Your New Career as a Dental Assistant
Dentists need dental assistants to help them with their daily duties. As with most jobs in the medical field, a dental assistant career is in demand. When good jobs are scarce, there will still be a demand for dental assistants. Most people want their teeth cleaned at least once a year, and dentists need assistants.
Dental Assistant Salaries
In some cities, new dental assistants will start out making $10 an hour. After working in the dental industry for a few years, a dental assistant can make $15 an hour. If you work in a specialized dental field, you can make $20 an hour. The average dental assistant makes $34,000 a year.
Dental Assistant Education and Certifications
Dental assistants work in dental offices, and they complete laboratory tasks. If you want to be a dental assistant, you should attend a reputable training program. A reputable program will offer classes in dental procedures, x-rays, anesthesia and instrument sterilization. A dental assistant should know how to collect payments and manage dental records.
Dental Assistant Responsibilities
When you work in a dental office, you may have several responsibilities. You may work with a general dentist or an orthodontist. Sometimes, dental assistants are in charge of billing and records. Their daily duties can depend on the work setting. If the dentist already has a secretary, the dental assistant may not have to perform secretarial duties.
Working with Dental Patients
Dental assistants usually work directly with dental patients. They remove sutures, and they educate patients on the importance of dental care. Dental assistants are skilled professionals. A dental assistant can learn important information in a classroom setting, but all dental assistants should have practical experience in a clinical setting.
Required Coursework and Exams
Most dental schools want their students to have a high school diploma. The students must have a thorough understanding of basic biology and chemistry. The students may have to pass an entrance exam. When you are accepted into a dental program, you will have to complete a radiology training course. When you complete your coursework, you will qualify for dental certifications.
DANB Certification Requirements
In some states, dentists can only hire certified dental assistants. If you are performing coronal polishing, you must be certified by the Dental Assisting National Board. If you are going to pursue the DANB certification, you should complete a dental training program. You can qualify for the certification without completing a formal training program, but you must have work experience and a high school diploma. You should also have a current CPR certification.
Other Dental Occupations
A dental assistant can become an office manager or a teacher. Most higher level jobs will require additional education. Most dental assistants choose to further their education and become a dental hygienist.
Certified dental professionals have a bright future. The job has an excellent starting salary, and most cities have several job openings. If you want to work in the dental field, you should pursue a dental assistant certification.