Career Trends in Dentistry : Dental Assistants

Job Specification:-

A Dental Assistant serves as extra hands of a Dentist. A Dental assistant is a person who assists the dentist in all ways. Some of the jobs are:-

  • Seating patients on the dental chair.
  • Sterilizing Dental instruments & Dental equipment before dental procedures.
  • Setting up the tray with the instruments near the patient.
  • Handling Suction devices during the procedure.
  • Passing instruments to the dentist during the procedure.
  • Exposing radiographs & processing X-ray films on instructions of a dentist.
  • Advise on oral care after dental procedure & post-operative dental care
  • Applying bleaching agents in cosmetic dentistry
  • Ordering supplies
  • Fabricating crowns
  • Taking impressions

A dental assistant also performs certain office duties like :-

  • Scheduling appointments by calling patients
  • Receiving patients politely
  • Updating patients treatment records
  • Receiving payments from patients

Qualification

Any individual who has taken courses in Health sciences, chemistry, biology, human resources can apply for Dental assistants.
In some states, Dental assistants need not be highly qualified. You can just join a dental office & undergo training for 3-4 months. When you have gained experience they can join as Dental assistants.

Examination

While in some other states , dental assistants should possess the accredited certificate from the American Dental Association. Candidates should attend a one two year training programme in recognized technical institutes or colleges . Armed forces are also providing training in this particular course. After this, they should be writing an exam under Dental Assisting National Board. In the exam your practical skills are also examined.

The written test consists of questions on oral care ,sanitation rules & communicable diseases. A practical approach to the test includes making the candidates sterilize & sanitize instruments & the persons are basically judged on the basis of their practical skill. Finally you become licensed dental Assistants or Certified Dental Assistants. The Exam has three papers 1) GC general chair side, Infection control (ICE) & Radiation Health & Safety(RHS)

Income potential

Experienced dental assistants can earn 35$ /hour. You get all the perks including pension benefits, paid vacation etc. Based on your work ethics, experience, behaviour with people, your salary is incremented. A Dental Assistant is the connecting link between patients & dental doctors. Any Certified personnel have to undergo a training programme in the particular dental office he/she is intended to work with. During the training period of a CDA , you can earn around 3000$.

Career advancement:-

A Dental assistant has to work hand in hand with the Dentist. You have to wear hand gloves, mask, Doctors coat all sterilized , similar to a dentist. By pursuing this career, you can interact with different levels of people . You can have friendly contacts around you. Once you have worked 3-4 years as Dental assistants, you can opt for Dental Hygienists. They are in the next hierarchy level. More responsibilities , technical skill etc are involved . There is separate examination for Dental Hygienists.

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