections deep within the tooth
- forensic dentist: uses information from teeth and bones to help solve crimes
- oral surgeon: a dentist who performs surgery on the mouth and jaw
- orthodontist: a dentist who aligns and straightens teeth using corrective appliances such as braces
- pediatric dentist: a children’s dentist
- periodontist: a dentist who cares for gums
- Activity: Interview your dentist by phone or in person. Ask about what he or she studied in school. How are reading, math, science, and art necessary in a career as a dentist?
- Activity: Invite a dentist or dental hygienist to your classroom to speak about dental care.