There are many available careers in the dental industry, but perhaps one of the most popular positions is that of a dental assistant. Dental assisting is a great career choice for individuals who enjoy working closely with others to provide quality patient care. If you have good communication skills, enjoy working with people, enjoy working with your hands and want the responsibility and rewards of a professional career, dental assisting is for you.
The best way to become a dental assistant is to receive formal training. There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass a state exam. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements.
Dental assistants are left to the supervision of their employing dentists. Licensed dentists may delegate basic supportive tasks and procedures to assistants as the dentist deems advisable, under the dentist’s supervision and control. Dentists assume responsibility for their assistants. In order to take x-rays, dental assistants must pass the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Radiation Health and Safety (RHS) exam.
The current job market for dental assistants is stable, and future projections indicate a continued high demand for assisting services. In addition to demand, there are other benefits to a career as a dental assistant, including:
- Opportunities for career advancement
- Gainful employment
- Good hourly wages
- Good working environment
- Flexible hours
- Working as a member of a health care delivery team
- Ability to help others
- Detail Oriented – Dental assistants must follow specific rules and protocols to help dentists treat patients. Assistants must be aware of what practices they are allowed to complete in the state where they work.
- Interpersonal Skills – Dental assistants must work closely with dentists and patients. Sometimes, patients are in extreme pain and or mental stress, so the assistant should be sensitive to their emotions.
- Listening Skills – Dental assistants should be able to listen to patients and other healthcare workers. They need to follow directions from a dentist or dental hygienist, so they can help treat patients and do tasks, such as taking an x ray.
- Organizational Skills – Dental assistants should have excellent organizational skills. They should have the correct tools in place for a dentist or dental hygienist to use when treating a patient.
Becoming a dental assistant can be a fun and rewarding career for individuals with a desire to help others, provide comfort, and who has excellent communication skills. The amount of employment opportunities in the field are numerous, with the numbers continuing to climb as more and more people focus on the importance of good oral hygiene. If you are ready to start a new and exciting career as a dental assistant and to learn more about our dental assistant programs, contact us today!