Without the help of a dental assistant, the dentist’s job would be much more difficult than it already is. In some dental practices such as those that do cosmetic work, dentists go from chair to chair doing complex procedures in tight mouth spaces. It is the dental assistant who makes sure the doctor has the right tools for the job, with the right patient, and at the right time. Dental assistants also provide reassurance to patients who are oftentimes full of anxiety when going to see a dentist. They do this by explaining what the dentist is going to do and then giving post-operative advice for care of the dentist’s work. It is a fast growing field and will always be open to opportunities, especially as the population ages and requires more bridge, denture, and crown work.
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At a GlanceOther Job Titles: Certified Dental Assistant Salary Range*: $23,000-$47,000; Median $33,000 Education/Training Required: 1-year certificate or associate’s degree Desired Skills/Aptitude: Organizational skills, attention to detail, communication skills Certification/Licensing: Certification from DANB; licensing varies by state Locations with Best Opportunities:Minnesota, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Rhode Island Employment Outlook: 31% growth through 2020 (faster than average) Opportunities for Advancement: Dental assistants may further their education to get into other medical fields or even become a dentist.
What a Dental Assistant DoesThe dental assistant performs a variety of tasks on any given day. They provide a high level of assistance to the dentists. Their duties can be classified as follows:
- Patient relations
- Procedure Assistance
- Lab work