Lt. Sean Farrell, from Santa Barbara, California, performs an oral examination on Sgt. James Cheek, from Charlotte, North Carolina, assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), at the dental clinic aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48).

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Health Science

Service Branches

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Work Environment

Dentists work in hospitals and dental clinics on land and aboard ships.

  • Military Status


  • Average Military Salary



Military dentists take care of the dental needs of service members and their families. They are typically responsible for educating patients on oral hygiene, examining teeth and diagnosing patients' dental conditions by using tools such as x-rays, assessing treatment options, and agreeing on treatment plans with patients. They may practice general dentistry or work in one of several specialties.

Military Training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Dentists have a doctorate degree in dental medicine or dental surgery. Dentists who participate in military-sponsored residency programs receive renowned education. All dentists in the Military gain exposure to nearly every major facet of dentistry in a wide range of healthcare environments. Like other healthcare officers they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities military structure and etiquette traditions the military health system and leadership development.

Helpful Attributes

  • Desire to help others
  • Good eye-hand coordination

Related Civilian Careers

  • Prosthodontists
  • Dentists, General
  • Medical and Health Services Managers