Big or Small? Discover Which Type of Dentist Office Suits You Best While in Dental Assistant School

Dental professionals working together in an officeWhile you’re still in dental assistant school, it would be in your best interest to determine which type of office you prefer. While many enjoy the hustle and bustle of large, busy offices, others lean more towards the smaller and more personalized settings. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be on stepping into a world that offers great success. Both types of dental offices can give you the experience you need, so there’s no wrong answer. But before you start applying for your first job, you might want to consider the different aspects of each office, so you know what to expect.

Why Is It Important to Seek Feedback?

Before embarking on your own career, it is highly suggested that you speak to someone who has worked in both a large and smaller dental office. Why? They can offer you insight into each world, giving you the pros and cons. However, it is important to remember that just because they had one type of experience doesn’t mean you will. Everyone reacts differently to certain situations and will either thrive or cave under pressure.

Talk to your teachers, mentors, and other professionals in the field to get as much feedback as possible to help formulate your decision.

What Should I Consider?

If you want to experience satisfaction with your job, you’ll want to spend time thinking about several factors that can determine which type of office you would prefer to work in. Some of these considerations include:

  • On-the-Job Learning: Does working with a few or many dentists excite you? As a dental assistant, you’ll be expected to work alongside the dentists within the practice, so if you prefer a more personalized approach and chances to build a mentor-mentee relationship, it may be best to seek a smaller office. However, much of what you desire depends on how you learn best, so if you don’t necessarily need the one-on-one approach, a larger office with multiple dentists might serve you best.
  • Number of Colleagues: Sometimes, working in an office with too many people can be overwhelming and make your job much harder. Again, though, it all depends on what you prefer. Smaller offices offer chances to develop close bonds and friendships, but larger dental groups allow for camaraderie and additional opportunities to learn from one another. From communication to differing personalities, both can have their drawbacks. It’s important that you find which one is right for you.
  • The Pace of Your Workday: Smaller dental offices tend to have less traffic on a daily basis, which can be great for someone who can be easily thrown off under the pressure of having to move from patient to patient in a time crunch. For small offices, it gives you more time to observe procedures and discuss and learn from colleagues. A larger office setting is made for the individual who thrives on change and a faster pace. Moving from one client to the next gives you excitement and chances to get hands-on experience and maybe even change scenery if you are traveling to different offices under the same ownership.
  • Flexibility: Everyone loves the opportunity for flexibility, but when it comes to a work-life balance, a smaller setting may not be the ideal environment for you. With fewer colleagues, there is an expectation for you to be in the office more often, making breaks and time off much more difficult. However, in a larger office with many co-workers, it is more likely you can take time away for your child’s in-class party or slip away for a break from the action.
  • Dealing with Change: If you don’t handle change well, you might want to stick with a larger office. Oftentimes, when staff leave or a practice changes ownership, it can more readily affect the dental assistants, but in a larger dental office, you’ll be used to working alongside multiple dentists, so you won’t notice the change nearly as much.

Your career as a dental assistant should be one you look forward to every day, which is why it’s important that you settle into an office that meets your needs. While in dental assisting school, make a list of pros and cons to each type of setting and compile your notes and feedback from others. From there, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to deciding which dental office is right for you.

About Dental Assistant Pro
For more than 25 years, Dental Assistant Pro has been providing aspiring dental assistants with essential knowledge and hands-on skills learning. Our philosophy is the best dental assisting training should be taught in a dental office at an affordable cost, so why not take a chance and enroll in our 10-week course schedule? It’s now more affordable than ever to become a dental assistant! To learn more about us, visit our website or call (614) 202-3919.