Dental assistants are professionals who are appointed to provide assistance to dentists. Their job profile usually involves gathering information of the patient, making the patient ready for dental treatment, safe management and sterilization of dental equipment, providing the necessary treatment instrument to the dentist while a dental procedure is in progress, taking x-rays, lab duties and so on.
A busy dentist who receives lots of client certainly requires a dental assistant to help him so that all the dental procedures can be carried out with ease. Here are some tips for becoming dental assistant:
In order to become a dental assistant, one needs to begin his career by performing well in science subjects like biology, chemistry and anatomy. After acquiring high school diploma or equivalent GED certification, as there is no official requirement to attain a bachelor’s degree to work as a dental assistant, one can go for an on-the-job training and start earning.
Aspirants who prefer to undergo full-fledged career training can take up dental assistant programs like one year diploma certificate course which mainly focuses on technical training; or a two-year associate’s degree course which is a combination of basics, technical training and clinical procedures.
Skills to Gain through Educational Course
Individuals who desire to become dental assistants will learn how to follow the rules and regulations inside a dental clinic to best assist the dentists. They will come to know what dental practices they are allowed to perform in the state where they look forward to secure a dental assistant job.
They will gain interpersonal skills which will help them in comforting patients who experience extreme pain before and while undergoing a dental procedure. They will learn how to work efficiently by carefully listening to the instructions of the dentists like performing x-rays as well as listening to the requirements of the patients. They will learn how to handle various dental apparatuses and make use of it under the supervision of a dentist.
Licensing and Certification
Dental assistants may not require acquiring a license in certain US states and they can work according to the guidance of a dentist. However, there are many other states that require students to acquire licensure. In order to get license, one needs to complete postsecondary dental assistant course from an accredited institution and even acquire a certification. The credential of Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) with Dental Assisting National Board is enough to work as a dental assistant in 37 US states.
Is this Career Suitable for You?
Dental assistants can earn an average annual income of $33,470, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pay package is quite decent but is this career really meant for you? Usually, dental assistants work in clean well-appointed surroundings and they have to spend around 40 hours a week. Sometimes, a dentist may suggest his dental assistant to work overtime when there are more patients to deal with.
A dental assistant can work at various places like dental clinics, dental colleges, and at public health centers and so on. There are plenty of job opportunities and as you gain more experience, you can expect better job prospects in this field.