There are many dental assistant jobs available every year, which means job stability, something very important these days. Assistants can gain their education through a number of local and regional schools offering courses in assisting and in a year’s time it is possible to be out in the workforce, at the beginning of a rewarding career.
What do Dental Assistant Jobs Entail?
A dental assistant is many important things – fulfilling many important roles – to any dental practice. Most importantly, the assistant is a dentist’s extra pair of hands, needed in order to efficiently and correctly treat the many patients that are seen in a day.
The assistant will many times sit chair sided with the doctor during dental procedures, as well as prepare for and clean up after them, too. Using medical equipment and instruments is a daily part of the job, as is ensuring patient comfort while they are waiting, and in between parts of any procedures.
Some dental jobs require more specialized qualifications such as radiology training and courses in basic hygiene as well. Today, it is usually the assistant who performs dental x rays of most patients in order to save time for the dentist and shorten a patient’s wait.
Additionally, the hygienist frequently needs a spare pair of hands too, and the assistant will help there, too. In some practices, a skilled and trained assistant will even do some of the basic work that is classified under dental hygiene, though the very involved procedures are done either by a hygienist or the dentist, themselves.
However, it is important that anyone looking to get into working as a dental assistant, or any other dental or medical field for that matter realize that there are less-glamorous parts that go along with the job as well.
Expecting a full day’s worth of patient care is unrealistic as there are many, many other jobs that need to be done in a busy dental office, much of which falls on the dental assistant. This will include documenting in patient records, ensuring they have all of their medication prescriptions, making sure the right follow up appointments are made and helping the front desk when necessary.
Additionally, the dental assistant is usually the one who is responsible for the cleaning and sterilization of dental equipment and instruments and many other tasks around the lab and exam rooms.
Keeping rooms clean and ready for patients is part of the job as well, as is sometimes supply and equipment inventory and ordering. A dental assistant really does wear many hats, which makes them an invaluable part of any good dental practice.
How Much Do Dental Assistant Jobs Pay?
The pay scale for dental assistants can be wide depending on a number of factors such as city and state, or region, current economic conditions, how busy a practice is and other things. Their salary is equivalent to salaries of Medical Billing and Coding Specialist and even nurses.
In either case though, whether just entering the workforce with a first position or having been in the field for a few years, the salary is respectable.
Those wishing to increase their salary and gain more education and skills at the same time can consider taking additional courses to become a dental hygienist, too.
While it is not required that a hygienist first be a dental assistant, consensus seems to be that those who work as an assistant first not only do better in the courses, but get jobs much faster, too, because of their previous dental office experience.
How To Get Dental Assistant Jobs
While there are still some dental practices that will hire people who are untrained and have not been to school for dental assisting, it is much more recommended that a serious, career-minded person enroll in a dental assisting program.
Most schools that offer these courses also offer job placement assistance, which can be a big benefit when the time comes to land that first job. Program graduates will have at least gotten some practical experience through externships and will know a little more of what to expect the first day on the job.
They will also be a much better asset to any dental team, coming in with the basic knowledge of anatomy, dental techniques, radiology and other aspects of the position.
In general, dental assistant jobs are a wonderful option for anyone interested working toward a new career where they will gain valuable skills, earn a good salary, have room for advancement and help people. As with any job there will always be downsides, but those willing to put in the hard work and dedication usually end up enjoying their positions for many years. For more information visit the medical career advisers at Healthcareerexplorer.com.