Dental assisting happens to be a really hot career right now, and there’s a lot of benefits to the job, such as job variety, schedule flexibility, little to no requirements to become one, and a positive work environment where you can actually help people leave with a brighter smile. Not sure what they do? A dental assistant provides a vital role to the dental office and their main function is to make the office a more efficient workplace. There are a few main roles that dental assistants take over in order to accomplish that: namely, greet and schedule patients, sterilize and prepare dental equipment, take and expose X-rays, help alongside the dentist in procedures, and generally comforting patients so that they feel safe and comfortable.If you happen to be a compassionate and helpful person, dental assisting might just be for you!
Now you might be asking, how long does it take before I can become a dental assistant? The good news is that most states don’t have requirements for entry level dental assistants, so you can start as soon as today! Although, many people choose to get dental assistant training beforehand in order to receive benefits such as a higher starting salary, more trust, a higher chance of getting hired, and the opportunity to become certified as well. Becoming certified is a great decision if you choose to pursue dental assisting, as certified dental assistants receive a higher salary as well as extra benefits. But back to training. Dental assistant training usually takes less than one year to earn a certificate from an accredited school. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not! Dental assisting schools and select accredited programs offer certificates in around 9 to 12 months, while community colleges and trade schools offer degrees in 2 years. Note however that degrees require extra general education classes in order to obtain, and most people state that degrees offer no additional benefits over certificates. Ultimately the choice is up to you though.
Many dental assistants even go on to become dental hygienists and even dentists! Sure, dental assisting might not help you further your career into fields such as those, but it can provide a very useful glimpse into the happenings of the dental office. Dental hygienists and dentists will have to further their education by attending college and dental school, but if you are passionate about dentistry and oral health then who is stopping you from starting?