A career in the field of dental assistance is one of the most lucrative professions today in medical assistance. Dental assistant training is popular for its variety in job responsibilities which are very interesting to study and understand.
To become a dental assistant you may have a lot to do on a daily basis. Some of these include
- Sterilizing the instruments and equipment.
- Making the entire arrangement of instruments for the dentist to perform treatments.
- Maintaining records and files of all the patient records.
- Making the patient comfortable in the room and steadying the chair.
- During the treatment procedures the dental assistant cleans and dries the patient’s mouth using suction.
- The dental assistant also helps the doctor in holding the instruments straight for further procedures.
Apart from regular procedures, they help in maintaining the patient’s morale with a friendly talk and advice about oral hygiene. They help in the anesthetic procedures, processing x-rays and making impressions of teeth. There are many more job responsibilities which make this career a very important one.
There is constant rise in demand for a well certified and qualified dental assistant because, with a constant requirement for specializations like restorative dentistry functions, coronal polishing etc. Dental assistants are known as a dentist’s right hand as almost all tasks are initiated by them. The number of hours of work could vary from 35-40 hours. They need to keep themselves safe from are catching all the germs. They are constantly on the move and wear protective equipment. Since they are responsible for a lot of aspects, they are well thorough with the proceedings. A dental care facility will be practically useless without an assistant in charge. That is the reason why there are sites which promise a rewarding and satisfying career in this field within just 2 months.
THE POTENTIAL IN THIS FIELD
On the basis of recent findings, it is estimated that there are over a hundred thousand job openings annually. The continued shortage could result in a very high pay package for those who care to venture into this demanding stream. Since the duration for qualifying as an assistant is not more than a year, it is very easy to settle fast as a successful dental assistant. So person pursuing this field now will definitely crack the jackpot when compared to a few years later. There are numerous streams to choose from as the choices are very interesting. Enroll in a course today and make the most productive decision of your life by letting yourself pursue a rewarding and satisfying life as a dental assistant.
WHAT DOES MY DENTAL ASSISTANT CAREER STUDY COMPRISE OF?
In order to be a successful dental assistant one will have to take up a course revolving around any particular aspect of teeth. There are many programs that can be chosen based on the interest levels and demand required. The course should be pursued from an accredited school in order to guarantee higher salaries and job security. The following are the required aspects a dental assistant must master in, in order to be passed as a good dental assistant
- Basic medical knowledge : A dental assistant must not only understand all the terminologies related to teeth, but must also be thorough in basic medical requirements which can be utilized in times of emergencies. They must understand the entire human body system, to provide necessary first aid and relief to a patient in times of need. A dental assistant must also be capable of using additional skills such as CPR, breath relief during a dilemma.
- Chair side duties-: An aspiring dental assistant must be thorough with all the aspects of this stream as it is the primary responsibility in the entire job. Chair side duties include all the assisting and setting aspects which arise after the patient sits on the chair.
- Anatomy- A dental assistant should also understand the anatomical features of the human body. This knowledge could prove to be useful to get good insight of how the human body functions.
- Oral anatomical structure- This is a subfield of anatomy where an aspiring dental assistant gets to focus on the anatomical structure of the mouth. It explains how the jaws and gums are strategically placed to maximize its usage in the process of mastication. Teeth environment and its issues involved are all explained in this subject.
- Dental instruments- A dental assistant must be thorough with all the tools required in the field of dentistry. This is a vital course which helps aspirants understand the use and importance of the tools during a treatment. This is one of the core subjects as many dental assistants have the job of setting up tools and handing them to the dentist during a treatment. Apart from this a dental assistant may also have to perform a few duties.
- Laboratory proceedings- There are often tight situations in dental assisting where a doctor may hand over a few samples for further investigation. These samples are required to be subjected to the laboratory experiments to get a detailed analysis. Hence a dental assistant could have an added advantage and edge if he/she is well aware and knowledgeable about laboratory experiments and procedures.
- Administrative knowledge- A dental assistant must not only be well qualified and capable in the dental assisting field, but must also shine as an excellent administrative icon, holding the entire organization, with a sense of responsibility. The dental assistant must look after the business responsibilities, such as; handling the suppliers, scheduling appointments for patients, handling customer service relations by answering queries etc.
Getting certified as a dental assistant-
Dental Assisting National Board deals with getting a certification to practice as a dental assistant. In order to get certified, an aspirant should pass a written exam which is conducted by the DANB. This exam is enough to decide the flair of a person to be a good dental assistant. The exam duration is 4 hours and comprises of 320 questions divided into three separate unites. Namely;
- General chair side – 120 questions.
- Infection and its control- 100 questions.
- Radiation and safety- 100 questions.
Once this exam is qualified the aspirant has a proof of strong mettle and may begin practicing as a qualified dental assistant.
In order to gain a certificate, it is advisable to have undergone a course in dental assisting from an accredited college, as non accredited college students require at least two years of work experience.
How much can a dental assistant make?
According to recent statistics a dental assistant earns extremely well. The average hourly pay is impressive with over $ 11 per hour. Some facilities charge more, depending upon the location, availability and feasibility of the dental care establishment
More than half the people in this field already earn packages varying from $28000-$39000. The pay scale has crossed the maximum mark in many places. The salary could depend on several factors which include-
- Training – Many healthcare administration establishments prefer dental assistants who have training in the field and understand the everyday terminologies of dental assisting.
- Location – The salary of a dental assistant may vary on the basis of location. Every state has its own standard and cost of living. Hence the salaries and packages may vary according to the standards of the place.
- Past records and experience- Many dental offices and doctors do not risk by going for a fresher. Often the past records and experiences are placed under scrutiny, before choosing a person. A clean record or a previous experience could be a fostering factor in order to bag a job.
- Getting the right certification- To get or demand a higher salary a dental assistant must be in a position to be legally practicing. A certificate from the Dental Assisting National Board could be fruitful in the long run for better opportunities.