A Dental Assistant is one who provides various kinds of patient care, performs administrative functions at the dental office and laboratory duties too. However, they do not perform the same job role and duties as a dental hygienist are certified to. There are several opportunities for Dental Assistants. Most Dental Assistants work in the dentist’s offices while others can also be found employed at the physician’s, educational centers and hospitals. Almost three fourth of the Dental Assistants work part time and therefore end up working at several different places.
In order to qualify to be a Dental Assistant one needs to learn the specific skills that are crucial to perform the job. Some Dental Assistants get their training through trade schools, community programs, and technical institutes or on the job. If you are interested to pursue a career as a Dental Assistant then you must take biology, chemistry, health and office practices as a subject in order to make it easy for you later on.
Besides the requisite training and qualifications, a Dental Assistant must also have some inherent qualities and characteristics. They must be people who the dentists and patients can bank on, they must have great interpersonal skills and the ability to build up rapport and be good with their hands. In a few states it is mandatory for the Dental Assistants to be licensed and registered in order to allow them to practice. A Dental Assistant might also have to pass a written or practical exam. In case a Dental Assistant is required to perform specific duties at a particular clinic then they must have the certification to do so. For instance, if a Dental Assistant has to perform radiological procedures then they must have completed a course in Radiology and safety. The course must be certified by the Dental Assisting National Board.
The career path for a Dental Assistant is to either become an office manager, dental assistant instructor, or a dental product sales representative. However, if Dental Assistants have kept themselves abreast of the latest happenings in their particular field and worked on gaining more education and expertise then they can progress further up the chain.
The future looks really bright for people who have chosen this field. There are several job opportunities and employment is not a problem. The rates at which employment opportunities are mushrooming in this field are far higher than in other fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics foretells that it will be the third fastest growing occupation and there is no degree required to practice it.
A Dental Assistant is important as they help the dentist provide the patient’s an efficient dental treatment. They do the preliminary work of preparing the patients with a bib, goggles, keeping the instruments required by the dentist ready, washing and sterilizing the instruments before and after use, passing the instruments to the dentist and also other non-specialized tasks. You might consider the Dental Assistant to be the right hand of the dentist.
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