What Are My Career Options and Job Description as a Dental Assistant?
Dental assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental care team. If you have strong communication skills, enjoy working with your hands as well as your mind and want a career with responsibility, dental assisting is for you.
Being a dental assistant offers many other options aside from working chairside with the dentist. Inside of the dental office, many financial coordinators, treatment counselors
Let’s take a look at the job description of a dental assistant according to the American Dental Association;
The duties of a dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. The dental assistant performs many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills. Responsibilities of a dental assistant include:
- assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures
- taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays)
- asking about the patient’s medical history and taking blood pressure and pulse
- serving as an infection control officer, developing infection control protocol and preparing and sterilizing instruments and equipment
- helping patients feel comfortable before, during and after dental treatment
- providing patients with instructions for oral care following surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the placement of a restoration (a filling or crown)
- teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies to maintain oral health (toothbrushing, flossing and nutritional counseling)
- taking impressions of patients’ teeth for study models
- performing office management tasks that often require the use of a personal computer
- communicating with patients and suppliers (i.e. scheduling appointments, answering the telephone, billing and ordering supplies)
- helping to provide direct patient care in all dental specialties, including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, endodontics, periodontics and oral surgery
- Variety: Dental assisting is a challenging and rewarding career, demanding versatility and a willingness to assume responsibility for many different tasks
- Flexibility: Since dental assistants are in demand, career options include both full-time and part-time positions
- Excellent working conditions: Dental offices are interesting, pleasant, people-oriented environments in which to work
- Personal satisfaction: Dental assisting involves people contact, and with this personal interaction comes the personal satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped someone by helping to provide valuable health service.
Since many dentists employ two or more dental assistants, employment opportunities in this field are excellent. The types of practice setting available to dental assistants include:
- solo dental practices (practices with only one dentist)
- group practices (practices with two or more dentists)
- specialty practices, such as oral and maxillofacial surgery (removal of teeth and correction of facial deformities), orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics (straightening teeth with braces or other appliances), endodontics (root canal treatment), periodontics (treatment of gum problems), prosthodontics (replacement of lost teeth) and pediatric dentistry (treatment of children)
- public health dentistry, including settings such as schools and clinics which focus on the prevention of dental problems within entire communities
- hospital dental clinics, assisting dentists in the treatment of bedridden patients
- dental school clinics, assisting dental students as they learn to perform dental procedures
Other career opportunities for dental assistants include:
- insurance companies, processing dental insurance claims
- vocational schools, technical institutes, community colleges dental schools and universities, teaching others to be dental assistants (which may require associate or baccalaureate college degrees)
- dental product sales representatives
ABOUT Dr. Marty Lipsey
WHO WE ARE
Our course is unique in that it is the only one taught in an actual practicing dental office. You will learn the state-of-the-art methods in assisting. We have over twenty years’ experience in teaching students the art of dental assisting and constantly updating our course as techniques and the profession changes.
The course is given four times a year on Saturdays. We offer you much more than a “school” experience. We prepare you for the real workplace with practice in a real clinical setting. It is this aspect of our course that enables our students to go into the
Average Income for
a Dental Assistant
Years of Experience
“Enjoyed taking Coronal polishing course”
"I enjoyed taking the Coronal polishing course. So hands on. And Shelly and Nick are great instructors. Definitely coming back for future courses."
“I participated in the twelve week dental”
"I participated in the twelve week dental assisting course, and it has been one of the best experiences. There are many advantages to taking this course along with having amazing instructors. Joni is the best!"
"The twelve week program was amazing!"
"The teachers were awesome Joni, Nick, Betty, and Shelly. I can’t believe how much I learned in such a short time. It was an incredible experience and I will miss my classmates and the teachers. You guys rock!"
“I had a great experience with DAI”
"I had a great experience with DAI in Coronal Polish. Shelly and Nick are awesome instructors. I am very excited to take my RDA exam. They answered all my queries.."
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Dental Assisting | What you absolutely need to know
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Dental Assisting Institute
605 Standiford Avenue, Suite H
Modesto, CA 95350
Phone: (209) 527-0101