What You Should Know About Pursuing a Career as a Dental Assistant

a dentist and dental assistant performing work on a patient

If you are currently taking a dental assisting course, you have already decided to pursue a career in the field of dentistry. But do you know exactly what all is required when it comes to being a dental assistant (DA)? Is it the career path you desire? Whether you are a current student or simply considering the idea of enrolling in school, spend some time reading about the basic job responsibilities and career outlook for this individual profession.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do Every Day?

Fortunately, a dental assistant’s job responsibility can change daily, but there are some standard requirements you must be able to perform day-in and day-out, including:

  • Taking and developing dental X-Rays
  • Taking on the role of infection control officer
  • Asking patients about their medical history as well as taking their pulse and blood pressure
  • Assisting the dentist during treatment procedures
  • Providing oral care instructions to patients after a surgery or dental treatment procedure
  • Helping patients to feel comfortable during all stages of the appointment
  • Sterilizing and disinfecting tools and equipment

What Can You Do with a Dental Assisting Degree?

As a dental assistant, you might assume that the only place you can work is at a dental office, but that’s not true at all! In fact, you may be able to find work at:

  • Specialty practices that focus on orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, or even oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Hospital dental clinics
  • Public health offices
  • Vocational schools, community colleges, universities where you can teach aspiring dental assistants

It’s also possible that you can go to work for an insurance company or become a dental product sales representative.

Dental Assistant or Other Healthcare Options: Which is Better?

If you know you want to work in the healthcare field in some capacity, you may be considering other options such as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). While this is a rewarding career, you need to weigh the pros and cons. If schedule flexibility and a higher salary are important to you, becoming a DA might be more worthwhile. CNA’s often work long hours and weekends while DA’s typically work Monday through Friday 9-5. They are usually paid much more than CNA’s coming in at entry-level, too.

Why is Becoming a Dental Assistant a Good Decision?

Although it may be a challenging job at times, it is very rewarding to be able to help people take back their oral health. A smile is the first thing people notice, so when someone is struggling to maintain their appearance because of missing teeth, decay, or gum disease, you have the opportunity to give them back the one thing they truly desire.

Although not always the case depending on where you work, but most dental assistants have flexible schedules and great benefits. Not to mention, there is great income and growth potential.

As a dental assistant, you are encouraged to take additional classes and training to expand your skillsets and knowledge. This additional education will not only prove beneficial in your current position but will also open doors to other possible careers, including becoming a dental hygienist, insurance coordinator, office manager of a dental office, and more.

About Dental Assistant Pro
This 10-week course schedule is a class-based instructional program that uses real-life scenarios and hands-on experience to train the best dental assistants. Dental Assistant Pro is designed to allow students the ability to pursue a new career path while continuing to work full-time jobs. To learn more about this dental assisting program, visit our website or call (513) 515-6611.

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