If medical and health specialties inspire you, and you wish to frame a career as a dental assistant, job description of the same is comprehensively discussed here, in the following article. Read about a dental assistant’s nature of work, pay scale, minimum requirements, and career outlook.
Just the fact that you’re getting into a medical field assures you a fantastic career ahead. Dentists are one of the highest paid health care professionals in today’s cut-throat competition, where every aspirant is striving to secure a lucrative future for themselves. The growing statistics with regards to health ailments have opened doors to a number of career opportunities for dental assistants, and every individual who aspires to carve a niche for themselves in the field of dentistry have a number of reasons to be happy. In accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, America, jobs in dental assistance are expected to grow by nearly 40 per cent in the coming few years, and that’s reason enough for many medical aspirants to grab hold of the many opportunities this immensely lucrative career offers. That said, let’s learn all about dental assistants, starting from their nature of work, and education requirements, followed by a general idea of the pay scale as well as career prospects.
Nature of Work
Under strict supervision of a dentist, a dental assistant performs a number of laboratory and patient care duties such as preparing the patients for treatment, developing X-rays, sterilizing instruments and tools, maintaining dental clinic inventory, and preparing official records and documents for reference. Many dental assistants are required to carry out clerical work as well, and some also provide patients with oral hygiene, depending upon the medical settings. Other duties involve making casts of teeth and mouth, temporary crowns, and providing aftercare to the patients, such as maintenance of oral health, and hygiene. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that they perform most of the basic duties of a dentist, so that the dentist can give more time to considering the appropriate treatment procedure to be carried out for a particular patient. Having a dental assistant just makes it easier for the dentist to focus on the treatment.
While becoming a dentist requires high level education, there is no such formal education required to become a dental assistant. Many medical aspirants having a high school diploma along with a few months of on the job experience begin working as a dental assistant in clinics and other medical settings. However, to become a registered dental assistant in order to avail more benefits from this career, one needs to enroll for a minimum 1-year certification program approved by certification bodies in US such as the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA), or the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) that offers certification to aspirants having graduated from an institution accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The certification program gets them acquainted with the basics of laboratory and patient care duties and responsibilities. Today, every medical institution offers a few months of on the job training, and an aspirant can get an insight about the fundamentals through that.
On an average, the annual salary of a dental assistant in the United States of America lies between $25,000 – $50,000 depending upon the medical settings that the dental assistant works in, the number of years of relevant experience he/she has, and the geographical region chosen by him/her to serve. While California, being a medical hub of the US, offers the maximum remuneration to dental assistants, states such as Hawaii and Oklahoma pay comparatively less. One needs to figure out the flow of career opportunities in a particular state or province, and then, choose to put up in the same.
As stated right in the beginning, the fact that dental assistance is a subspecialty of medicine, dentistry in particular, makes it an extremely remunerative career. Today, dentists are in need of more and more assistants that help them with routine work at their office, and therefore, dental assistants can maximize these opportunities as per their liking. Not only dentists’ clinics, but a dental assistant can choose to work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, education services, and physician’s offices. The more you acquire education and training in this field, the better your career prospects become.
Working towards the healthy well-being of people is one of the noblest professions in today’s world. Obtaining good education beforehand will help you make the most of every chance that comes your way. A job as a dental assistant assures you a secured future, along with a sophisticated salary.