Dentists diagnose, treat and prevent diseases, injuries and abnormalities of the teeth, mouth, jaws and associated tissues by applying the principles and procedures of modern dentistry. They use a broad range of specialized diagnostic, surgical and other techniques to promote and restore oral health.
Tasks include -
(a) diagnosing diseases, injuries, irregularities and malformations of teeth and associated structures in the mouth and jaw using a range of methods such as radiographs, salivary tests and medical histories;
(b) providing preventative oral health care such as periodontal treatments, fluoride applications and oral health promotion;
(c) administering anaesthetics to limit the amount of pain experienced by patients during procedures;
(d) prescribing medication for relief of ongoing pain after procedures
(e) providing restorative oral care such as implants, complex crown and bridge restorations and orthodontics, and repairing damaged and decayed teeth;
(f) providing surgical treatments such as extraction of teeth and biopsy of tissue, and performing orthodontic treatment;
(g) measuring and taking impressions of patients’ jaws and teeth in order to determine the shape and size of dental prostheses;
(h) designing, making, and fitting prosthodontic appliances such as space maintainers, bridges and dentures, or writing fabrication instructions or prescriptions for dental prosthetic technicians;
(i) restoring oral function with removable and fixed oral prostheses;
(j) assisting in diagnosing general diseases having oral manifestations such as diabetes;
(k) educating patients and families on dental hygiene, nutrition and other measures to take care of oral health;
(l) supervising dental hygienists, dental assistants and other staff.
Examples of the occupations classified here:
- Dental practitioner
- Dental surgeon
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
- Oral pathologist
Occupations included in this category normally require completion of university-level training in theoretical and practical dentistry or a related field. Although in some countries “stomatology” and “dental, oral and maxillofacial surgery” may be considered as medical specializations, occupations in these fields should always be classified here.