How Do I Become A Dental Assistant?

Dental assistants can work part-time and enjoy seeing a variety of patients every day. Being a dental assistant can be a very satisfying career choice for individuals who want to help teach others how to properly take care of their teeth. A dental assistant also plays an important role in supporting a dentist during surgeries and operation procedures. The dental assistant helps calm down patients and also performs other maintenance tasks on the teeth of patients. The dental assistant may be required to do a teeth cleaning for patients. He or she may also help teach young children how to take care of their teeth during a class field trip. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a dental assistant?” When you want to become a dental assistant, it is key to begin researching dental assistant programs that you can attend.

What’s it like to be a dental assistant?

When you become a dental assistant, you will enjoy working normal hours in a dental office. You will likely work 40 hours a week. Your main tasks will be to work with patients who come into the office. You will need to perform cleanings and prepare patients to be seen by a dentist. Some offices may require you to perform record keeping, and you may need to transcribe patient files. Dental assistants are also responsible for maintaining a safe atmosphere in the dentist office. They may have to ensure that equipment remains sterilized so that patients are not infected with germs during operations. Dental assistants frequently have to use suction hoses on patients’ mouths to keep them safe from drowning during appointments with a dentist. Lastly, the dental assistant may work with a patient in order to determine the billing and payment methods that are appropriate for him or her.

Education Requirements

To become a dental assistant, individuals should complete an accredited dental assistant program. One may look to see whether his or her local community college offers this sort of program. It is helpful to have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology if one wants to be a dental assistant. One should try to take courses that focus on dental terms during his or her time in college too. Courses that focus on human anatomy will also be helpful for dental assistants. The Dental Assisting National Board also offers an exam that must be completed in order to obtain a dental assistant certification. Over thirty states require that you complete the exam in order to be a dental assistant. It will also be important to take continuing education courses in order to maintain a certification status.

Salary & How to Get a Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a dental assistant is about $34,000 a year. When one wants to become a dental assistant, he or she should look for open positions in dental offices. Hospitals may also have a need for dental assistants. Dental clinics can also provide individuals with the opportunity to make valuable connections in the dental field. When one participates in a dental clinic, he or she will be able to shadow other dentists and learn about the profession. One may eventually be offered a long-term position with a dentist office if he or she participates in a dental clinic.