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1. Prevention/Public Education
Dentists educate their patients, as well as the public, on how to prevent oral health problems. As primary health care providers they also provide nutritional guidance as well as information and advice on developing and maintaining good overall health.

2. Detection and Management of Oral Conditions
Research shows there may be a link between oral disease and other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke as well as pre-term and low-birth-weight babies. Dentists are often the first health care professionals to spot a wide variety of systemic diseases such as hypertension and cancer.

3. Aesthetic Improvement
Dentists can help improve a patient’s appearance as well as health through the use of newly developed cosmetic dental techniques.

4. Restoration
Dentists repair damage to the teeth, gum and oral tissues caused by accidents or diseases such as dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontitis (gum disease).

5. Correction
Dentists correct oral health problems caused by crooked, crowded or poorly spaced teeth or misaligned jaws with orthodontic appliances, mouth splints and other devices and treatments.

6. Reconstruction
Dentists fabricate substitutes for lost teeth and oral tissues, including fixed replacements and dentures.

7. Surgery
Dentists perform a variety of oral surgeries in addition to tooth extractions. They also perform surgery to correct facial and dental deformities caused by accident and birth defect.

8. Teaching and Research
Dentists may be full- or part-time faculty members at dental schools involved in teaching and training of dental professionals. They also conduct oral health research in university and corporate settings. Research projects investigate everything from the development of new bone substitutes, to applications for time-release fluoride pellets, to new methods of alleviating patient fear about dental treatment.

9. Leadership
Dentists develop and exercise leadership and interpersonal skills. They supervise and manage the care provided by other dental team members, including dental hygienists, dental assistants, laboratory technicians and receptionists. In group practices, dentists work with and may employ and supervise other dentists.

10. Executive Management
As solo practitioners or partners, dentists usually manage the business and financial aspects of their practices. They acquire and use practice management and investment skills, and develop marketing strategies in order to attract and keep patients. Dentists take advantage of modern computer technology to manage and streamline the business aspects of their practices.