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Dentists are health professionals who specialize in mouth and dental health problems. Dentists can diagnose and treat dental problems, such as cavities and tooth loss, and perform cosmetic procedures, such as whitening teeth.

Dentists may further specialize in areas such as:

  • Gum disease (periodontist).
  • Straightening of the teeth (orthodontist).
  • Nerves of the teeth (endodontist).
  • Surgery on the mouth and gums (oral surgeon).
  • Tooth restoration (prosthodontist).

Also, dentists may specialize in treating specific age groups, such as pediatric dentists, who only treat children.

Dentists earn a college degree and then attend 4 years of dental school. Dentists must pass a national examination and be licensed by the state in which they practice.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerSteven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.