Every professional dentist requires a dental assistant to work alongside them in the dental office. The dental assistant is a very important member of the dental team. The skilled assistant handles routine office tasks to directly helping with the treatment of the dental patients. The population is getting older and many still have their original teeth or need extensive dental care. Therefore, the need for more skilled dental assistants is expected to grow along with the population.
Dental Assistant DutiesDental assistants have a wide variety of tasks that they perform in the dental office. Certainly, the duties performed depends on the size of the office, dental specialty, and their skill level. However, most assistants perform office tasks that involve taking care of the patient’s records, billing, greeting the patients, arranging appointments, cleaning the dental area, sterilizing instruments, working alongside the dentists to assist with the patient in completing dental procedures.
EducationThose considering a career in this field should check with their state. Each state has their own requirements to work in this dental field. However, it is a good idea to attend accredited dental schools or take classes in their state. The accredited schools provide training in the lab and other important dental classes. Many states have accredited schools that teach courses in the field. They range from certificate programs that take several months to degree programs that take 2 years to complete.
Job Outlook/PayThe job outlook for the dental assistant is exceptional. Health statistics show that the aging population is growing. This aging population has helped to expand, the need for more skilled dental assistants to help the dental professional care and treat patients. Other factors that lead to an expansion in the field are more people eligible for dental insurance. The salary outlook for the assistant is also good. The median salary for those working on a full time basis is $34,500. However, there are some experienced workers in the field that earn much more, while those in smaller clinics earn much less than the median salary.
Those interested in a dental field that has a great job outlook should consider taking dental assistant training in dental programs to earn certification or degrees.