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Dental assistants have several different tasks that they handle depending on the dental office they work in. Dental assistants are the pillar of any dental practice as their duties mostly center on:
- Assisting other dental professionals to take care of a patient pre and post consultation; including training patients on general oral care and advising on good oral and dental practices.
- Making sure x-rays of patients dentals are taken and
- Record and schedule patients for consultations and dental care
If you are interested in this career path, read on to find out the steps you can take to decide it is the career for you as well as what will be required of you:
Step 1: Is a career as a dental assistant right for you?
You may first want to talk to someone who has a job as a dental assistant. Such will give you a clue on what it takes to get into the profession and his/her experiences while on the job.
A career advisor can also give you suggestions on the path to follow based on your education background and budget.
Additionally, you could also find out more about this career path by searching online for dental assistant jobs. You could start by going to a site like DDS connections to find out what your potential is.
By searching online, you could find out:
- What opportunities are available,
- What the requirements for the job are in terms of certification and licensing, and
- What the remuneration for this job is. The potential pay package may be what you need to get excited and motivated to stay the course.
Step 2: What are the requirements?
After you decide you want to have a career in this profession:
- Find out what the state requirements for your jurisdiction state are.
- Research and find out how you can get the best education and advise to meet the above requirements.
- Most courses you will find require a maximum of only one year of training. You may also find that you do not need any formal training and that an apprenticeship or on-the-job training at a dental office will be sufficient.
Step 3: Certification
Even if you do not require any formal education, you will find that a certification will make you more marketable and get you more pay for the job. Find out what kind of certification is available for you to do and make sure you get the training and certification from an accredited institution.
Step 4: Preparing your resume and job searching
Whether you have certification or not, or you have formally training or not, preparing your resume is important. You will need time to do some inward reflection in order to come up with a good resume that will get you employed.
The next step is to get out there and search for a job. Be prepared to answer any question on why you would be perfect for the job.
You will find a career as a dental assistant will get your foot into the door of the dental profession in the fastest way possible. It will enable you to see the other different career paths that are available in the dental profession or it will help you decide on what you need to do to solidify your career as a more recognized dental assistant professional.
About the Author
Daniel Kush is an accomplished medical professional with extensive experience in the field of dentistry. He has for the last 10 years contributed to shaping individuals’ lives by changing the smiles of many individuals. He also gives career advice on DDS connections website. Visit his site to get more dental career advice.