There are many jobs available in the field of dentistry and you can opt for the best one that suits you. A rising career option in the field of dentistry these days is to become a dental assistant. These dental assistants offer many different types of services like laboratory duties, office duties, and patient care.
In 2006, there were about 280,000 jobs for dental assistants. The figures keep rising and the prospects are bright. Most of the dental assistants work in dentist’s office. Others work in hospitals, educational services, and physician’s offices.
Approximately 1/3 of the dental assistants work part-time, and often, for more than one dentist.
A dental assistant provides help to dentists, so dentists are in search for good dental assistants. Students of high school who are interested in the dental assistant career should take up classes in office skills, health, chemistry and biology.
You don’t need more than a high school diploma, and if you are an active person, you can easily get the job of a dental assistant, under a special on-the-job training agreement. The rest of the assisting knowledge can be found work experience, presentations and books.
Dental assistants get to work in a clean well-lighted atmosphere. The work area of dental assistants is generally in close proximity to the dental chair, as they have to arrange medications, material, and instruments and help the dentist by handing these things to him when he requires them. Dental assistants are required to wear protective clothing, eyewear, masks, and gloves to defend their patients and themselves from infectious diseases and germs.
Most of the dental assistants have to serve a workweek of 35- to 40-hours that might even include coming to work on evenings or Saturdays.
The duties that are to be performed by dental assistants are regulated in most states. Dental assistants are required to pass a practical or written examination, and they are required to have a registration or a license. Some type of ongoing education is also required in these states, to continue their registration or license. There are just a few states that permit dental assistants to carry out any task assigned by the dentist to them.
The Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) provides the dental assistant certification and it is required and recognized in above 30 states. There are many other associations that offer licensing for dental assistants, and most operate at state level. You might qualify to undergo the DANB examination for certification if you have graduated from a recognized training program, or if you have dental assistant experience of 4-year part time, or 2-year full-time, plus existing CPR certification. If you want to maintain the certification, then you require ongoing education.
If you are planning to work as a dental assistant, then you have made a wise choice, as there are excellent career prospects in dental assistance. According to the estimates by The US Department of Labor, the job of dental assisting will be the fastest growing profession by the year 2012.
As well as job openings due to growth in employment, a number of job openings will come up out of the requirement to replace the dental assistants, who retire, shift to other careers, retire, or depart the labor force for any other reasons. There are many chances for entry-level situations that are presenting on-the-job training.
Demand for dental examinations will be increased due to more preservation of natural teeth by old and middle-aged people and also due to population growth. Generally old dentists are more reluctant towards hiring new dental assistants, and as they are retiring and leaving the scenario, young dentists are replacing them, and they are more likely to hire dental assistants. Also, due to increasing workload on dentists, they are more likely to hire more assistants.
The prospects of dental assisting are bright, and more and more career opportunities are developing for them.