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Dental practitioners are an indispensable part of the medical field, as they work to ensure that patients get excellent dental care while providing solutions to oral problems. A dentist is a specialist in dentistry- an aspect of medicine that involves the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease or other ill conditions that affects the oral cavity of an individual.

Dentists administer medical care and execute dental surgery on patients who have teeth defect. They also prescribe to patients efficient ways to care for their teeth and gums which includes diet choices.

If you desire a degree in this area, here are the important qualifications and skills you should have,

Educational Requirements

In order to function as a dentist, you need at least a university degree before dental collage, where you would study to become a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). To improve your proficiency, you can further your studies by going for a post-graduate degree to become a Master of Science in Dentistry (MSD). To gain specialization as a dentist you need to complete a residency program. However to officially become a dentist with the license to practice, you will need to take and pass the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) assessment examination.


To operate effectively as a dentist, you must have an interest for providing care to patients when they most need it. You must have a friendly attitude, excellent communication and people skills to foster a conducive atmosphere for patients at all times. Since the dental profession requires working with small tools in tight spaces, you need to be a detailed oriented person with compassion and desire to help patient in need. Visual competence, dexterity, diligence in research, excellent management skills, physical strength and endurance are all skills needed to be a dentist. You must also have the ability to operate clinical and laboratory instruments, demonstrate demeanor and be skilled in problem solving.

Job Responsibility

The core responsibilities of a dentist include, diagnosing and providing appropriate solution and treatment to oral health issues, teeth cleaning, surgical extraction, implants and cosmetic dentistry. They also prescribe appropriate medication for respective issues that patients may have for optimal care of patients’ mouth and teeth. Dentist are responsible for correcting bite and overcrowding issues, apply sealants and whiteners to teeth, administer sedatives or anesthesia to patients before surgery and keep oral health records of patients. Dentist engage in the training of other dental staff and also plan and manage budget for the dental clinic.


The services of dentist are required by teaching hospitals, specialist hospitals, Federal Ministry of Health, NGO’s, dental clinics and other health care institutions.

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