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Become A Dental Assistant Extern

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Working As A Dental Assistant Extern

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $31,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Dental Assistant Extern Do

Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from patient care and taking x rays to recordkeeping and scheduling appointments. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices where they work. 

Duties

Dental assistants typically do the following:

  • Ensure that patients are comfortable in the dental chair
  • Prepare patients and the work area for treatments and procedures
  • Sterilize dental instruments
  • Help dentists by handing them instruments during procedures
  • Keep patients’ mouths dry by using suction hoses and other equipment
  • Instruct patients in proper oral hygiene
  • Process x rays and complete lab tasks, under the direction of a dentist
  • Keep records of dental treatments
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Work with patients on billing and payment

Assistants who perform lab tasks, such as taking impressions of a patient’s teeth, work under the direction of a dentist. They may prepare materials for dental impressions or to create temporary crowns.

All dental assistants complete certain tasks, such as helping dentists with procedures and keeping patient records. Dental assistants are allowed to perform the following procedures in some states:

  • Coronal polishing
  • Sealant application
  • Fluoride application
  • Topical anesthetic application

Coronal polishing, which means removing soft deposits such as plaque, gives teeth a cleaner appearance. In sealant application, a dental assistant paints a thin, plastic substance over teeth that seals out food particles and acid-producing bacteria to keep teeth from developing cavities. Fluoride application, in which fluoride is put directly on the teeth, is another anticavity measure. Some dental assistants may be qualified to apply topical anesthetic to an area of a patient’s mouth, temporarily numbing the area to help prepare a patient for procedures.

Each state regulates the scope of practice for dental assistants.

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How To Become A Dental Assistant Extern

There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements.

Education

Some states require dental assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. Most programs are offered by community colleges, although they also may be offered by vocational or technical schools. Most programs take about 1 year to complete and lead to a certificate or diploma. Programs that last 2 years are less common and lead to an associate’s degree. The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), part of the American Dental Association, accredited nearly 300 dental assisting training programs in 2015.

Accredited programs include classroom and laboratory work in which students learn about teeth, gums, jaws, and other areas that dentists work on and the instruments that dentists use. These programs also include supervised practical experience.

High school students interested in a career as a dental assistant should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy.

Training

Dental assistants who do not have formal education in dental assisting may learn their duties through on-the-job training. A dental assistant or dentist in the office teaches the new assistant dental terminology, the names of the instruments, how to complete daily tasks, how to interact with patients, and other activities necessary to help keep the dental office running smoothly.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Dental assistants must follow specific rules and protocols, such as infection control procedures, when helping dentists treat patients. Assistants also must be aware of what tasks they are allowed to complete in the state where they work.

Dexterity. Dental assistants must be good at working with their hands. They generally work in tight quarters on a small part of the body, using very precise tools and instruments.

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.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require dental assistants to be licensed, registered, or certified. In other states, there are no formal requirements to become an entry-level dental assistant.

States that allow assistants to perform expanded duties, such as coronal polishing, require that they be licensed, registered, or hold certifications from the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). To earn certification from DANB, applicants must pass an exam. The educational requirements for DANB certification are that dental assistants must either have graduated from an accredited program or have a high school diploma and complete the required amount of work experience. Applicants also must have current certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

In addition, many states require assistants to meet specific education or training requirements in order to work with radiography (x ray) equipment. Requirements vary by state. Contact state boards of dentistry for specific requirements.

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Top Skills for A Dental Assistant Extern

  1. Dental Procedures
  2. Digital X-Rays
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Shadowed dental assistant to obtain experience in assisting with dental procedures.
  • Applied skills learned in school to daily tasks like assisting in procedures, cleaning, and digital x-rays.
  • Collaborated on inter-disciplinary teams and with patient care conferences, providing consultation, education, and support.
  • Provided chair side assistance for diversified patient base during examinations and treatment.
  • Delivered exceptional care to every patient and effectively educated them in oral hygiene and post-operative care.

Dental Assistant Extern Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 7,982 Dental Assistant Extern resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Dental Assistant Extern Resume

View Resume Examples

Dental Assistant Extern Demographics

Gender

Female

64.3%

Male

22.2%

Unknown

13.5%
Ethnicity

White

56.4%

Hispanic or Latino

20.4%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

8.8%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.1%

Polish

9.7%

French

8.4%

Chinese

7.8%

Mandarin

6.6%

Cantonese

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%

Korean

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

German

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Tagalog

1.2%

Hindi

1.0%

Danish

0.6%

Dutch

0.4%

Hmong

0.4%

Hebrew

0.4%
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Dental Assistant Extern Education

Schools

Everest Institute

11.0%

Ross Medical Education Center

10.2%

Charter College

8.5%

Concorde Career College

8.2%

Porter and Chester Institute

7.6%

The Academy

4.8%

MedQuest College - Frankfort

4.7%

Remington College

4.4%

Brightwood College

4.4%

Fortis Institute - Towson

4.1%

Heald College - Central Administrative Office

3.7%

Fashion Institute of Technology

3.7%

University of Phoenix

3.2%

Illinois School of Health Careers - Chicago

3.2%

Boston University

3.2%

Florida State University

3.1%

New York University

3.1%

Carrington College - Phoenix

3.0%

Concorde Career Institute

3.0%

Delta Technical College

3.0%
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Majors

Dental Assisting

40.1%

Business

9.5%

Kinesiology

5.7%

Nuclear And Industrial Radiologic Technologies

4.1%

Psychology

3.8%

Health Care Administration

3.4%

Communication

3.1%

Fine Arts

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Biology

2.7%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

2.6%

Finance

2.6%

General Studies

2.5%

Marketing

2.5%

Accounting

2.3%

Medical Assisting Services

2.3%

Management

2.2%

Culinary Arts

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Law

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.8%

Other

22.4%

Certificate

12.8%

Masters

10.2%

Associate

9.7%

Diploma

8.2%

Doctorate

1.7%

License

0.4%
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