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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.
Other workplace settings:
Overall employment of dentists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the BLS.
About 5,000 openings for dentists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
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).
Please visit the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health website for more information.
American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611