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How to Start a New Career As a Dental Assistant

If you have a fascination of dentistry and enjoy helping people, then a dental assistant might be the perfect career for you. Dental assistants provide patient care and perform record keeping duties. According to www.bls.gov, the average salary for a dental assistant is $33,470 and the industry is expected to grow by 31 percent. Dental assistants can usually complete their education in one year. Discover what dental assistants do and learn how you can begin a career in this growing industry.

Job Responsibility
Dental assistants are responsible for completing a variety of tasks in a dentist office. One important role of a dental assistant is making the patient feel calm and welcomed. They will also prepare the patient for treatments and procedures. Dental assistants also sterilize dental instruments, which prevents patients from catching diseases from other people. They also prepare the work area and hand the dentist instruments during procedures. Dental assistants use equipment to keep the mouth dry during appointments, process x-rays, and complete lab examinations. They also teach patients about proper hygiene, schedule appointments, and resolve billing matters.

Career As a Dental AssistantEducation Requirements
Professionals interested in a dental assistant career will need a high school diploma or a passing grade on the General Educational Development exam. The next step would be to find dental assistant schools in their area. Most community colleges have a dental assistant program. Students can complete a one year certificate or two year degree program. Trade school is another option for aspiring dental assistants. Everest College, Remington, College, and Concorde Career College are just a few trade schools that have a dental assistant program. The financial cost of education shouldn’t discourage students from completing a program. There are many grants and loans available to students on the federal and state level.

Certification and Licenses
Depending on the state, some dental assistants may be required to become certified or licensed in certain areas. Dental assistants can become certified by passing the Certified Dental Assistant Exam, which is regulated by Dental Assisting National Board. Students are eligible to take the exam after they have graduated from a program and completed all the necessary hands on training. Some tasks such as coronal polishing may require licensing depending on the state. Dental assistant students can learn about all the educational, certification, and licensing requirements by contacting their state board of dentistry.

Secure Work
After the education and certification requirements have been completed, dental assistants can begin looking for work in a variety of ways. Many schools offer assistance in job placement. Career sites on the internet such as www.monster.com and www.careerbuilder.com is a great way to find work. Job seekers can also job hunt the old fashioned way by looking in the newspaper and walking in dentist offices to see if they are hiring.

Dental assistants provide patient care and perform record keeping duties. Students can complete a one year certificate or earn a two year degree. Professionals looking to become a dental assistant should consult their state board of dentistry to determine the dental assistant requirements.