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Dentists usually complete between five and eight years of post-secondary education before practising.
Though not mandatory, many dentists choose to complete an internship or residency focusing on specific aspects of dental care after they have received their dental degree.
Dentistry usually encompasses practices related to the oral cavity.
By nature of their general training they can carry out the majority of dental treatments such as restorative (fillings, crowns, bridges), prosthetic (dentures), endodontic (root canal) therapy, periodontal (gum) therapy, and extraction of teeth, as well as performing examinations, radiographs (x-rays), and diagnosis.
Dentists can also prescribe medications such as antibiotics, sedatives, and any other drugs used in patient management.
Common treatments involve the restoration of teeth, extraction or surgical removal of teeth, scaling and root planing and endodontic root canal treatment.
All dentists in the United States undergo at least three years of undergraduate studies, but nearly all complete a bachelor's degree.