By: Leonel Olivas
annual salary $91,000
monthly salary 7583.333
savings 10% $758.33
house 30% $2,275.00
car 10% $758.33
miscellaneous 40% $3,033.33
retirement 10% $758.33
We all know what it feels like to be in the
dentist’s chair, but what is it like to be the
person looking into all those mouths?
What do dentists actually do when they’re
poking around in there?
They perform regular check-ups, diagnose
and treat dental problems, and maintain
and improve the appearance of patients’
Regular check-ups involve a thorough
examination and cleaning of the patient’s
teeth and gums.
These check-ups are important because they
allow the dentist to detect tooth decay and
gum disease and deal with them before they
become a problem.
Regular cleanings can also stop the build-
up of plaque—a substance that forms on
teeth and provides a home for bacteria.
Using x-rays and physical examinations,
dentists diagnose dental problems such as
cavities, broken or diseased teeth, and gum
Once these problems are detected, the dentist
This often involves delicate work, because
the teeth and gums are very sensitive and
damage to them can be very painful.
Dentists fill in cavities, rebuild broken teeth,
replace missing teeth with dentures or
implants, and carry out basic dental
operations, such as the removal of wisdom
By educating patients about the importance
of brushing, flossing and eating properly,
dentists also help to prevent tooth and gum
The purpose of dentistry is not just to make sure
that the teeth are healthy—appearances are very
important as well.
Much of dentists’ work involves improving the
shape, color, and alignment of patients’ teeth for
For example, a dentist may bleach the teeth.
Another cosmetic technique involves applying a
veneer to the front of the teeth, giving them a more
appealing color and texture.
By doing this cosmetic work, a dentist can help
improve the self-confidence and dental hygiene of
Most dentists work for themselves in private
In addition to taking care of patients, they
are also responsible for supervising their
staff—hygienists, dental assistants, and
secretaries—and for all the other duties
associated with running their own
Most dentists work 8 or 9 hours a day, 5 days a
Many also work evenings and Saturdays to
accommodate their patients.
Less experienced dentists, who are trying to build
up their practices, may have to work harder than
more experienced dentists with established
Most dentists take about 10 to 20 vacation days a
The work is not physically demanding, but
dentists spend a lot of time on their feet,
bending over patients.
Performing delicate procedures can be
mentally exhausting, as a great deal of
concentration is required.
Dentists tend to spend more time talking to
their patients on a general social level than
For example, while doing an examination or
filling a cavity, a dentist may talk to a
patient about a golf game or a vacation.
This may help to make the patient less
nervous and less focused on what the
dentist is actually doing.
Earnings for dentists vary depending on the
location of the practice, the experience of the
dentist, and whether or not the dentist is
Most dentists are self-employed. That is, they are
either full or part owners of their own practices.
According to the American Dental Association, the
average income for dentists who own their own
practices is approximately $174,000 a year.
However, specialists earn more.
The average income for self-employed dentists in
specialist practice is about $290,000 a year.
Dentists who work for others, whether in a
general or a specialist practice, tend to
make less than self-employed dentists.
The average income for salaried dentists is
approximately $110,000 a year.
Salaried dentists usually receive benefits,
such as health insurance, paid sick days,
and retirement benefits.
Self-employed dentists must provide their
To become a dentist, you need to attend
Applicants to dental school must first
complete either a bachelor’s degree or at
least 2 years of college level pre-dental
Most applicants have a bachelor’s degree.
Exact requirements vary by school, but
dental schools generally require applicants
to have taken courses in specific areas such
as the life sciences and the humanities.
Anatomy, biology, and zoology are
examples of life sciences courses.
Humanities courses include English, history,
and social sciences courses such as
economics and sociology.
Be sure to check with the dental school you
are interested in to find out their exact
In addition to completing undergraduate
courses, applicants to dental school must
pass the Dental Admission Test (DAT).
To finally become a dentist, you must
graduate from an accredited dental school.
Depending on the school you attend, you
may graduate with either a Doctor of Dental
Surgery Degree (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental
Medicine (DMD) degree. Dental school
takes 4 years to complete.
Before you can practice dentistry you must
pass written and practical state licensing
See the Other Resources section for a link to
information about specific state licensure
With extra training, a dentist can become a
specialist and focus on specific dental problems.
For example, oral surgeons deal with facial
reconstructions and impacted wisdom teeth.
They perform some difficult and complicated
Orthodontists correct and prevent the irregular
development of teeth, and periodontists
concentrate on treating gum disease.
City: 17 MPG
Highway: 25 MPG
HP engine 7-spd
3.5L V-6 268
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
City: 15 - 17 MPG
Highway: 19 - 22 MPG
4-spd auto transmission
4.3L V-6 195 HP engine
El Camino Super Sport
El Camino Super Sport
Body Style: Pickup
Engine: 8 Cylinders
Vehicle Weight:6,000 and
less, 6 Cylinders