If you’re fascinated by the way the mouth functions, chances are you’ve given serious thought to becoming a dental assistant. This career may also be appealing to you if you love helping others and want to assist patients in achieving a bright, healthy smile. To be qualified for registered dental assistant jobs, there are some important things you’ll need to know about the certification you’ll need and the type of setting(s) you’ll be working in.
Registered Dental Assistant Jobs and Training
It’s perfectly acceptable to become a registered dental assistant due to an apprenticeship in a dentist’s office. If you decide to go this route, the amount of time it will take for you to become a registered dental assistant may vary. However, there are a number of academic programs at community colleges and technical schools that have dental assistant programs. After graduating from dental assistant school, the state you live in will require you to obtain licensure or certification to be able to start working. The Dental Assisting National Board is the main governing body when it comes to certification for this career, and is recognized in over 30 states.
A dental assistant will need to be especially alert and organized in order to properly aid the dentist. This is especially true when the dentist has to complete an intricate oral procedure on a patient. Work stations should be clean and well-lit. It’s also very important that you adhere to safety procedures as a registered dental assistant to prevent the spread of infection. You’ll need to wear protective clothing, gloves and eyewear in many instances as well.
According to US News, the average salary for registered dental assistants in 2012 was $35,080. Of course, your exact salary will vary based on the city and state where you work. The American Dental Association also asserts that nearly all registered dental assistants got paid vacation time, granted to them by the private practitioners they work for. However, exact benefits are determine by the owner of the practice and are most likely only available to full-time employees.