So do are you thinking you might want to become a dental assistant? It’s actually not that hard to become a dental assistant and it can be done with very little education. Dental assistant careers are an increasing work field and can be a job with great benefits. Learn what it takes to become a dental assistant and what holding this position entails.
Dental Assistant Careers: Job Description
Usual duties of a dental assistant are sterilizing and disinfecting various dental instruments and other types of equipment. Expect to provide different types of office duties, laboratory duties, and patient care. A dental assistant is not licensed to perform the same tasks as dental hygienists. As a dental assistant office duties will consist of scheduling appointments, receive patient payments, keep adequate dental records, and be in charge of monitoring the dental supplies and ordering more. When a patient arrives at the dentist office, assistants will obtain the medical records for the dentists.
After the patient arrives the dental assistant will prepare the session for the dental hygienist. Dental assistant jobs will require you to perform chair-side duties, like handing the proper dental tools to the dentist. They are there mostly to keep the patient comfortable during their dental appointment. You may also operate the suction hose that keeps the patients’ mouth dry during the procedures. Some dental assistants also operate the X-ray machines that are often used. Most dental assistants will have to sterilize the dental tools, so they are sterilized for the procedures.
Dental Assistant Careers: Dental Assistant Salary and Employment Facts
The median expected salary for a typical dental assistant is around $33,000. This is the average income in the United States for dental assistant careers. Typical salary depends on many different factors that will affect your yearly salary. With the bad economy it is hard to determine the salary as of 2009 for a typical dental assistant. The good thing about this career field is that people are always going to need their teeth taken care of, so there is some job security there. Getting a job as a dental assistant isn’t that hard and can be done very easily with little education. In 2006, dental assistants held about 280,000 jobs in the United States. It’s surveyed that one third of all dental assistants have worked part time, so many have worked for more than one dental practice in their career. Many dental assistants have worked in physicians’ offices, educational services, Armed Forces, and hospitals.
Dental Assistant Careers: Educational Requirements for Dental Assistants
A lot of dental assistants learn their skills with on the job training procedures. Although seeking education for dental assistant careers will be helpful when trying to find a job. Receive education for dental assisting careers by finding programs offered through junior and community colleges, technical institutes, Armed Forces, and other trade schools.
As a high school student wanting to become a dental assistant, you should take courses in biology, health, office practices, and chemistry to have adequate knowledge for this field. It is quite easy to find accredited dental-assisting programs online by simply searching for the term. There are many great training programs available all over the Internet, but search around before you make any final decisions. These programs will offer classroom, laboratory, and preclinical instructions for learning dental-assisting skills. To be qualified for the dental assistant programs, you must have a high school diploma or something equal to it. The programs offered online will usually be completed in about a year or less to earn a certificate. You will receive an associates degree when attending a community or junior college.