Are you the type of person who can be someone’s right hand person? Are you organized, efficient, and can handle multiple tasks at once? If this sounds like you, then a career as a dental assistant is likely to be an ideal fit for you! As a dental assistant you will work alongside a dentist during oral surgery or other involved dental procedures. It will likely be your responsibility to prepare the tools and instruments that will be necessary to perform the procedure; during the procedure it will be your job to hand the dentist the tools he or she needs. Depending upon your specific employer you may also be expected to record pertinent information in a patient’s chart, change barriers, and sterilize equipment. Often, you will be required to discuss proper dental hygiene with patients and inform them about the details of certain dental procedures. Start your research here and look into your dental assistant education.
Although a formal degree or training program is not a requirement to work in this occupation, your employment opportunities are likely to be greater if you have completed some level of training program. It is common for aspiring dental assistants to pursue a certificate based program or an associate’s degree program; these are typically offered at local community colleges and vocational schools. Depending upon the specific type of program you choose, you can expect it to take you between one and two years to complete the requirements for a dental assistant program. Your coursework, which will contain classroom components and laboratory components, will consist of classes like dental materials, oral hygiene, and radiography.
Upon completion of your training program you may be required by your state to obtain licensure. Since the licensing requirements vary from one state to another, you will want to check into what is specifically required by your state of residence. Take a few minutes and check out the schools listed on the site. Request that any of the schools that are interesting to you send you a free information packet detailing their educational programs related to the field of dental assisting. This is sure to help you make an informed decision about which type of degree program best fits your educational and career goals.
With your formal training program in dental assisting it may be possible for you to work alongside a dentist, an orthodontist, or an oral surgeon. In addition, furthering your educational degree you will be able to pursue employment as a dental hygienist in similar venues. See the top dental assisting programs listed below, you’ll find the perfect school.