Do you like working with people, caring for people, and earning around $41,000 annually? The medical industry writ large doesn’t only need doctors and nurses. Care facilities and the doctors that staff them need a wide range of support staff such as administrators, assistants, janitors, and more.
The same is true for the dentistry field. Many dentists need a dental assistant to ensure they can give their patients the necessary service. Helping dentists is a well-paid, potentially rewarding, and enriching career move.
Are you interested in a rewarding career? Keep reading our handy guide on becoming a dental assistant to find out more!
How To Become a Dental Assistant
First, you will need to have completed your GED or high school diploma. You’ll need to show this certificate when you apply for a dental assistant school.
Note that certain schools may have particular requirements as to your subject choices and how well you passed your subjects. Chemistry, Biology, Office Administration, and Science are the kinds of subjects that would help you get into and cope with a post-high-school program easier.
The tertiary dental assistant course is typically a diploma. These kinds of degrees warrant only one or two years of study after high school. You can earn this qualification at a physical campus or at an online institution like UMA.
Once you’ve passed your course, you’ll be able to pursue a job as a junior or trainee dental assistant. You’ll apply with your brand new Dental Assistant Certificate and start working towards becoming a fully qualified Dental Assistant.
At your first job, you’ll be working, earning experience, and likely still studying. In 37 US states, you’ll have to pass 3 exams administered by the Dental Assisting National Board to earn the final part of your qualification called the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credential. From this point on you’ll be a fully certified dental assistant.
Because the dental industry is growing in the US, some dental practices offer a route to certification without the need for a dental assistant diploma. These dental assistant jobs are rare and do not meet the dental assistant requirements much of the time. Going to dental assistant school prepares you for the certification exams in a way that these practices won’t.
Dental Assistant Job
When you’re a dental assistant, you’ll be the face of the practice. You will help administrate the office and deal directly with patients. You’ll make appointments, manage office hours, develop X-rays, manage the stores of all required equipment, and you might even have to clean some of the equipment.
Dental assistants also help prepare rooms and patients for procedures. This part of the job needs people with good bedside manners to help calm jittery patients. You’ll also help the dentist with some of the procedures.
Start Your Career Today
A dental assistant is an integral part of any dental practice or healthcare facility. They help with everything from admin, to keeping patients calm before and during procedures. Dental assistants do fulfilling work and get paid well as a result.
If you want to learn how to become a dental assistant in greater detail, consult an online or physical college and ask about study options. You can do your diploma in a year and the school will also help link you to a job afterward.
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