Dental assistant careers and employment opportunities will continue to increase especially in offices as about 93 % of dental assistants work in dental offices and clinics. Some dental assistant jobs can be found in local government, state, federal and offices of physicians.
Dental assistants' work revolves around care of the patient, doing office work in the clinic or offices and other laboratory duties. A dental assistant's job description includes disinfecting and sterilizing the equipment, preparing the instruments and other materials that will be used to treat the patient, keeping records of all patients and making the patient comfortable as service and treatment is delivered. Dental assistants also give postoperative instructions and even general oral healthcare advice.
To aid the dentist in the performance of their duties, the dental assistants perform certain dental procedures and assist the dentist in handling instruments, drying and clearing the patient's mouth with the use of devises and preparing materials for restorations. They also process dental x-rays, remove sutures, remove excess cement during the filling process and apply topical anesthetics. In other States, some duties of dental assistants are expanded through trainings and experiences to perform other dental tasks and duties.
The increase in preventive dental healthcare and population growth will fuel the demand for greater dental assistant jobs. As the workload of dentists increase, the need for dental assistant jobs increases too to perform routine tasks. There will be many opportunities that will rise from entry level positions to experienced dental assistants. The expectations for dental assistants vary and it is important to exceed those expectations in order to get dental assistant jobs and employment anywhere you want to be. The following are helpful tips in order to exceed expectations as a dental assistant.
- Get the education and training. Most States don't require formal education to get an entry level dental assistant job. Those interested in becoming a dental assistant can take biology, health, chemistry and office practices courses but if you wish to be a great dental assistant, you must take further education and enroll in dental assisting training programs. In 2009, there are almost 281 dental assisting programs approved by Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). These courses include laboratory, classroom, pre clinical instructions in skills and theories.
- Excel in your on-the-job training. If you want to be a great dental assistant, you must give your best during your on-the-job training. Here you will be able to learn the application of theories and get experiences that are valuable, especially the daily routines at work, how to interact with patients and other necessary things to handle. You should try to gain as much knowledge and as many skills as you can in order to become good and exceed their expectations.
- Familiarize yourself with the latest trends and equipment. As dental technology changes, so do the procedures and equipment. It is important to study and get ideas and knowledge from different sources like the internet, trainings and other sources in order to learn and get acquainted with the latest trends and developments in line with the dental assistant jobs.
- Get certification and licensure. Nothing more can exceed others expectations than having certifications and a license as a dental assistant. The states vary in their requirements so it is important to contact the appropriate State board for the requirements. The Certified Dental Assistant Credential has various requirements administered by the Dental Assisting National Board. With a license you will be able to build confidence and expand your functions, thus making you more credible and great in your profession. Without further advancement and certifications, opportunities may be limited. If you exceed expectations as a dental assistant, you can work as a dental assisting instructor, sales representative for dental products, office manager and in other great dental careers.