Are you interested in pursuing a career that comes with a mix of administrative and clinical duties? If you love working with people, helping with complex tasks, and want to get to work in as little as nine months, a career as a dental assistant may be right for you. A dental assistant is a dental health professional who works closely or under the supervision of a dentist. This is the career for those who wish to undergo short post-secondary training and then work in a rapidly growing industry. Today, Dental assistants have become a popular career choice for many reasons, including job stability, flexible schedule, quick entry into the workforce, and the ability to help others. It is an exciting role that blends the service elements of health care with office administration and scheduling.
Being a dental assistant, you will be a vital member of your oral health care team, with comprehensive and extensively varied duties. Your core responsibility is to assist dentists, hygienists, and therapists with a variety of dental procedures. Other duties may include patient care, recordkeeping, appointment scheduling, and providing a spectrum of services to support both dentists and administrative staff. Typically, you'll start your day preparing the examination room and dental equipment. You'll be the first face that patients see when they arrive at the dentist's office, so you need to be friendly and compassionate. Usually, you'll work full-time in a dental practice, where you'll spend much of your day working closely with patients and dentists. You may work part-time, that allows an appealing work/life balance.
Now, how can you become a dental assistant? There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. In some states, there are no formal educational requirements, while others require their dental assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass a state certification exam. Becoming a dental assistant is both professionally and financially rewarding. Being a chair-side caregiver, you can make an average annual wage of $37,000. However, your salaries can vary by the level of experience, geographical location, and nature of your duties assigned. A dental assistant is a fun, fast-paced, and growing career path where undertaking vocational training, further education, and experience can substantially increase your chances of employment, financial remuneration, and career advancement. Not only that, but dental assisting is forecast to be one of the fastest-growing health care occupations of the coming years. As U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, meaning the job outlook is much faster than the average for all occupations. As ongoing research reveals the link between oral and general health, the demand for preventive dental services is rapidly growing, which has led to the opening for more dental practices, and the greater need for dental assistants.