Dental assistants are commonly regarded as very valuable members of the dental team.
These are the people who provide broad range of services which are meant to support both the administrative staff and the dentist.
In addition, while some regions do not require formal licensure in this area, there are a few who require.
This implies that work dental assistants may differ as well as the path to the workforce differs.
It can actually take from nine months up to two years to complete a dental assisting program hinging on whether it’s degree program, diploma or certificate. Moreover, after completing this education and passing the required certifications, one may now execute different valuable functions.
Confirming appointments, scheduling, ordering dental supplies and maintaining the records of the patient are just some of the administrative tasks which a dental assistant will perform.
Meanwhile, a dental assistant’s clinical duties comprise of sterilizing instruments, handling various tools to the dentist during examination and dental treatment, processing X-rays, operating suction devices and making impressions for dental fixtures.
Factors to consider in becoming a dental assistant:
When a person has decided to pursue a career as a dental assistant, he or she needs to meet some requirements prior entering this specific area:
See to it to decide on the best educational path
Students commonly complete a dental assistant program in a technical school or a community college.
The programs usually take 1 or 2 years to complete hinging on whether the student is pursuing an associate degree, diploma or certificate.
Aside from classroom teaching, several programs offer what is referred to as hands-on learning opportunities that are done in a clinical setting.
Complete an externship
In order to obtain vast experience and be ahead among others, an externship is a must. A lot of academic programs offer externships as a mandatory component of coursework that offers very crucial and real-life-applicable training opportunities.
By doing so, a student can significantly enhance his or her skills in dental pathology, oral hygiene, chairside assisting, radiology, oral anatomy and also dental pharmacology.
Select a focus
Dental assistants can specialize in several various fields of oral care. Apart from general dentistry, other fields open to educated and well-experienced dental assistants compose of periodontics, dentofacial orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics, endodontics and maxillofacial surgery.
Complete licensing or state certification requirements
Requirements in licensure and certification differ by state and one may delve into these mandates through visiting the Dental Assistant National Board’s website or getting in touch with the state dental board.
Students commonly pass the DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant exam in states where certification is required. Meanwhile, students who did not pass the exam may complete more certification preparation course as well as training modules prior retaking the exam.
Consider undertaking other forms of licensure or certification
One may decide to complete the National Entry Level Dental Assistant exam. Students who hope to work in specialized dental assisting career may opt for furthering certifications such as preventive functions dental assistant, orthodontic dental assistant and restorative functions dental assistant.
Land an entry-level job
Consider having a variety of job opportunities either in a specialty field or in general dentistry setting. Dental assisting is considered one of the most rapid growing jobs in USA.
Return to school and consider getting an advanced degree after working for several years.
In so doing, one may surely enjoy greater earning potential and benefit from increased career mobility.