Dental assistants are professionals who work closely with dentists to help them to provide quality services to patients. Accredited degrees and relevant experience could be sufficient enough to attain tremendous opportunities for growth in the ever-green field of dentistry.
Dental assistants offer a safe hand to dentists so that they can provide quality services to patients from preparing them before treatment, passing and sterilizing instruments, and setting up the equipment for dental treatment. They are known for their hard work and multiple duties performed in either private clinics or hospitals. Interpersonal and organizational skills are also required to provide the best services to patients.
Some of the major duties include preparing a patient before the treatment, giving advice to patients on hygiene, arranging and sterilizing dental instruments, passing instruments to dentists during checkups and treatments, scheduling appointments, setting the bills and collecting payments. While at work, they also communicate with their seniors or subordinates and carefully tackle all the problems to keep the business inflow. Some specialized tasks may be performed by dental assistants like proper application of sealant, coronal polishing to remove plaque, fluoride, and topical anesthetics application.
Mostly, dental assistants are employed in offices of dentists or physicians, health care centers, colleges, and universities. They are also employed by state, federal, or local government as dental sales representative or office managers. Some can even opt for a specialized field, such as a maxillofacial surgeon. The exceptional work of a dental assistant might help him/her get associated with reputable hospitals and healthcare centers. The pay scale of these individuals varies by specialization, but in general, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there were 296,810 jobs for dental assistants in May 2011.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental assistants might earn around $34,740 per year, in May 2011. For a dental assistant, the salary figure might increase with qualifications and experience.
Formal education is a prerequisite to become a dental assistant. Training is done during academic life and the job as well. The graduate program is another requirement set by almost every state and approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which normally takes a year to complete. An associate degree could also be earned that lasts for two years. General courses in dental science, dental materials, and dental office management are taught to students for advanced knowledge of dentistry. After acquiring formal education, registration is done through a certification exam to work as a dental assistant finally. With time, training to use the latest equipment is provided to these experts to assist dentists in different types of treatment.